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The history major offers you a solid foundation in history from the Renaissance through the modern period. You will begin by taking survey courses in U.S., Western, and non-Western history. They then take at least five upper-division seminars on themes that reflect different faculty members’ current research and expertise. These include: Adirondack history, the history of medicine, popular culture, religion, and migration. Seminars are small and feature intensive discussion of some of the important documents and historical interpretations that shape how we see the past. Most seminars invite you to conduct independent research on a topic of your choosing, and you are encouraged to make connections with what you have learned in other classes, both in history and across campus. To promote this kind of broader approach to learning, the history major requires students to satisfy a ‘cognate,’ which consists of either another major or minor, study abroad, 12 hours of language, or a 12 credit concentration designed in conjunction with a faculty member.
Rooted in the liberal arts, history teaches the art of analytic and critical reading, and the importance of clear, concise, and compelling writing. It teaches how to put people and events into context, and evaluate issues from multiple perspectives. History teaches how to conduct responsible, independent research using both traditional and the newest digital tools, and it teaches how to make strong, effective arguments supported by empirical evidence. The program is designed therefore to help students hone their critical thinking, communication, research, and writing skills in addition to learning content. All history majors complete a sequence of three core courses whose goal is to workshop these skills hands-on by learning how to conduct original research and engage in the historical conversation. The third and final capstone course requires students to undertake intensive, independent research, and present their results in a day-long public conference.
For specific details, please contact the history program chair or speak to your academic advisor.
For more information about the history program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact
Gary Kroll, Chair
Office: Champlain Valley Hall 323
Phone: (518) 564-2738
Fax: (518) 564-2212