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History | Learning Outcomes

BA History

  • Historiographical Literacy. Students will be able to identify and describe the contours and stakes of conversations among historians within defined historiographical fields
  • Critical Thinking. Students will learn to apply historical methods to evaluate critically the record of the past and how historians and others have interpreted it.  
  • Research Skills. Students will acquire basic historical research skills, including (as appropriate) the effective use of libraries, archives, and databases.  
  • Communication Skills. Students will learn to organize and express their thoughts clearly and coherently both in writing and orally.  
  • Writing and Intellectual Integration. Students should demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge and skills involved in historical practice by conceptualizing and executing a significant piece of original research.

 

MA History

  • Students will be able to demonstrate broad knowledge of historical events and periods and their significance.
  • Students will be able to explain and critique the historical schools of thought that have shaped scholarly understanding of their fields of study.  
  • Students will be able to deploy skills of critical analysis:
    1. Formulating persuasive arguments
    2. Evaluating evidence and critiquing claims in the literature
    3. Interpreting a variety of primary sources
  • Students will be able to conduct research that makes an original contribution to knowledge, deploying these essential skills:
    1. Reviewing the state of the field to identify a new topic and locate their work within larger scholarly conversations
    2. Identifying and accessing a sufficient base of primary sources
    3. Producing a high-quality research paper, well-written and meeting professional standards typical for conference presentation or academic publication.

 

MA with concentration in Public History

N.B. The population of MA students with a concentration in Public History are assessed twice, since they are members of the regular MA program and are assessed there, as well as being assessed under the following assessment:

In addition to demonstrating mastery of the requirements for the MA in History—historical content knowledge, familiarity with historiography in U.S., European, or a field of their choice, critical inquiry, research and writing skills—public history students will be able to do the following:

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the sub-discipline of public history, its history, its historiography and the current, overarching paradigms, theories, and ethics that define professional practice. (seminar, portfolio essay, capstone project, essay for outside field)
  • Students will master current methods and skills in historical documentation and interpretation to make history accessible and useful to the public.  
  • Students will demonstrate specialization in one area of public history distinct from the tool of research. This can include: community history and documentation, curatorial practice, collections and archival management, new media production, informal education.  
  • Students will embody a set of professional dispositions and abilities critical to the success of public historians, including: flexibility, empathy, leadership, and diplomacy. They will be able to work collaboratively, organize and manage projects, and communicate effectively both orally and in writing.  
  • Students will understand the institutional landscape of public history, including a familiarity with the governance structures and funding support for non-profits and the federal sector.  
  • Students will become active members of their professional communities. They will do two of the following before they graduate: attend professional development seminars offered by the department, join a professional organizations, participate in a regional or national conference or in a professional advocacy event.

 

PhD Program  

  • Students will be able to demonstrate broad knowledge of historical events and periods and their significance
  • Students will be able to explain and critique the historical schools of thought that have shaped scholarly understanding of their fields of study
  • Students will be able to deploy skills of critical analysis:
    1. Formulating persuasive arguments
    2. Evaluating evidence and critiquing claims in the literature
    3. Interpreting a variety of primary sources
  • Students will be able to design and conduct major research projects, deploying these essential skills:
    1. Reviewing the state of the field to identify a new topic and locate their work within larger scholarly conversations
    2. Identifying and accessing a sufficient base of primary sources
    3. Producing a high-quality research paper, well-written and meeting professional standards, suitable as the basis for conference presentation or academic publication
    4. Designing and writing a dissertation based on extensive research that makes an original contribution to knowledge
  • The skills listed above can lead to positions outside academia, such as in museums, archives, and government service. They also apply to students who seek faculty positions. For the latter group, students will additionally develop teaching skills, such as course design, classroom management, lecturing, leading discussions, and crafting assignments and evaluation methods  
  • Students will be able to engage in professional dissemination of their work by presenting their research at conferences or submitting manuscripts to academic journals.