FAQs: First-Year Students

1.  How do I enroll for a freshman seminar in History?

In the fall, you enroll during Freshman Orientation through the Freshman Seminar Program, not through the History department.  For the spring semester, you enroll at the end of the fall term through the Freshman Seminar Program’s website.

2.  As a first-year student, am I limited to freshman seminars and History lecture courses with 100-199 numbers?

No.  The numbering system for Yale History courses is confusing at first glance. Course numbers denote regions of the world rather than degrees of difficulty. Freshman seminars carry numbers beginning with 00.  United States History lecture courses carry numbers 100-199.  European History lecture courses carry numbers 200-299.  Lecture courses on the history of the other regions of the world carry numbers 300-399.  Courses that are global in nature, and cover many areas of the world, are 400-499. All lecture courses (numbers 100-499) are open to freshmen.  Courses carrying the suffix “J” are upper-level seminars and are not open to freshmen.

3.  Do I need to take my History lecture courses in a particular sequence?

No.  Each course is self-contained and stands on its own.  You are responsible only for the material that is presented in the course.

4.  How do I get into a History lecture course?   

For the overwhelming majority of lecture courses, you just show up when the class meets and then list the course on your registration form when you register.  There are a handful of very popular History lecture courses that are forced to limit enrollment for lack of space.  For such courses, just show up for the first class.  The professor will explain whether or not enrollment will be limited and how s/he will determine who is in and who is out.

5.  Do Directed Studies courses count towards the History major?

DRST 003a and DRST 003b (Historical and Political Thought) both count towards the History major and the European distribution requirement.  DRST 003a also counts towards the Pre-Industrial requirement.

6.  In high school I earned AP credits in History.  Does this allow me to “place out” of certain History courses?

The History Department does not allow students to use AP credits to “place out” of History courses.  All History majors need to take a minimum of 10 History courses and complete a 2-semester or 1-semester senior essay.