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History (B.A.)

Website: Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies

About the Major

Why Study History:

People think that history is about the past, but it’s really about the future: your future!

History majors at Ramapo learn how to do professional research and write well-documented non-fiction. Our flexible major involves just 12 classes that you can design around your historical interests, including 4 introductory-level courses that you can bypass with A.P. exam credits.

Employers of all kinds need people who can figure out “what happened” and explain it to others. A History major is a stepping-stone for jobs involving writing and speaking. Our grads have gone into education, law, business, publishing, and research. They also get jobs at historical sites and museums, teaching the public about our heritage and history.

Come study under a faculty of full-time professional historians, learn about the world, and sharpen your skills as a researcher and writer. In a time when objective analysis is a rare skill, when everybody argues about “fake” stories and people say they do not know what to believe, you can help decipher the facts.

History Course Offerings at Ramapo College:

The History program at Ramapo treats history as a narrative of the past, an exploration of different cultures, an example for the present, and a guidepost for the future. Through coursework, students may explore geographical areas including the United States, Europe, Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East and Islamic world, or Africa. Our courses span historical periods as varied as Ancient Greece, nineteenth century Europe, and the United States since 1945. Students can elect to study the history of specific groups of people—such as Middle Eastern women, Native Americans, or African-Americans—or take topics courses on subjects as diverse as Biblical archaeology, Islamic art and architecture, military history, witchcraft, the American West, Jews in twentieth-century Europe, Korean cinema, and gender, race, and American politics.

Hands-On Opportunities When You Study History at Ramapo College:

History majors at Ramapo have several hands-on opportunities to write and present history. Through coursework and independent studies, students are encouraged to research and write about historical topics that interest them. Ramapo’s annual Scholars’ Day provides a forum for students to share their work outside the classroom. The Ramapo Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, also provides several opportunities every year for students to present at regional and national conferences.  In one new course, entitled African American Relations with Ghana: Service, Culture, & Society, Ramapo students will merge traditional classroom-based learning with service in Ghana over the 2018 spring break recess.

Majors can gain additional perspective from study abroad and a variety of opportunities related to the discipline of history. Ramapo’s Archeology Field School Preparation Program, for example, funds up to two students every summer to take part in an archeological dig at sites like the Archeology Field School at James Madison’s Montpelier in Virginia.  A thriving History Club provides the excitement of outside speakers, sponsors field trips, and gives students a chance to develop leadership abilities. We are particularly excited that the Jane Addams Papers Project has moved from Duke University to Ramapo College. This initiative provides students with paid opportunities on campus to digitize and sort the collection of this leading social reformer and peace activist from the early twentieth century. Digital history is the future of the field, and work on the Jane Addams Papers Project positions our graduates for success in the new digital space.


Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1: Demonstrate knowledge of historical themes and events, and change over time. 

  • Outcome 1: Display the appropriate level of knowledge of historical themes and events based upon the student’s course of study.
  • Outcome 2: Demonstrate an understanding of past cultures and social organizations in the United States and around the world.

Goal 2: Locate and assess primary and secondary sources, including relevant historiography.

  • Outcome 3: Demonstrate a familiarity with the concept of historical argument and interpretation.
  • Outcome 4: Locate, contextualize, critically evaluate and analyze primary and secondary historical sources, including non-textual sources.
  • Outcome 5: Display an awareness of basic historiography.

Goal 3: Write clearly and properly attribute your sources in accordance with the conventions of the historical discipline. 

  • Outcome 6: Consistent and proper use of the University of Chicago/Turabian documentation style adopted by historians.
  • Outcome 7: Write a historical essay based upon primary and secondary sources that is properly researched.
  • Outcome 8: Write a historical essay based upon primary and secondary sources that is effectively organized.
Requirements of the Major
  1. Students are required to take 12 courses (48 credits) to complete this major, up to four of which can be waived with credit from AP examinations. We also welcome transfer courses from other colleges and universities.
  2. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  3. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  4. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing and Studies in the Arts and Humanities.  Within the major, the three courses will be Historiography, History Seminar, and any 300-level HIST Writing Intensive course taken in consultation with the advisor.
  5. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Minor
  1. Students are required to take 5 courses (20 credits) to complete this minor.
  2. At least 1/2 of the courses fulfilling a minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the five courses required for a minor cannot be used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A school core does not need to be completed for a minor. Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.
  • Subject & Course # – Title & Course Description
  • SELECT ANY FIVE History (HIST) courses above the 100 level,  two of which must be 200 level and two of which must be 300 level.
    Students must consult with a member of the history faculty to plan their minor.