Courses & Programs

Courses & Programs

Program Structure

Scroll down for program descriptions (Major, Minor, Honours, Indigenous Studies, Public History), and a year-by-year course guide.

Sample courses Fall 2016:

  • France: Enlightenment and Revolution
  • Latin America from 1800 to the Present
  • Women in America, 1765-1920
  • History of Sports in Canada
  • British North America

Sample courses Winter 2017

  • A Global History of Indigenous Peoples
  • The Italian Renaissance
  • History of Modern India (online course)
  • The Middle East in the 20th Century
  • The American Civil War and Reconstruction

Major or Minor in History

Major

Students enrolled in the Major in History must successfully complete 48 credits in history courses or cognates, of which a minimum of 24 credits must be completed at Bishop’s. The 48 credits required for the Major must include:

Introductory courses that provide broad surveys and exposure to historical methods and skills.

200 level courses which expose students to national histories or world-wide events as well as historical theories and trends.

300 level courses that concentrate on themes or comparative area studies.

400 level courses, which are senior seminar courses devoted to in depth analysis of particular subjects.

Minor

Students enrolled in the minor must complete 24 credits in History courses or cognates including:

6 credits in 100 level courses.

A minimum of 12 credits in 200 or 300 level courses including 3 credits in each of the three geographic areas offered by the Department.

Honours History

For students interested in graduate work or who wish to continue their historical studies beyond the major, we also offer an Honours in History. Students must complete an additional 12 credits in history courses or cognates in which they must maintain an overall average of 70%. The last 30 credits of the program must be completed at Bishop’s.

Public History

Like the Major in History, students opting for this program of study must complete 48 credits in history courses or cognates, of which a minimum of 24 credits must be completed at Bishop’s. Many of the courses students take for the Public History Major are the same ones as their history major counterparts; however, there are specific courses designed for the Public History program in order to expose students to the practice of history outside of academia and to give them practical experience in the fields of client-based research, museums and archives. The 48 credits required for the Public History Major must include:

Introductory courses that provide broad surveys and expose students to historical methods and skills.

200 level courses that expose students to national histories or worldwide events as well as to historical theories and trends.

300 level courses that concentrate on themes or comparative area studies.

400 level courses, which are senior seminar courses devoted to in depth analysis of particular subjects.

Within this program structure, public history majors must also take HIS 240, Introduction to Public History, HIS 390 or HIS 392, which are research or other internship practica, as well as HIS 450, which is the senior seminar on Public History. Students also have the option of substituting two of their history courses for select courses in Business, Fine Arts and Political Studies.

Minor in Indigenous Studies

Housed in the department of History, this interdisciplinary minor allows students to explore the world from the perspective of the indigenous peoples of various countries and continents and from within various disciplines. Courses that make up the minor come from history, sociology, environmental studies and geography, religious studies and political studies. The focus of the minor is to allow students to learn about indigenous cultures before, during and after contact with the imperializing forces of Europe. The minor includes courses on North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This minor may be complementary to a degree in International Studies.
Students must either take HIS 108, SOC 107 or ENG 123 as an introductory course, and must complete their minor with HIS 404, SOC 396 or ENG 358. In addition to those courses, students need to take an additional 18 credits from the approved list.

First Year Program

In the first year of the program, students learn about the main currents and major phases of history. They acquire the skills necessary to contextualize primary documents and to analyze them in order to extract usable historical data. At the same time, they are introduced to the major interpretive approaches of historians, developing an ability to read secondary sources in an efficient and critical manner. Finally, students learn to construct significant research hypotheses, to design a viable research plan and to present the results of their research in a reasoned and coherent manner.

First year courses include:

  • HIS 104 The Development of the West
  • HIS 109 New World: The Americas to 1850
  • HIS 110 Introduction to Historical Studies

Upper Year

In the following years students gain a deeper familiarity with the histories and historiography of Europe, North America and the developing world through more intensive chronological and geographic surveys. In the 200 and 300 level courses, discussion and debate begins to form a larger portion of the instructional method than in the introductory surveys. The 300 level courses approach the past from a thematic and comparative perspective, and provide an introduction to a number of historical sub disciplines.

Examples of 200 and 300 level courses:

  • Pre-Confederation Canada
  • The Medieval Mediterranean World
  • The United States, 1877-1945
  • The African American Experience, 1619-1896
  • History of Modern Southeast Asia

The 400 level seminars are our capstone courses. In these courses, students have an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of a particular period or theme through a more thorough reading of relevant literature. The seminar format also fosters student participation and contribution to an ongoing communal research effort through debate, discussion, oral presentations and commentary. Finally, seminar participants engage in intensive research on a specific topic within the area, present their research program and findings to colleagues and learn to revise their final papers or reports in light of commentary and criticism from the instructor and their peers.

Examples of 400 level courses:

  • The English Family from the Black Death to the Present
  • Europe: State and Society in Transition, 1500-1800
  • Colonial America