Best College for History Major

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Discus: College Search and Selection: March 2004 Archive: Best College for History Major
By Taching2006 (Taching2006) on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 10:33 pm: Edit

I'd like to know what are the best political science/ government/general field of history colleges

I know that the Ivies are great(Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, etc.) but the only real shot I have of getting into any Ivy is Cornell.

If I applied right now, my reach schools would be Cornell, Swarthmore, Georgetown...(only 3.6 GPA, 1520 SAT, OK EC's)

Does anyone know how good Wesleyan's or Haverford's history department is?

Anyone if you can recommend some good history major schools.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit

History departments at both Wesleyan and Haverford are supposed to be good. Colgate has a good history department, too.

Don't limit your search to the east coast, as the following schools are also worth investigating:

University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, Carleton, Macalester, Claremont McKenna (super strong in political science/government; solid in history)and Reed.

By Wesstu2006 (Wesstu2006) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:17 pm: Edit

Wesleyan ranks 5th on producing students who attain PhD's in history. I'm a history major with a concentration on U.S. history at wesleyan and i'm very impressed with the courses available and with the professors.

Univ. of Chicago

By Brownalum (Brownalum) on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 04:27 am: Edit

Yale has the nation's best history department by a HUGE margin. In this field, there's simply no other even remotely comparable institution.

By Btysfu (Btysfu) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 05:42 pm: Edit

That's pretty funny, Brownalum. For the past few decades Princeton has had -- almost universally acknowledged -- the best history department in the United States. Princeton wasn't very high on my list until I looked into their history department, where I plan to concentrate in European History if admitted. They've had some of the most lauded intellectuals in the field. (I'm thinking of the number of McPherson-quality profs they've had... so many.)

Yale also has strong profs (Harold Bloom, etc) but not consistently in the history dept. Still, both are fabulous places with fabulous history departments. At either one you'll get a good education.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 06:51 am: Edit

But looking at Taching's stats (especially his grade point and lack of ECs), he may have to lower his sights, especially as results come in about this year's acceptances and rejections at the top schools, all of which he's considering. And all of which will make it difficult for him to look at the list Wesstu provided. Reaches for him (as of now), I think, would be Wesleyan and Haverford. Put Reidmc's suggestion of Colgate on that reach list. As the bar will be raised again even higher next year, Taching's year, even with his strong SATs, he'll have to look at schools with strong history departments like Lafayette, Dickinson, George Washington, Colby, Davidson, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Bucknell, Denison, Kenyon and William & Mary.

By Tunan_Fish (Tunan_Fish) on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 12:28 pm: Edit

There you go again, Brownalum.

By Fredmurtz2 (Fredmurtz2) on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 01:06 pm: Edit

You would think a person with the name of 'BrownAlum' would be a 'Harvardalum' or 'Yalealum' since those schools far exceed any others in his view.
I was very impressed with Bowdoin from their government mailings and Bates seemed great as a place with friendly and smart students and they are tied to the Muskie archives. Depends what subfield you want....American...Comp...Euro...Asian? Give us more details

By Ares15 (Ares15) on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit

Brownalum=Yale troll. It's pretty ridiculous.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 01:45 pm: Edit

Fredmurtz, I agree about Bowdoin, but at this point and knowing Bowdoin's requirements, I think Taching's GPA needs to improve before he can meet them. Bates is a possibility, but as the results come in from this year's decisions, it may behoover Taching to also consider some more sensible options, such as the ones I listed. I do agree that he needs to be more specific in what history he wants to study.

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 02:41 pm: Edit

You can go to almost any college in the country and get a decent undergraduate education in history. There are more historians coming out of graduate school than there are jobs so you can find higly trained, published historians, almost anywhere including community colleges.

History is a discipline best learned in graduate school. If you intend to make a profession of it look to colleges that have courses in the areas you are interest in, see how often they're offered, and whether any big name professors teach undergrads. Get good grades and then go to graduate school.

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