History Class No Longer A Requirement Of History Majors


A well known university has axed the requirement of history majors taking previously determined key courses in order to give the students, “more flexibility.”

George Washington University eliminated requirements in U.S., North American and European history, as well as the foreign language requirement. Therefore, it is now possible for a student to major in history without ever taking a course on United States history.

The university now requires one introductory course, such as American history, World History and European civilization. However, even these classes can be avoided by scoring a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement exams for U.S. History AP, European History AP or World History AP.

ACTA President ,Dr. Michael Poliakoff, said, “A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders. Elite colleges and universities in particular let the nation down when the examples they set devalue the study of United States history.”

According to a report released by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, less than one-third of the top universities in the U.S. require history majors to take a course in U.S. history.

The George Washington University student newspaper, The Hatchet, revealed that the school has been faced with a decline in student enrollment, therefore, the history department felt a drastic overhaul was needed.

Department chair, Karin Schultheiss, told the Hatchet, “The main gain for students is that they have a great deal more flexibility than they had before, and they can adapt it to whatever their plans are for the future. Whatever they want to do, there’s a way to make the history department work for them.”

GWU reported that enrollment numbers have dropped from 153 majors in 2011 to 72 in 2015 to 83 in 2016.

GWU budget model

Photo Credit: The Hatchet – Anna McGarrigle, Senior Designer

The Hatchet also reported that the need to increase enrollment was due to a new funding formula for George Washington colleges that commenced in 2016.

The newspaper informed its readers that the “new budget model will serve all GW schools except the law, public health and medical schools because they each manage their own budgets.”

According to the article, money provided to each department is now directly related to the number of students enrolled in a that major’s courses. Each school will receive $301 for every undergraduate student in a class.

Essentially, the new plan is set up to create incentives for enrollment in many of the colleges major programs.

The College Fix reported that, GWU school officials did not respond to repeated requests this month for comment.


H/T: The Hatchet The College Fix

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