The History Department decided to adopt new requirements valid for the class of 2019 and later classes. The most important changes:

  • HI 200 (Introduction to History) is no longer required.
  • HI 276 (Patterns and Processes in World History) is still required but no longer counts as a geographical category course.
  • Students will have to take one course (instead of two) in each geographical category; two courses need to be taken in pre-modern (“early”) history as designated by the department (see


Here is the official text, as it will appear in the Colby Catalogue for 2016-17:

Requirements for the Major in History

Eleven semester courses in history (of at least three credits each), to include History 276 (Patterns and Processes in World History); two 300-level courses; a senior research seminar (at the 400-level); and at least one course in each of three areas: Category I (Africa, Asia, and world history); Category II (Europe, Russia, and the USSR); and Category III (Colonial and Native America/United States). At least two courses must be in pre-modern history as designated by the department (a detailed list of the distribution of courses among the fields is available on the department website).
Of the 11 courses for the major, no more than three may be at the 100 level. The two 300-level courses must be taken at Colby. All majors must also take a designated senior seminar (400-level) taught by a departmental faculty member in which they write a major research paper. The two 300-level courses and the senior seminar may also count toward fulfilling an area requirement. Students who choose to do an honors thesis during their senior year are still required to complete the senior seminar requirement. Many of these students choose to do the senior seminar in their junior year.

Up to three semester courses in history may be taken from historians at other colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Please consult with the department chair if you have questions about nondepartmental courses that are approved for the major.

The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses in history. No requirement for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. No course will count for the history major if the grade is lower than C-. Seniors with a GPA of 3.75 or higher in history courses will graduate with “Distinction in the Major.”