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History Department

The History Major

The major in history provides an opportunity to examine the evolution of past civilizations and understand the institutions, achievements, and ethics of humanity through the ages. History majors learn to study ideas critically, to sift through a variety of historical evidence, and to draw conclusions about different societies and events in a clear and concise way. By understanding the complexity of historical events, students become more aware of the contemporary political, social, cultural and military issues that are important to our own society.

The history major program includes introductory courses on the values and ideas of world civilizations and on the historical role of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Majors will select upper-division courses from the following fields: American history, European history, regional history, naval and military history, and thematic history. In order to complete the distribution requirement for graduation, students will select eight courses in four of the five fields. At the end of their 1/C year, the Naval Academy awards a Bachelor of Science degree in history.

Every midshipman, regardless of major, must take three history courses in the core curriculum:

  • American Naval History, HH104
  • A choice of Premodern World survey: HH215 (The West), HH215A (Asia), or HH215M (The Middle East)
  • The West in the Modern World, HH216

Each history major will also take Perspectives on History (HH262) and a Seminar in Advanced Historical Studies (HH462). HH262 focuses on the techniques of historical research and introduces students to historiography; HH462 is a specialized senior seminar that deals with one particular historical question or event from different historiographical perspectives.

Curriculum Requirements

(In addition to the requirements of plebe year)

  • Professional: NN200, NE203, NL310, NL400, NS300, NS42X
  • Mathematics: SM223; plus either SM219, SM230 or SM212
  • Science: SP211, SP212
  • Humanities: Two electives outside the major in English, Political Science, Economics, upper division Foreign Language, philosophy or psychology, including one at the 300/400 level
  • Language: Four semesters of a foreign language
  • Engineering: EE301, EE302, EM300, EN400, ES300, ES36
  • Free Elective: One elective course in any discipline
  • Major: HH200, HH300, HH400A or HH400B, and seven major electives in four of the five distribution areas
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