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Northwestern University

FD-HS: Historical Studies

NOTE: Students who started taking classes at Northwestern in Spring 2023 or earlier should refer to the Area IV: Historical Studies page. The information below pertains to students who start at Northwestern after Spring 2023.

Historical studies examine change over time in a wide variety of spheres, including beliefs, cultures, economics, intellectual thought, politics, and society. The scale and scope of offerings in this area range from the local or regional to the global and from the origins of human society to the present day. Students learn to assess, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary sources (for example, documents, testimonies, texts, artifacts, images) and use them to develop arguments in oral and written form. Courses in historical studies teach critical methods including: evaluation of evidence, understanding conditions under which historical actors operated, comprehension of cause and consequence, tracing patterns (continuities and ruptures), comparative analysis of sources, and modes of historical argumentation.

learning objectives

Courses in Historical Studies are designed to achieve a combination of the following learning outcomes:

Choosing courses

Review the list of courses approved in historical studies. You may opt to gain a deeper understanding of a single region or era--the Middle East, the twentieth century--by taking two courses in a theme, or opt to choose courses that address more divergent topics.

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