The Field Worksheets are designed to ensure that your courses meet all the distribution requirements of your particular Field of Study and of the concentration as a whole. There is a different Field Worksheet for each of our seven fields:
- Ethnic Studies
- American Studies
- Latin American Studies
- European Studies
- Modern World
- World Before 1800
- Medieval World
Each student in the concentration submits an updated copy of the Field Worksheet every semester. Use the Field Worksheet to map which courses will satisfy your field requirements, and talk with your academic adviser and other tutors about your choices.
In May of the sophomore year, students submit the Field Declaration and Student Interest Form, using it to describe their interests as specifically as possible. Sophomores use this form to declare their Field of Study in the concentration. Based on this information, students will be matched with a tutor and other students in Junior Tutorial. If a student's interests shift over the summer, they should inform the Director of Studies or Associate Director of Studies.
In May of the junior year, students submit the Senior Thesis Interests Form, which describes their research interests and indicates if they would like to work with a specific thesis adviser. History & Literature will honor these preferences when possible. Juniors should discuss potential thesis topics with their junior tutor and begin to think about what qualities they need in a thesis adviser.
In the event that a student does not request a particular tutor, History & Literature will match the student with an appropriate adviser based on the student's thesis topic. Juniors are encouraged to consult faculty profiles on the website, bearing in mind that new tutors join the Tutorial Board in July of each year. If interests shift over the summer, students should inform their concentration adviser.
If a student is interested in asking a member of the Committee on Degrees or another member of the Harvard faculty to adviser the thesis, the student should meet with that faculty member to discuss the thesis topic and research plans. In most cases, History & Literature will provide a concentration adviser who will help the student navigate program requirements and prepare for the oral examination. Concentrators in History & Literature may not choose as their thesis adviser a Teaching Fellow or Lecturer not on the Tutorial Board.
History & Literature’s Modern World field encourages students to pursue transnational projects from c. 1750 to the present. To declare the Modern World as your field of study, complete the Modern World Proposal and attach a brief explanation of your proposed topic of study. Proposals should be submitted by the stated deadline at the beginning of the junior year. The courses approved as part of a proposal constitute the unique list of courses that count for the Modern World field requirements.
History & Literature’s World Before 1800 field encourages students to pursue transnational projects in the period before about 1800. To declare the World Before 1800 as your field of study, complete the World Before 1800 Proposal and attach a brief explanation of your proposed topic of study. Proposals should be submitted by the stated deadline at the beginning of the junior year. The courses approved as part of a proposal constitute the unique list of courses that count for the World Before 1800 field requirements.
History & Literature concentrators may design their own Subfields, which consist of 2 or 3 courses that would not otherwise count toward the student's declared Field of Study. Ideally, subfields should inform a major research project, such as the junior essay or senior thesis. A student may develop a Subfield Proposal in consultation with tutors and other faculty as appropriate. Students may propose subfields at the start of one of three semesters: junior fall, junior spring, or senior fall. Subfield proposals are due at the same time as petitions.
If you have taken a course not listed on the Courses that Count that you wish to count for credit in your Field of Study, you are welcome to submit a Petition to the Committee on Instruction. You can also petition to count a course that you plan to take during the coming semester, or to substitute one course for another required course.
Petitions are considered on a case-by-case basis. The relevance of a course is judged in the context of an individual student's entire program. For this reason, you should never assume that you will succeed in petitioning for credit for a course that another student has had approved.
Talk over your petition with your tutor (who will sign the form), and explain your reasons for why the course should count in your case as fully as you can. Be sure to submit a copy of the course syllabus with your petition.
Unlike other fields of study in History & Literature, there is no petition process because students assemble their own unique list of courses which is approved as part of the Modern World proposal. Students can continue to adapt their list of courses as new offerings become available. To make any changes to your proposal, please consult with your tutor before submitting an Update Form with an explanation for how the course fits within your plan of study and an attached syllabus.
Unlike other fields of study in History & Literature, there is no petition process because students assemble their own unique list of courses which is approved as part of the World Before 1800 proposal. Students can continue to adapt their list of courses as new offerings become available. To make any changes to your proposal, please consult with your tutor before submitting an Update Form with an explanation for how the course fits within your plan of study and an attached syllabus.