The Field Worksheets are designed to ensure that your Plan of Concentration meets 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 six fields:
- Ethnic Studies
- American Studies
- Latin American Studies
- European Studies
- Modern World
- Early Modern World
- Medieval World
Each student in the concentration submits an updated copy of the Field Worksheet along with a Plan of Concentration every semester. Use the Field Worksheets to note which courses on your Plan of Concentration will satisfy your field requirements, and talk with your academic adviser and other tutors about your choices.
History & Literature concentrators use the Plan of Concentration Form to list the courses they have already taken, as well as those they are planning to take. Fill it out for the first time in the sophomore year, and revise it in the junior and senior years.
As History & Literature students pursue their individual interests, they also strive for a breadth of knowledge. Although individual courses may vanish from the catalogue, the Plan of Concentration represents an outline of the student’s unique intellectual trajectory. As such, it is an extremely important document, requiring careful initial consideration and regular updating.
In May of the sophomore year, students submit the Field Declaration and Student Interest Form describing 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, he or she should inform the Director of Studies or Associate Director of Studies. Tutorial assignments are posted on the first day of classes.
Senior Thesis Interests Form
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 preference when possible. Juniors should discuss potential thesis topics with their junior tutor and begin to think about what 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 a student's interests shift over the summer, he or she should inform the Director of Studies or Associate Director of Studies. Tutorial assignments are posted on the first day of classes.
If a student is interested in asking a member of the Committee on Degrees or another member of the Harvard faculty to adviser his or her 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 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 may be submitted by the petition deadline at the beginning of each semester or by the Plan of Concentration deadline at the end of the academic 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 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, usually in the first week of classes.
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.
Petitions are usually due in the first week of classes. Check our Calendar for the specific deadline.