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History Program Goals
As outcomes of their education, within the overall History major, students learn and are able to:
- Understand how historians gather, interpret and analyze a wide range of primary and secondary source data/material (including literary, geographical, political and socioeconomic material) and how historians construct a coherent narrative from this information.
- Demonstrate the skills of historical analysis and interpretation, such as compare and contrast, differentiate between historical facts and interpretation, consider multiple perspectives, analyze cause and effect relationships, compare competing historical narratives, recognize the tentative nature of historical interpretation and analyze the influence of the past.
- Think chronologically and comprehensively, identifying temporal structures of historical narratives and comprehending the meanings of historical texts, monographs and documents, including their audiences, goals, perspectives and biases.
- Develop research capabilities that enable them to formulate historical questions and themes, obtain and question historical data, identify the gaps in available records, place sources in context, and construct reliable historical interpretations.
- Demonstrate their knowledge of the history, culture and values of diverse peoples and traditions throughout the world and compare patterns of continuity and change.
- Understand the historical context for the interaction and interdependence of politics, society, science and technology in a variety of cultural settings.
- Formulate and explain their own interpretations of the past by examining and communicating them with clarity and precision in a variety of oral and written assignments.
- Demonstrate research skills utilizing the full-range of available materials including those found in libraries, archives, museums and electronic resources.
- Demonstrate the skills necessary to be an independent and lifelong learner.