Petitions

History is inherently an interdisciplinary form of inquiry, and historians routinely use the kinds of methodologies and insights taught in other departments’ courses. Therefore, Secondary Field students may consider petitioning to receive credit for courses taught by faculty outside of the History Department.

NB: Because Secondary Field students already take relatively few courses within the History Department, such petitions are approved only infrequently.

Students who wish to submit such a petition should complete the appropriate form, attach a copy of the course syllabus, and obtain the signature of their History House Advisor before bringing the petition to the History Undergraduate Office. The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) reviews petitions on a rolling basis twice each academic year: during the four weeks surrounding Study Card day in the fall, and then again during the four weeks surrounding Study Card day in the spring. Petitions submitted outside of those windows will be put on file until the following term.

In determining whether or not to approve an Additional Petition, the DUS will consider the following guidelines:

  • Non-History courses may not replace the Research Seminar requirement.
  • Petitioned courses must meet a high standard of historical perspective—not only in the subject matter of the course, but also in the nature of the assignments. When considering whether to petition a non-History course, students and their House Advisors are advised to ask themselves, “Does this course require the kinds of readings and assignments that are typically found in History Department courses?”
  • Students should also be able to demonstrate that it would not be possible to take an equivalent course within the History Department.