Foundation & Research Seminars
Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree in history include taking two intensive courses designed specifically for the major: one Foundation Seminar and one Research Seminar. These courses are limited to a maximum enrollment of 15, and involve extensive reading, writing and classroom discussion. They normally will meet for an extended period once a week. Both are high demand courses, requiring registration directly with the faculty member teaching the course.
The Foundation Seminar requirement should be completed during the sophomore year or as soon as possible after declaration of the major. A reading and discussion course, with emphasis on critical analysis and the writing of short interpretive essays rather than a substantive research paper, it introduces students to the fundamentals of history: historiography, theory, research methods, and forms of historical writing.
The Research Seminar requirement must be fulfilled within the History Department at Tufts. Students may take more than one designated Research Seminar course during their undergraduate career. Though these courses are open to juniors as well as seniors, it is expected that students who enroll will have had some previous course work in the field. Neither transfer courses nor courses taken at Tufts' programs abroad may be counted toward this requirement. Ordinarily history majors will take this course in their senior year, as the capstone experience of their program. Students may take more than one designated Research Seminar course during their undergraduate career. Though these courses are open to juniors as well as seniors, it is expected that students who enroll will have had some previous course work in the field.
It is strongly recommended that those who opt to write a Senior Honors Thesis fulfill the Research Seminar requirement in the second semester of their Junior year or, at the latest, in the first semester of their Senior year. The Research Seminar should build on a student's previous work and build his or her skills of analysis and argument. It requires a sustained, in-depth research paper on a topic related to the seminar's theme. These papers will be presented and discussed in the seminar.