May 18, 2024  
2020 - 2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020 - 2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, BA (International Honours)

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The Joint Degree Program in History

St Andrews and William & Mary offer similarly demanding and prestigious undergraduate programs in their Departments of History. Undergraduates studying history through the joint degree program will benefit from the complementary attractions of these two high-quality programs. St Andrews has great strengths in the study of medieval and early modern Europe, in the history of Scotland, England, and the British Empire, and in Middle Eastern studies. William & Mary has a robust concentration in the history of early America, nineteenthand twentieth-century America and Europe, with strong offerings in early modern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In addition to the opportunity to concentrate intensively in a particular field at our two universities, students in the joint degree program find their experience enhanced by exposure to two different pedagogical approaches, as the lecture- and discussion-based courses at William & Mary contrast effectively with the quite traditional approach of small seminar-based courses at St Andrews. Students culminate their education with a significant research project geared towards producing a sophisticated work of high-caliber scholarship.

Requirements for Degree:

Note:  HIST is the prefix for History courses at W&M; HI, ME, MH, and MO are prefixes used for History courses at St. Andrews.

Required Credit Hours:

  • A minimum of 54 credits.
  • Progression in Years 3 and 4:  Students must earn 60 (WM)/240 (StA) credits, at least 45 (WM)/180 (StA) in Honours courses - that is, courses in the major at the 300(0) - 400(0) level.  Students must take 30/120 credits at each university.  Of the total 60/240, 22.5/90 should be at the 4000-level at St. Andrews, or at the equivalent level at W&M.*  Normally, no more than 7.5/30 credits below the 300-level may be taken in a single Honours year.​

*Some 300 level courses at W&M will count towards this requirement. See your major advisor for a list.

Core Requirements:

  • Two courses in American history, which together offer significant chronological coverage (6 credits at W&M; 40-60 credits at St Andrews).
  • Two courses in European or Scottish history, which together offer significant chronological coverage (6 credits at W&M; 40-60 credits at St Andrews). Students are strongly encouraged, though not required, to take courses in both European and Scottish history.
  • Two courses in non-Western history, which together offer significant chronological coverage (6 credits at W&M; 40-60 credits at St Andrews).
  • In order to progress to Honours study (year 3), at W&M a C+ (11) average in two HIST courses, at least one of which should be at 300-level; at StA, a C+ (11) average in two 2000-level modules with HI-, ME-, MH-, or MO- prefixes, including HI2001 (unless HIST 301 already passed).
  • One upper-level class designated as a colloquium at W&M. Each colloquium has the letter “C” directly after its course number (for example, HIST 490C ). Students will ordinarily take this in years 3 or 4.
  • A historical methods course, to be taken in Spring semester of the second year (at St. Andrews, HI 2001:  ”History as a Discipline;” at W&M,   , “The Historian’s Craft.”)
  • All joint degree students complete a fourth-year capstone experience which involves extensive, independent, faculty-mentored research. For students spending their fourth year at W&M, this normally takes the form of a one-semester Independent Study (3 W&M credits) or two-semester Honors Thesis (6 W&M credits), though in some cases a second capstone seminar (HIST 490C/491C) may be substituted. For students spending their fourth year at St Andrews, the capstone experience is typically a one-semester Honours Project (30 credits at St Andrews), though in some cases students may pursue the Honours Dissertation or Recording the Past project.
  • In addition, the Joint Degree in History requires four or more semesters of foreign language study, in a language other than the student’s native language.  GIven offerings at the two institutions, these languages include Arabic, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.
Additional Language Information
  • Students must complete successfully at least four courses in a single language:  two courses in year 1 of the program, and two courses in year 2 at the partner institution (all courses must be taught in the target language-no courses in translation).
  • Language courses taken prior to matriculation into the Joint Degree Programme do not count toward this requirement.
  • Courses must build on each other and, if students are continuing with a language studied in high school, must begin at/above the level completed prior to matriculation into the Joint Degree Programme.
  • Students are strongly encouraged, though not required, to continue language study beyond the required courses in order to build toward genuine linguistic and cultural fluency, and are particularly encouraged to explore courses at and above the 300-/3000 level. Honours-level language courses taken during years 3 and/or 4 of the program may be counted toward the required honours-level courses in the major.
  • In rare cases, students may be permitted to switch to a new language during or after year 1 of the program. In such casesthey must complete four progressive courses in the new language. Students who have not been able to complete the requirement by the end of year 2 may be able to complete any remaining modules/courses during year 3.

At St Andrews, students will typically take sub-honors courses in years 1 or 2, and honors-level courses in years 3 or 4. Students will discuss the level of courses they take at W&M with the advisor, depending on their backgrounds in history and language, and to ensure that they complete the requisite number of upper-division courses.


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