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School of Arts and Sciences | History

Aims and Objectives
The History Department prepares students to understand the past with a critical eye towards the many lessons it offers for the present and future. Faculty members in the department encourage students to: heed the past and its lessons, know themselves and their value system, understand the values of others in our diverse global society, and participate in society as responsible citizens. Objectives include the following: understand the culture of civilizations across the globe (American, World and Western) from a historical perspective; identify major questions and enduring themes, including values, within and across cultures over time; develop a capacity for critical judgment based on evidence and use of creative and critical thinking displayed through writing, speaking, and listening; and become familiar with various research methodologies that allow for a clearer understanding of the past.

History Fact Sheet

Degree Completion Plan

Course Requirements

History Major

Students majoring in History are required to complete 30 hours for the History major, distributed as follows:
US 350 and US 351 Introduction to Culture I and II: 6 credits
HI 214 US Social and Cultural History: 3 credits
HI 454 Research Methods in History and Historic Preservation: 3 credits
One European History, any level: 3 credits
One Non-Western History: 3 credits
12 Credits of History 300-level and above:
(including HI 454 and any History taken at or above the 300 level): 12 credits
Total Credits: 30 credits

Recommended electives include courses in Political Science, Historic Preservation, Foreign Languages, English, Sociology, Religious Studies and Geography. Students who intend to study History at the graduate level should take four semesters of four years of high school foreign languages. Students are encouraged to consider a double major; Historic Preservation, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology are particularly beneficial for those seeking a career in History, public service or work with non-profits. A variety of learning experiences are encouraged. These include directed foreign travel, independent study, service learning, prior learning assessment and internships. On a case-by-case basis, and pending permission of the History Department Chair, students may take some courses in other disciplines for History credit.

History Minor
18 semester hours of course work in the following areas: World Culture; Western Culture; American Culture; and three History electives. Students are strongly encouraged to take Political Science and World Geography as electives. At least three courses in the minor must be above the 200 level. Courses in Modern Languages, Art History, and Religious Studies may be included in the minorat the discretion of the History faculty; however, students should have at least 12 hours of course work within the History Department.

Course Descriptions
Courses listed with asterisks do not rotate regularly but are included here because they are accepted as transfer credits. Note that all Stage II satellite courses have as a prerequisite completion of USP Stage I. 

*HI 204
World Civilization 1500-Present (3)
Provides a framework to understand specific themes in World History from 1500 to the present. These themes are examined within the broad context of the rise of Europe and the problem of writing a world history without Eurocentrism. Ursuline Studies Stage II World Culture satellite (WO).

*HI 205
Western Culture (3)
A historical study of major elements of Western heritage, specifically designed to introduce the student to its basic values and their impact on present- day society. Ursuline Studies Stage II Western Culture satellite (WE).

HI 207
Chinese Civilization and Society (3)
A study of the intellectual, political, social, and cultural history of China from the agricultural revolution to the present. Ursuline Studies Stage II World Culture satellite (WO).

HI 208
Survey of Middle Eastern History (3)
A survey of the cultural, political, intellectual, and social history of the Middle East since the rise of Islam. Ursuline Studies Stage II World Culture satellite (WO).

*HI 211, 212
History of the United States (3,3)
A study of the economic, political, and social development of the United States from its beginnings.

HI 214
Social and Cultural History of the United States (3)
A study of U.S. culture over time, values expressed in the culture, forces shaping these values, and implications of these values for behavior in the past and present. Ursuline Studies Stage II American Culture satellite (AM).

HI 216
History of African American Woman (3)
An exploration of African American women as they adapted, survived, and achieved from colonial times until the present in America’s rural and urban environments, with a special focus on the complex interplay of race, gender, and class. This course is cross-listed with the Sociology Department.

*HI 220, 221
History through Biography: Selected Topics (3,3)
The study of a historical era through the lives of major historical persons who are representative of that era.

HI 233
History and Government of Ohio (3)
A study of the formation of the State of Ohio and the development of its principal political, cultural, and social institutions.

HI 240
Ordinary Women: 1500 to the Present(3)
Women's participation in major world historical events and their impact on women's lives from 1500 CE to the present. Emphasis on primary source readings and oral history. Ursuline Studies Stage II World Culture satellite.

HI 241
The Ancient World (3)
Comparative history of the origins of world civilizations, starting from the late paleolithic era and ending prior to the sixteenth century. Emphases on the origins of government and religion, comparative social and kinship structures, and the role of the environment in human activities.  Ursuline Studies Stage II World Culture satellite (WO).

HI 250
Introduction to Southeast Asia.(3)
Historical overview of Southeast Asia and its diverse cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Initial focus points include location, geography and climate; founding civilizations; early Chinese and Indian influences; and early religious influences. The course then examines European presence amidst indigenous development, and reactions ranging from acceptance to calls for independence and nation building in the modern era. Ursuline Studies Stage II World Culture satellite (WO).

HI 290
World Sacred Landmarks (3)
Study of historic places of worship around the world from ancient times to the present. Focus will include history, styles, elements, symbolism, meaning, and relationship to the community. Field trips to sacred landmarks in the Cleveland area will illustrate historic features originally used on religious structures throughout the world, and their adaptation to modern culture. 

HI 320
Women of the Renaissance (3)
A study of women’s roles in the artistic, intellectual, economic, and political life of the Renaissance from 1400 to 1750. Ursuline Studies Stage II Western Culture satellite (WE).

HI 324
Medieval Culture: The Knight, The Lady and the Priest (3)
A study of political, social, economic, religious, and intellectual developments from the break-up of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. Ursuline Studies Stage II Western Culture satellite (WE).

HI 325
American Built Environment (3)
This course surveys the 400-year history of American architecture, beginning with the Colonies in the 17th century and concluding with the present. Students will understand the cultural context, values, and meaning in both high style and vernacular architecture in America. Field study will be an important aspect of the class. 

*HI 330
French Revolution and Napoleon (3)
A study of the political, social, economic, and religious factors that led to the Revolution; course of the Revolution; rise of Napoleon; the French Empire; impact of these events on the world.

*HI 332
Nineteenth-Century Europe (3)
An analysis of the social, economic, and intellectual movements that have contributed to the formation of present-day institutions, from the post-Napoleonic Age to World War I.

*HI 333
Twentieth-Century Europe (3)
A study of Europe from 1914 to the present, including the two world wars, the pursuit of peace, conflicting ideologies, nationalism, and internationalism.

*HI 335
Modern Britain (3)
A survey of the principal political, social, economic, and cultural developments in Great Britain since the Glorious Revolution.

HI 136/336
Directed Foreign Travel (1-3)
An integrated study of the history and culture of a foreign country or countries through directed foreign travel. HI 336 requires more advanced work and is recommended for History majors and minors. 

HI 342/242
Modern Europe (3)
A study of the political, technological, social, military, and intellectual history of Europe from the French Revolution to the present. This course is a Stage II Western Culture Satellite. Students who take the course at the 300-level will be assigned additional readings and discussion, and will complete additional advanced work. Prerequisite for 300 Level: US 350 or one college-level History course. Ursuline Studies Stage II Western Culture satellite (WE).

*HI 343
American Revolution (3)
A study of the French and Indian Wars, rival theories of empire, the War for Independence, social consequences of the Revolution, Constitutional Convention, and problems of the new republic.

HI 344
Cleveland: Past, Present, and Future (3)
A journey into Cleveland’s past with emphasis on how this past has shaped Cleveland and its values today. The course also includes alternatives for Cleveland’s future development in the context of its immediate region and its role in an increasingly global society.

*HI 351, 352
Readings in History (2-3, 2-3)
Assigned readings of historical works and class discussions based on these works. Topics vary according to the students’ needs and interests; topics previously offered have included the Modern City, the American South, Women in American History, Introduction to Asia, Selected Topics in Medieval European History, African American History, and Ohio and the Western Reserve.

*HI 370
Modern Russia (3)
A study of Russian ideas and institutions since the emergence of the Romanov Dynasty.

*HI 380
History of Latin America (3)
A study of the European exploration and imperial settlements; the problems, institutions, and culture of Latin America during the national period; relations with the United States; contemporary problems.

HI 412
Twentieth-Century America (3)
A study of fundamental problems and opportunities confronting the United States during the era of two world wars. Emphasis on Progressivism, World War I, the 1920s, Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the post-Cold War era, and the modern age, with lessons for the present day.

*HI 430
History Through Film: Selected Topics (3)
A study of contemporary historical topics from a values perspective through the use of DVDs, CD-ROMs, films, slides, and other audio-visual devices. Emphasis is placed on the examination of both primary and secondary accounts as well as class discussion.

HI 454
Research Methods in History and Historic Preservation (3)
Introduction to historiography, thesis development, historical theory, and method. Students are introduced to local archival repositories in the context of the history of the built environment. This course is also taught (with a substantial additional project) as a graduate course in the first year of the Master of Arts in Historic Preservation program. Pre-requisites: senior standing in History, first-year standing in MAHIP, or consent of department chair.

HI 461, 462
Independent Study (1-3, 1-3)
Directed readings in the field of the student’s special need, with assignments varying according to the number of credits to be given. Approval of department chair required.

HI 475
Academic Internship (credit varies)
An off-campus experience to provide the student with the opportunity to relate academic and educational goals to learning experiences and situations beyond the limits of the classroom.

HI 288, 488
Special Topics (3)

HI 199, 299, 399, 499
External Learning Assessment (credit varies)
Measurable and verifiable learning that has occurred outside of the traditional classroom. Numerical designation indicates level of proficiency in the topic. Courses for which there is an exact Ursuline College equivalent are listed by the appropriate numerical designation. “PL” is listed before all course titles for which credit is granted through external learning assessment.