Graduate Course Descriptions

In the Department of History at Western Michigan University, most 5000-level and 6000-level courses are topical courses which may be repeated under different topics and with different faculty. The following list includes topics offered in the past; new ones are added continually. See the schedule of classes for current class descriptions.

Classes open to graduates and advanced undergraduates

HIST 5000: Topics in History

Courses in this topical area explore regional, political, cultural, economic and social issues in various geographical, chronological or thematic fields of history.  Specific topics will be listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduate students.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level history baccalaureate writing course, graduate standing or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 5150: Topics in Public History

Selected topics in aspects of public history including museology, historic preservation and cultural resource management, historical administration, information science and applied research. Specific topics will be listed in schedule of course offerings. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level history baccalaureate writing course, graduate standing or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 5245: Topics in American History

Courses in this topical area explore regional, political, cultural, economic and social themes in the history of North America or the United States from the colonial era to the present. Specific topics will listed in schedule of course offerings. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level history baccalaureate writing course, graduate standing or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 5405: Topics in Ancient History

Courses in this topical area explore regional, political, cultural, economic and social themes in the history of the ancient world. Specific topics will be listed in the schedule of course offerings. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level History Baccalaureate Writing course; or graduate standing; or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 5495: Topics in European History

Courses in this topical area explore regional, political, cultural, economic and social themes in European history from the ancient world to the present. Specific topics will be listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level History Baccalaureate Writing course; or graduate standing; or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 5500: Topics in Medieval History

Courses in this topical area explore regional, political, cultural, economic and social themes in the history of the medieval world. Specific topics will be listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. 

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level History Baccalaureate Writing course; or graduate standing; or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 5501: Medieval History Proseminar

An overview of major themes and scholarly debates in medieval history (ca 500-1500) covering regions including the Mediterranean basin, northern Europe, and adjacent regions. The course provides a capstone for undergraduates and a foundation for advanced study for graduate students.

  • Prerequisites: Grad of B or better in a 4000-level history baccalaureate writing course; or graduate standing; or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: Open to upper class graduate students.

HIST 5850: Topics in Asian, African, and Latin American History

Courses in this topical area explore regional, political, cultural, economic and social themes in the history of Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico or the Caribbean from ancient times to the present. Specific topics will be listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings. This course may be repeated for credit under different topics.  Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level History Baccalaureate Writing course; or graduate standing; or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 5890: Oral History Workshop

Approaches to the knowledge, theories, and foundations in the study and practice of oral history. Students will be introduced to the tools and applications that will allow them to practice oral history in a way that is connected to the broader field of public history.

  • Prerequisites: A grade of “B” or better in a 4000-level History writing course: HIST 4006 or HIST 4008 or HIST 4010 or HIST 4245 or HIST 4495 or HIST 4825 or HIST 4845; or graduate standing; or instructor approval.
  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: Open to upper level and graduate students.

HIST 5891: Digital Humanities

An introduction to basic tools used in the construction of humanities projects that are digitally based. Students will learn about different types of data (structured, unstructured) and the process of acquiring, cleaning, and creating file types appropriate to humanist projects. They will evaluate tools used by humanists for analysis and data presentation using text, images, sound, statistics, and data visualization, as well as tools used for project management and supervision. The course surveys problems and current discussions in the field of digital humanities in areas like creation, maintenance, sustainability, authorship, control, legal compliance, and accessibility (ADA).

HIST 5910: Topics in Historical Theory and Method

Selected theoretical, methodological and interpretive issues in the field of history, possibly including methodologies from related social science and humanities disciplines. Topics will be listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in a 4000-level History Baccalaureate Writing course; or graduate standing; or permission of instructor.
  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: This course may be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

classes open to graduate students only:

 HIST 6010: Historiography

Study of the major figures, ideas, and developments in historiography. Students may conduct research in their fields of concentration.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6050: Readings in American History

Intensive study of historiography and major works pertaining to the history of North America or the United States from the colonial era to the present. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6090: Ethnohistory Seminar

Ethnohistory combines research techniques and theoretical approaches from the fields of history and anthropology to elucidate the histories and cultural contexts of groups who, most often, have not left their own written record of their history and culture. Readings may address such topics as culture contact, colonialism, material analysis, historiography, oral history, gender, historical archaeology, ethnography, tribalization, globalization and modernization.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit. Open to graduate students only.
  • Cross-Listed: ANTH 6090

HIST 6115: Readings in Ancient History

Intensive study of historiography and major works pertaining to the ancient world. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6120: Readings in Medieval History

Intensive study of historiography and major works pertaining to the medieval world. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6160: Readings in European History

Intensive study of historiography and major works pertaining to European history from the ancient world to the present. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6180: Readings in Global and Comparative History

Intensive study of historiography and major works pertaining to the study of world or transnational history, involving topics such as colonialism, nationalism, international conflict and cooperation, economic integration, gender, etc. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6200: Bibliographical Research

Research in the literature of specialized topics and issues as they pertain to thesis or dissertation preparation, and preparation of a bibliographical essay. Topics may be listed in Schedule of Course Offerings. May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

  • Credits: 1 to 3 hours
  • Prerequisite: Departmental approval

HIST 6220: Synthetic Essay - Major Field

Supervised preparation of synthetic essay in the major field.

  • Prerequisites: Approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must demonstrate proficiency in one or more languages other than English (as specified by field or committee as outlined in Graduate Handbook) through a course or courses at the 2010 level, a summer graduate-course sequence in French or German (FREN or GER 5000 and 5010), or a Graduate Reading Proficiency Exam.
  • Credits: 2 hours
  • Restrictions: Restricted to doctoral students in history usually in their fifth semester.
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit. Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6221: Synthetic Essay - Minor Field

Supervised preparation of synthetic essay in the minor field.

  • Prerequisite: Approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must demonstrate proficiency in one or more languages other than English (as specified by field or committee as outlined in Graduate Handbook) through a course or courses at the 2010 level, a summer graduate-course sequence in French or German (FREN or GER 5000 and 5010), or a Graduate Reading Proficiency Exam.
  • Credits: 1 hour
  • Restrictions: Restricted to doctoral students in history usually in their fifth semester
  • Notes: Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6222: Synthetic Essay: Outside Field

Supervised preparation of synthetic essay in the outside field.

  • Prerequisite: Approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Students must demonstrate proficiency in one or more languages other than English (as specified by field or committee as outlined in Graduate Handbook) through a course of courses at the 2010 level, a summer graduate-course sequence in French or German (FREN or GER 5000 and 5010), or a Graduate Reading Proficiency Exam.
  • Credits: 1 hour
  • Restrictions: Restricted to doctoral students in history usually in their fifth semester.
  • Notes: Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6223: Dissertation Proposal

Supervised preparation of the dissertation proposal.

  • Prerequisite: Approval of the Director of graduate Studies.
  • Credits: 3 to 6 hours
  • Restrictions: Restricted to doctoral students in history usually in their sixth semester.
  • Notes: Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6250: Topics in Cultural Resource Management

History and practice of various facets of administration, conservation, development and interpretation of cultural and historical sites, agencies, and institutions. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 1 to 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6350: Research Techniques in Medieval History

Introduction to the sources and methods used in the study of medieval Europe. Interpretation of written sources, with emphasis on authenticating, dating and localizing these materials. Survey of techniques for interpreting artifacts and material culture.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: Open to Graduate students only.

HIST 6400: Museums Practicum

Supervised field assignment with focus on a research project dealing with a specific aspect of museum or site administration such as registration, collections development, conservation, interpretation, etc.

  • Credits: 3 to 6 hours
  • Prerequisite: Departmental approval
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit to a maximum of six hours. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6440: Material Culture

Social and cultural studies of artifacts, public and domestic space, and the social construction of the built environment in selected historical periods. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6500: Special Projects

Participation in departmental research and interpretive projects. Topics may be listed in Schedule of Course Offerings. May be repeated for credit to a maximum of six hours. Open to graduate students only.

  • Credits: 1 to 3 hours
  • Prerequisite: Departmental approval

HIST 6730: Research Seminar in History

Advanced research in selected issues and problems in historical studies from various chronological, geographical, or thematic areas. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6750: Research Seminar in American History

Advanced research in North American or United States history from the colonial era to the present. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6815: Research Seminar in Ancient History

Advanced research in the history of the ancient world. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit. Open to Graduate students only.

HIST 6820: Research Seminar in Medieval History

Advanced research in the history of the medieval world. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Prerequisite: HIST 6350 or instructor approval.
  • Credits: 3 hours

HIST 6860: Research Seminar in European History

Advanced research in European history from the ancient world to the present. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6880: Research Seminar in Global and Comparative History

Advanced research in world or transnational history. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to Graduate students only.

HIST 6890: Research Seminar in Public History

Advanced research in public history. Topics listed in the Schedule of Course Offerings.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: May be repeated for credit under different topics. Open to graduate students only.

HIST 6980: College Teaching and Professional Activity

Introduces students to the full range of teaching and other professional activities of historians, including syllabus preparation, class presentations, evaluation methods, grant applications, publishing, conference presentations, vita development, and preparation for the job market.

  • Credits: 3 hours
  • Notes: Open to Graduate students only.

HIST 7000: Master's Thesis

Please refer to the Graduate College section for course descriptions. May be repeated for credit. Graded on a credit/no credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

  • Credits: 1 to 6 hours
  • Prerequisite: Department and Graduate College approval

HIST 7100: Independent Research

Please refer to the Graduate College section for course descriptions. May be repeated for credit. Graded on a credit/no credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

  • Credits: 2 to 6 hours
  • Prerequisite: Department approval.

HIST 7120: Professional Field Experience

Please refer to the Graduate College section for course descriptions. May be repeated for credit. Graded on a credit/no credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

  • Credits: 2 to 12 hours
  • Prerequisite: Department approval.

HIST 7300: Doctoral Dissertation

Please refer to the Graduate College section for course descriptions. May be repeated for credit. Graded on a credit/no credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

  • Credits: 1 to 15 hours
  • Prerequisite: Department and Graduate College approval.

HIST 7350: Graduate Research

Please refer to the Graduate College section for course descriptions. May be repeated for credit. Graded on a credit/no credit basis. Open to graduate students only.

  • Credits: 2 to 10 hours
  • Prerequisite: Department approval