History Department

History Courses

Hanover's history courses are designed to engage students in substantive historical inquiry, encourage independent and creative thinking, and promote excellence in undergraduate scholarship.

Current course descriptions are available.


In their study of history, students should expect to consider and eventually to identify significant historical questions, to analyze primary documents with care and precision, to evaluate alternative arguments, to develop coherent interpretations of historical problems, and to write with clarity, precision, and authority.

The history curriculum is intended for all students of the liberal arts, history majors and non-majors alike. Introductory courses ((100-level courses, the His215-217 sequence, and His218) are integrative and comparative courses designed to provide students with a foundation for more specialized work in upper-level courses organized by specific geographic areas, eras, and themes. Advanced courses and special courses presuppose greater sophistication in analytical and interpretive skills, but they do not assume knowledge of particular content.  There are no prerequisites to any history courses.

History majors, in consultation with their advisers, develop a well-balanced major program combining breadth and depth and including both introductory and upper-level courses from different areas of the history curriculum. For their culminating experience, history majors pursue a Senior Thesis (His471), a semester-long research and writing project resulting in a substantive and original thesis paper. The history comprehensive examination is designed to test seniors both on their understanding of different civilizations and eras and on their ability to analyze and interpret historical problems and to integrate material from across the curriculum. The history department endorses the development of individual plans of study, including internships and directed studies.

Sample syllabi are available for some of our courses.

Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2017