Starting in the fall, students in the College seeking to fulfill their history requirement will be able to choose from a wider array of introductory courses focused on select regions of the globe.

The new history requirement will allow students to take classes in African, Latin American and Middle Eastern history. The history department presently allows students to fulfill the two-course minimum only through some combination of World History, European Civilization, History of the Atlantic World and History of the Pacific World.

The policy, which was recommended by the history department, was approved unanimously by the College Curriculum Committee on Jan. 29. Members of the department wrote in their recommendation to the committee that the new course options reflect the diverse interests of students in the College.

“It has . become more common in recent years for College students . to have some prior exposure to broad forms of history, and to seek the opportunity to learn about particular world regions,” the proposal said.

Students in the College could only satisfy the history requirement with courses in European Civilization until the late 1990s, when the College expanded the eligible courses to those on the current list, according to Hubert Cloke, the senior associate dean of the College and a member of the committee.

“The change is a further elaboration of the revisions to the history general education requirement,” Cloke said.

Mallory Monaco (COL ’07), a member of the College Curriculum Committee who supported the changes, said members felt strongly that the recommendations would improve the College’s educational quality.

“The proposal itself . was faculty-initiated, but of course [it] was initiated in order to expand the options of College students and improve the overall quality of education,” she said. “None of the other members of the committee voiced any dissenting arguments.”

The history department said in its proposal that it plans to continue increasing the number of courses that fulfill the requirement by hiring more faculty members in the future. It cited a South Asian historian and a second African historian as its highest hiring priorities.

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