Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
History Department

Academic Advising Notes

The History Major:

Ten courses comprise the major, two of which are seminars (HH262 and HH462).

There are currently five distribution areas: American, European, Regional, Military and Thematic; students must take ONE course in FOUR of the areas in order to graduate.

Students in their 3/C year who are not taking HH262 (Historical Methods) should then take an upper level history elective.

Foreign Language:

History majors must take FOUR semesters of a foreign language. Some may have validations which will be indicated on the matrix with a "V."

Students must have taken Spanish in their senior year and have some proficiency before entering FS103.

The "critical" languages are: Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. Students who attempt a minor in these languages complete the four semesters plus TWO upper level language courses. Otherwise, language minors require FOUR upper level courses beyond the 200 level.

Explain to students that if they begin a "critical" language, they should be prepared to go the distance. If they have a misstep in their 3/C year, they still have four semesters left to complete the language requirement.

Any 200-level language course may count for the HUM/SS1 elective on the matrix, provided that it is not counted twice. For instance, if a student has validated four semesters of French and then takes another language—such as Russian—at the 200-level, that 200-level course will count for one of the student’s HUM/SS electives.


History majors in their first semester of 3/C year should take SM223.

The new possibility for the fourth semester of math includes: SM230 (Probability with Naval Applications), SM219 (Introductory Statistics), and SM 212 (Differential Equations). SM212 is usually reserved only for those students who want to go to Nuclear Power School. SM219 was primarily designed for political science majors. SM230 may be more appropriate for history majors.

Electrical Engineering:

The course sequence changed for the class of 2015. Now, either EE course can be taken in any order. (i.e. EE310 before EE301 is ok)

HUM/SS electives:

Students have two HUM/SS electives; one may be a course at the 200 level in Political Science, English, Economics, Philosophy (LEL) or Psychology (LEL). The second elective must be at the 300 level and can also include foreign languages. There are currently a number of foreign language courses at the 400-level that are taught in English (e.g. FA486E, Gender in Arabic Literature or FJ486E, Japanese Culture through Film).

Accounting(FE 220) in the Economics Dept. DOES NOT count as a HUM/SS elective, although students may take it as a free elective.

Free elective:

Students sometimes are mistaken about the Free Elective. It DOES NOT have to be a technical course. The Free Elective is any course at the 200 level or above, including the student's major. Sometimes students will take entry level Math (SM 005) or English (HE 101) and the MIDS system will place this course in the free elective slot.

DO NOT rely on the list of technical courses in the HHS matrix for the Free Elective as an accurate list of the possible courses.

EA/N4XY: Ship Performance

In 1/C year, students will take some variation of Ship Performance known as EN400 (4 credit class). Students take a course that dovetails with their service selection. If they go Navy Air, that course will be EA400 (Introduction to Aeronautics); EN400 is for Naval Surface; EN401 (known as Engineering in the Littoral Zone) is for Marines or SEALS.

Here are a couple of other facts about getting credit for EN400, EN401, or EA400. If your advisee has changed majors into history, he/she may have taken EN221 (Engineering Mechanics) and EN247 (Principles of Naval Architecture) or EM211 (Statics) and EN245 (Principles of Ocean Systems Engineering). In these two cases the equivalencies are as follows:

EN221 + EN247 = EA400, EN400 or EN401

EM211 + EN245 = EA400, EN400 or EN401

Remember that students must receive a D grade or better in both of these courses to receive credit for EA/ENXY.

NS42X: The Junior Officer Practicum

The Junior Officer Practicum which students take in the spring semester of their 1/C year has different sections depending on their service selection: NS421 (Surface/Restricted Line), NS422 (Submarines), NS423 (Naval Aviation), NS424 (Marine Corps), NS425 (Special Warfare), NS426 (EOD), and NS427 (Restricted Line and Staff Corps). Sometimes at registration students will have conflicts with a particular section of the NS42X. The only course that takes precedence over a section of NS42X is our HH462 seminar, which students need for graduation. Otherwise, other history electives are subordinate to NS42X. Students must take the section of NS42X that reflects their service selection.

Student Exchanges with other Academies and Foreign Exchanges:

Students are more actively pursuing the possibility of exchanges with other service academies or even studying abroad for a semester. For information, start at the USNA Intranet, select Midshipmen Interests on the left; then select Service Academy Exchange Program. You will then arrive at the main page for Service Academy Exchange information.

A student who attempts an exchange should have a little extra space in his/her matrix because it is unlikely he or she will be able to take all the required courses while on exchange. Once a student is accepted into the exchange program, he/she will have to discuss the course selection with his/her academic adviser. Sometimes, the student will see the Senior Adviser. Dean Davis signs off on the course selections for these exchanges.

The MIDREC: The Midshipman Record Card

This "card" is now electronic for most transactions between an adviser and the registrar's office where academic scheduling is located. When you send a change of class to academic scheduling address it in the following way:


CC: the student in question and anyone else affected by the change

Subject: MIDREC Smith, John (102222)

Write: Drop Smith (102222) from HH215, sec. 1001 and add to HH216, sec. 5001 for spring 2009.

If you have obtained approval from the senior adviser or the department chair for a special change, please indicate it on the MIDREC and copy that individual on your e-mail to academic scheduling.

Make sure that you copy the student on the e-mail, so when academic scheduling makes the change, the student will get a copy of the change electronically.

You can find the registrar's office via the Intranet by either going to Academics or Administration.

Annotating a Student’s Matrix:

Students will often take experimental courses in the History Department which are classified usually as HH485 and HH486.

The problem arises when there are multiple sections of experimental courses and confusion may arise when you attempt to identify a HH485 or HH486 course on the matrix.

As an academic adviser, you can minimize confusion by routinely annotating your advisee’s matrix. For example: Midn. John Smith is currently taking HH485 (Late Antiquity). You would then write the following annotation:

HH485 = EL4 TH (Spring 2010)

Then, send this information to the registrar: Chris Davis ( with the following information

Please annotate the matrix of Midn. John Smith (102222) as follows:

HH485 = EL4 TH (Spring 2010)

The registrar will complete this annotation and respond to your e-mail. It will then appear below the line on the student’s matrix and eliminate any confusion about how this course is counted in the student’s matrix.

Hard Conflicts:

During pre-registration, students select classes for the following semester within weeks of the start of Fall or Spring term. Pre-registration is important because it reserves the seat for the student in a specific course. However, it may be difficult to actually create a schedule from the list of pre-registered courses. If two or more of the courses are scheduled to be taught at the same time, the student will have a hard conflict in registration.

Ways to Resolve a Hard Conflict:

  1. Academic scheduling will normally notify students who have hard conflicts before they are to register for their classes. If they receive this message, the academic adviser should encourage the student to resolve the conflict on his/her own and notify you about the necessary changes to the course selection.
  2. If the student is unable to resolve the conflict, then the academic adviser must get involved. Sometimes you can resolve a conflict by looking at the sections of a history class and see that they conflict. Simply by dropping one history and adding another course might solve the hard conflict. The Associate Chair each semester develops a template for the sections taught by history faculty and this chart can be useful in addressing hard conflicts.
  3. If all else fails, there is a program on MIDS that can help you find a schedule for a student. Click on Schedules—Query Potential Mid Schedules. Add the student’s alpha number and click submit. A box will appear and click OK. Click on find schedules and you will find which courses are in conflict.

    If you return to the main schedules page for the student, you will see a box called “Offered Courses” on the left side of the page. If you scroll down that box, you will find courses highlighted. These are the courses that the student chose at pre-registration. You will probably have to add and subtract from this list to find a schedule.

    To remove a course from this list, first hold down the Control key and then use your mouse to click on the course name. The course should disappear from the box below the “Offered Courses” on the left. You can remove one or two classes and then see if the conflict is resolved by going back to find schedules. Also, if you want to add a course, just scroll down the “Offered Courses” box, and identify the course you would like to “test” in the schedule. Then hold down the Control key and click on the course. It will be added to the list of courses in the box below. If you forget to hold down the control key and wipe out the list of courses, don’t worry! You can go back to the login where you put the Midshipman’s alpha and start over. Nothing has been damaged.

    Sometimes a student has a “locked section” which shows up as XP103, 603, etc. That means that a coach most likely has blocked a period for a sport’s practice. A student, who has a blocker for 6th period Monday through Friday, might be able to have that changed to MWF at 6th because the Tuesday/Thursday classes are dismissed earlier than 1530. This simple fact could affect whether or not a student has a hard conflict.

    The solution to a hard conflict might not be readily apparent, but if you use logic and look at the free time slots open to a student, you can usually find a course that will fit. The program Schedules—Query Potential Mid Schedules is not particularly self-evident, but it can help you to generate a schedule. Hopefully, these basic guidelines make it more accessible. Of course, you should feel free to ask the Senior Adviser for any additional help.

Points of Contact:

1. Senior Academic Adviser, Dr. Marcus Jones, at or x6272

2. Dr. Chris Davis, Registrar, at, or x6381

3. Dr. Jennifer Waters, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, or x1581

go to Top