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History majors are required to take History and Globalization (recommended for sophomore fall) as well as Writing History (recommended for junior spring), and a minimum of seven additional elective courses, which build a foundation and framework for global historical understanding and specialization in world areas or major topics in historical inquiry. Students are thus encouraged to think about their program of study in terms of developing one or more thematic specializations to complement their regional specializations. This curriculum prepares a student to undertake original historical research, on a topic of their choosing, for their capstone project, a two-semester sequence taken during the senior year and a requirement for majors. Double majors writing their Capstone project in a different program are required instead to take two additional history electives.
The History Program provides for considerable flexibility in study abroad site selection, which majors should select in consultation with a major advisor, and in light of their intellectual interests and curricular needs. Recommended semesters for study abroad are sophomore spring or junior fall. Students should be at NYU Abu Dhabi in the spring of junior year to take Writing History, work with faculty on Capstone project idea development, and take upper-division major courses. Students should take courses at global sites on topics not regularly offered at Abu Dhabi.
The Capstone project in History represents the culmination of the student's work in the History major. It is a substantial piece of written scholarship that enables students to explore an historical topic that is of particular interest, and to make a scholarly contribution to ongoing discussions surrounding that topic. Students are expected to work on their Capstone projects throughout senior year and, ideally, conduct research on it during the previous summer. Completed projects should be a polished and professional example of scholarly research and writing.
History majors also participate in the year-long Humanities Capstone Seminar, a faculty-led work-in-progress group, in which Capstone writers will discuss research methods and problems across the humanities and learn to communicate their ideas to non-specialists. The seminars will keep students on a common schedule designed to allow sufficient time for revision of a complete draft before the final due date.