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Undergraduate Bulletin 2009-2010

Department of History


Distinguished Teaching Professor
 Warren E. Roberts, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
  University of California, Berkeley

Distinguished Service Professor
 Sung Bok Kim, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
  Michigan State University

Professors Emeritae/i
Thomas Barker, Ph.D.
  University of Minnesota
 Robert R. Dykstra, Ph.D.
  University of Iowa
 June E. Hahner, Ph.D.
  Cornell University
 Bruce B. Solnick, Ph.D.
  New York University
 Robert F. Wesser, Ph.D.
  University of Rochester
 Joseph F. Zacek, Ph.D.
  University of Illinois

Allen B. Ballard, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
  Harvard University
 Graham J. Barker-Benfield, Ph.D.
  University of California, Los Angeles
 Iris Berger, Ph.D.
  University of Wisconsin, Madison
 Ronald M. Berger, Ph.D.
  University of Wisconsin, Madison
 Richard F. Hamm, Ph.D. (Department Chair)
  University of Virginia
 H. Peter Krosby, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
 John Monfasani, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
 Dan S. White, Ph.D.
  Harvard University
 Lawrence S. Wittner, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
 Gerald Zahavi, Ph.D.
  Syracuse University

Associate Professors Emeritae/i
 Donald Birn, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
 DeWitt C. Ellinwood, Ph.D.
  Washington University
 Richard H. Kendall, Ph.D.
  Yale University
 Clara J. Tucker, Ph.D.
  Syracuse University

Associate Professors
Nadieszda Kizenko, Ph.D.
  Columbia University
 Amy E. Murrell Taylor, Ph.D.
  University of Virginia
 Patrick Nold, Ph.D.
  Oxford University
 Ivan D. Steen, Ph.D.
  New York University
 Ann F. Withington, Ph.D.
  Yale University

Assistant Professors
 Carl Bon Tempo, Ph.D.
  University of Virginia
 Sheila Curran Bernard
  Boston University
 Richard S. Fogarty, Ph.D.
  University of California, Santa Barbara
 Susan M. Gauss, Ph.D.
  SUNY at Stony Brook
 David P Hochfelder, Ph.D.
  Case Western Reserve University
 Loretta Kim, Ph.D.   
  Harvard University
 Ray Sapirstein, Ph.D.
  University of Texas at Austin
 Kendra Smith-Howard, Ph.D.
  University of Wisconsin, Madison

Affiliated Faculty
 Anthony DeBlasi, Ph.D.
  Harvard University
  Department of East Asian Studies
 Phillip B. Eppard, Ph.D.
  Brown University
  College of Computing and Information
 Vivien W. Ng, Ph.D.
  University of Hawaii
  Department of Women’s Studies

Adjuncts: 6
Teaching Assistants: 22

The objective of the Department is to provide its students with a thorough grounding in the past, seen from both social scientific and humanistic perspectives, and in the nature of history and historical analysis. The Department prepares undergraduates for a variety of career options which rely upon a sound liberal arts education, as well as for graduate study in both academic and professional fields.

To accomplish its objectives, the Department offers programs leading to the B.A., the M.A., the Certificate of Advanced Study in Public History, and the Ph.D. An honors program and a combined B.A./M.A. program are also available to qualified students. In addition, the Department participates in several interdepartmental programs, including Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Women’s Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Russian and East European Studies.

The study of history prepares students for a variety of career paths, extending from fields such as law and education, to journalism and media ventures, and to business and government service. Faculty are available to consult with students about their future careers.

Special Programs or Opportunities
The department encourages its majors to participate in those international programs relevant to their particular historical interests. For more detailed information, see the section on the Office of International Education The department also offers its undergraduate students opportunities for internships in local museums and historical agencies through A HIS 499.

Degree Requirements for the Major in History

General Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits in history including a minimum of 18 credits at or above the 300 level from course work listed under one of the designated fields of concentration. For the United States or Europe fields of concentraton, a minimum of 6 credits in courses at the 300 level or above outside the field of concentration. Alternatively, a World History concentration is available with 24 credits of course work at or above the 300 level (which may include A HIS 286 and 287). Of these 24 credits, a minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 9 credits are allowed from courses in United States and/or European history.

History Honors Program

Each spring semester the Department of History admits qualified students into the honors program in history. The purpose of the honors program is to provide well-qualified students with closer contact with faculty and more intensive training in historical research and writing than is normally possible.

Students may be admitted to the program in the spring semester of their junior year after formally declaring a major in history. To be admitted, students must have completed 15 credits of course work in history (at least 6 of these credits must be at or above the 300 level and must have been earned at the University at Albany). In addition, students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 overall and an average in history of 3.50. Interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History for more information on the application process. Completed applications should be submitted no later than February 1st of the junior year.
Students admitted to the honors program are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits in history, fulfilling all the “Requirements for the Major” listed above. Within the 36 credits, the student must complete the three honors courses: A HIS 495Z, 496Z, and 497Z. Credits from these honors program courses can be counted toward the above requirements and will be credited toward the concentration most appropriate to the subject of the student’s honors thesis (for example, “United States”, “European”, or “World History”).

  • A HIS 497Z, Independent Research and Writing in History, 4 credits, to be taken during the fall of the student’s senior year under the supervision of a thesis adviser secured by the student.
  • A HIS 495Z and 496Z, Senior Honors Thesis Seminar, 4 credits each. This seminar will meet throughout the year under the supervision of a department faculty member and will offer students a small seminar format for learning about historical research and writing, as well as for sharing and critiquing their own work. By the end of the year each student will, in conjunction with this seminar, produce a thesis based on original research that is no longer than 60 pages in length.

Students in the honors program will gain priority in registration for these upper-level history courses and will gain access to the History Department’s computing workshop to assist in writing the thesis.

Department faculty members will evaluate the students’ progress at the end of the spring semester senior year. Students will be judged eligible for graduation “with honors in history” based on the quality of their thesis as well as the satisfactory completion of all other curricular requirements with a grade point average of at least a 3.50 in history and 3.25 overall. The History Department will automatically consider students meeting these criteria for a prize for best undergraduate honors thesis in history. Students selected to graduate “with honors in history” will be honored formally at the departmental graduation ceremony in May.

Combined B.A./M.A. Program

The combined B.A./M.A. program in history provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master’s degree programs from the beginning of their junior year.

The combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all University and college requirements, including the requirements of the major program in history described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90 credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, General Education, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.A., students must meet all University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits and any other conditions, such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, other professional experience, and residency requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.A. programs.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty, one of whom must be from the Department of History, are required for consideration. Students are admitted to the combined program upon the recommendation of the department’s Graduate Committee.