Fields of Study

Stanford students may specialize in six tracks toward their B.A. in History.

General History


The General History track emphasizes breadth of study among historical areas and periods as well as concentration in one selected field. Students complete at least two courses in a pre-modern chronological period and in each of three geographical fields and at least four courses in a concentration. Concentration areas include Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia, Europe before 1700, Europe since 1700, Jewish History, Latin America, Science and Medicine, The United States, The Middle East, International History, Comparative Empires and Cultures, or a thematic subject treated comparatively (such as war and revolution, work, gender, family history, popular culture, or high culture).

Global Affairs and World History 


The Global Affairs and World History track is designed to offer an empirically rich curriculum for Stanford students interested in international affairs. The goal is to impart an understanding of today's world through a historical examination of its evolution, from the early modern to the contemporary era. Deploying both connective and comparative modes of analysis, History majors of this track will acquire a robust understanding of the relevance of the past to current events. Students, who aim at a career in the international arena and seek to learn about the complexities of cultural diversity and spatial differentiation, are welcome to join the track.

 History, Philosophy, and the Arts


The History, Philosophy, and the Arts (HPA) track is designed for students who wish to complement their History coursework with a study in literature, philosophy, or  a foreign language. The track defines Arts broadly, including fine arts, art history, drama, films, memoirs, autobiography, poetry,  novels as well as canonical works in philosophy, political science, and history of political thought. Students, who are interested in studying the humanities and its conceptual and linguistic worlds in their historical context, or who want to focus on both the literature and history of a specific geographical area while also learning the language of that area, are welcome to join this track.

History of Science and Medicine


The History of Science and Medicine (HS&M) track is a collaborative program of the Department of History and the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science. The track is designed for students interested in both sciences and humanities, and in the interactions between the two. It is also especially useful for students contemplating medical school, since it allows them to study the history of medicine, biology, and allied sciences in conjunction with fulfilling the pre-med science requirements.

 History and Law


The History and Law (HL) interdisciplinary track is for students who want to explore the intersections between historical and legal studies. The HL curriculum focuses on the role of legal institutions, policies, and structures in various societies. HL track majors enroll in at least four History department courses that focus on issues of law in civil societies and four courses that provide a geographic concentration. In addition, students enroll in four courses outside History that provide disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives on the role of law in shaping societies and a Research Seminar for Majors.

Public History / Public Service


The Public History/Public Service (PH/PS) interdisciplinary history track is designed for students who wish to include in their course of studies the application of historical study in (1) public settings such as museums and heritage sites, national and state parks, public agencies, and private foundations, and (2) public service settings in non-profit organizations, public agencies, and educational institutions.

More Information

This information is updated every August for the new academic year. Tracks are not declared on Axess, and they do not appear on the transcript or diploma. For more information on the tracks and a list of pre-approved courses, see the Stanford Bulletin