The Undergraduate Program

UNDED Advising

Welcome to the Department of History at Columbia University!

Our department is one of the leading centers of historical scholarship in the world. It is also a department deeply committed to undergraduate education. Teaching Columbia and Barnard undergraduates is among our faculty’s greatest privileges. Our undergraduate curriculum covers most periods and areas of the world. We emphasize no particular brand of history, no single interpretive model, and we encourage our students to experiment with a wide range of ideas. Our principal goal in the undergraduate classroom is to develop the intellectual breadth and analytical skills of our students. To that end, our courses emphasize working with both primary and secondary sources and developing acuity in critical writing.

For academic advising, please contact any faculty member of the Undergraduate Education Committee (UNDED). For preliminary questions about the major and concentration, you can talk to members of the Undergraduate History Council (UHC) during their peer advising hours each term. For any logistical issues concerning the major or concentration (such as handing the Plan of Study form or transfer of credit application materials), please see the Undergraduate Administrator, TBD. For additional information see the Undergraduate Handbook, list of courses, profiles of our faculty, and the Frequently Asked Questions page.


The Yearly Plan of Study Form


History majors and concentrators should complete a Plan of Study Form every year to monitor their progress in satisfying the Department’s requirements; in the junior and senior years, this is mandatory. The form, which is required for graduation certification, should be signed by a member of the Undergraduate Education Committee (UNDED) and returned to the Undergraduate Administrator in 413 Fayerweather Hall.

Membership of UNDED changes from year to year. Because of the large number of students, we do not assign individual advisors; you may see any member of UNDED for advice. Students are also welcome to seek informal advising from any faculty member; however a student working with a non-UNDED advisor must still consult with UNDED regarding the yearly Plan of Study form. Please see page 11 in the Undergraduate Handbook for more information.

Spring 2018 UNDED Office Hours


Professor Field/Specialty Email Office Office Hours
C. Pizzigoni (DUS) Latin America 321 FAY
C. Armstrong East Asia & International  604 FAY

R. Billows

 Ancient Greek & Roman Society 322M FAY
M. Connelly Modern Europe & Decolonization  403 FAY  
V. De Grazia Modern Europe & Gender 617 FAY
N. Lightfoot British Caribbean/ Caribbean American 523 FAY
N.Şenocak Medieval European History  510 FAY
A. Stephanson US Foreign Relations  612 FAY
R. Stephens Sub-Saharan African History 602 FAY
Degree Requirements

A member of UNDED must review and approve the specialization and breadth courses for both majors and concentrators by the junior year. In the senior year, a new form should be approved by UNDED if any changes have been made. Please see pages 4-6 of the Undergraduate Handbook for a more detailed explanation on selecting courses. Below is a summary:


Courses in History 9 courses (total) 6 courses (total)
Specialization 4 courses 3 courses
Breadth Requirement 3 courses outside specialization: 1 removed in time and 2 removed in space 2 courses outside specialization: 1 removed in time and 1 removed in space
Seminar Requirement 2 seminars, at least 1 in specialization None



  • Majors are required to complete 9 courses in history, 4 of which must be in a specialization defined in consultation with a member of UNDED. Majors must also fulfill a breadth requirement by taking 3 courses far removed from their specialization (one removed in time and two removed in space). Finally, majors must complete at least two seminars, one of which must be in the specialization.
  • Effective February 2018, concentrators must take 6 history courses, including 3 in their specialization. Concentrators must also take two breadth courses: one removed in time and one removed in space. There is no seminar requirement for concentrators.
Course Information

Undergraduates are welcome to choose from a variety of courses offered each term by both the Columbia and Barnard History Departments. Each term, some courses are also cross-listed with History, meaning they originate from other departments but are approved to count towards the major or concentration.

Please note some cross-listed courses have sections which are not taught by History faculty or affiliates; these individual sections do not count towards the History degree, even if they appear listed in the Columbia College Bulletin. For example: some sections of AFCV CC1020, ASCE UN1359ASCE UN1361, or LACV CC1020 have sections every term which are not taught by History or affiliated faculty members; therefore, those sections cannot be applied to the major or concentration. Please check the faculty page for a full list of core and affiliated faculty members, and contact the Undergraduate Administrator at TBD if you still have an inquiry about whether a particular section counts.


Career Exploration

We care deeply about our students’ career prospects and are proud of their success on the job market while at and after Columbia. We have partnered with the Center for Career Education (CCE) to provide tailored advising for both jobs and internships:

Career Exploration and Preparation
•Academic major exploration resources, such as the “What can you do with a degree in History?” tipsheet
• Individual career counseling, workshops, speaker events, and online resources to help with career planning and internship/job applications, interviewing, networking, negotiations, and the decision to pursue graduate school
• Industry-specific resources covering career paths, employers, professional associations, internship/job sites, and research opportunities

Employer Connections/Jobs and Internships
• LionSHARE internship/jobs database – Set up a job agent to be notified daily of internship and full time opportunities
CCE Internship Programs – Gain experience through CCE’s domestic and international internship programs
 Career Events – Participate in Fall, Spring and Start-up Career Fairs, Industry Showcasesemployer site visits, and Professionals in Residence to meet employers and alumni

Alumni Connections
• Alumni Connections – including alumni dinner and discussion series, Columbia Career Connections on LinkedIn and networking events