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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between 300- and 400-level courses?

400-level classes often have a more focused thematic emphasis or chronological scope than 300-level courses. 400-level courses tend to have smaller enrollments. If cross-listed as 500-level courses, they will include graduate students who must do additional work to earn graduate credit. 400-level courses are likely to require either historiographical writing assignments (e.g. book reviews, state-of-the-field essays) or research projects based on primary sources. 400-level courses tend to emphasize historiographical thought through reading, analysis and discussion of historical scholarship. Individual faculty have discretion to decide which of these elements to emphasize in their classes.

What is the logic behind the numbering of upper division history courses?

The subject matter of an upper division history course does more to dictate its number than any other factor.Higher numbers do not therefore represent increased difficulty.

What exactly are groups A, B, and C?

These groups are designed to ensure that history majors have geographic and temporal breadth in their studies.A is pre-1800, B is non-western, and C is post-1800 western (US and Europe). Because certain courses could fall under more than one group or do not clearly fall into a single group, majors should never depend on the descriptions above in determining a course's designated group. Majors should always check the lists for Groups A, B, and C in the undergraduate catalog.

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Northern Illinois University
Department of History
Zulauf 715
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-0131
history@niu.edu
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