Program Objectives- Undergraduate History Major

Listed below are the Program Objectives for the Undergraduate History Major at Montclair State University. They are divided into three categories: Critical Understandings about the nature of history and historical knowledge; Intellectual Skills necessary for and fostered by historical study; and Intellectual Dispositions characteristic of students seriously engaged in the study of history.

A. Critical Understandings:

    1. Human Agency and Historical Contingency: History is the product of human agency and as a result is never inevitable or foreordained.
    2. Causation and Complexity: Human agency is always the product of multiple causes and history as a result is inherently complex.
    3. Change and Continuity: Historical time is characterized by constant change and lasting continuity.
    4. Interpretive: Knowledge of human history is always interpretive.
    5. Factual Basis: A basis in fact is a necessary condition of all historical knowledge.
    6. Perspective: Individual perspective is a critical condition of historical knowledge.

B. Intellectual Skills:

    1. Posing Historical Questions
    2. Formulating Historical Hypotheses
    3. Using Various Research Media
    4. Using Primary and Secondary Sources
    5. Evaluating Evidence
    6. Citing Evidence
    7. Distinguishing Fact and Opinion
    8. Distinguishing Cause and Effect
    9. Constructing Chronology and Sequencing Events
    10. Communicating Conclusions in Various Written and Oral Formats

C. Intellectual Dispositions:

    1. Healthy Sense of Skepticism
    2. Purposeful Curiosity
    3. Intellectual Persistence
    4. Deliberativeness and Persistence
    5. Enthusiasm and Sense of Joy in Learning