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History

History at Fulbright

History prepares students to be engaged citizens of Vietnam and the world. By studying history, students explore the human experience from multiple perspectives, interpret past events and examine their causes, trace the development of civilizations and cultures, and gain insight into the political, social, and economic structures that continue to shape our present. History equips students with a pragmatic and interdisciplinary skillset that emphasizes communication, collaboration, critical thinking, interpreting varied forms of evidence, analyzing patterns within large datasets, and persuasive argument-based writing. The History major also prepares students not only to better understand and analyze current events and engage with peers and colleagues around the world, but also to think deeply about how the past experiences of others can change the way they think about themselves in the present. History offers ideal preparation for future study in graduate and professional schools as well as for careers in public policy, business, consulting, management, law, journalism, and education.

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Welcome to the History Major at Fulbright!

People are constantly weaving stories about the past to make sense of the present, but Fulbright History students learn how to do History well—meaning rigorously, ethically, critically, and with enduring curiosity toward the unknown. Our majors and minors develop historical literacy by taking Exploring the Past (HIS150) before mastering the fundamentals of research in Hands-On History (HIS200). Beyond these two gateway courses, the flexibility of the program allows students to explore time and space according to their own interests, whether they be international relations, environmental change, law and ethics, economic history, or any of the many other themes we cover. The geographical breadth and conceptual depth of the Fulbright History curriculum equip students to live as engaged citizens of Vietnam and the world.
A degree in History is preparation for a broad range of careers that involve critical thinking, analytical writing, cultural knowledge, documentary research, and/or interviewing skills. Worldwide students of History have found success as journalists, authors, legal experts, diplomats, politicians, teachers, librarians, and university faculty, and in myriad other fields. As of Fulbright’s first graduation in 2023, our major and minor alumni have already gone on to pursue careers in journalism, academia, and business, among other avenues.

Dr. Mark Frank

For more information about the History major, please contact our Major coordinator at mark.frank@fulbright.edu.vn

Academic spotlight

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History major Nguyen Thi Thanh Lam and minor Nguyen Vu Tung Lam celebrate their graduation in June 2023. See more
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Students and faculty discuss the book Hiroshima’s Shadow in July 2023 as part of our History of the Atomic Bomb summer series. Andrew Harold Bellisari, Faculty Member in History See more
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This talk examines these efforts as well as the fate of those African soldiers who abandoned their posts to join the Việt Minh—many of whom decided to stay in the newly formed Democratic Republic of Vietnam after the war ended. Initially welcomed as “người Việt Nam mới” (“new Vietnamese people”), these African migrants to North Vietnam represented a postcolonial future marked by the promise of global revolutionary collaboration. Yet tensions soon emerged along racial and cultural lines as DRV cadres struggled to govern their newest residents and African defectors advocated for better assimilation. Virtual talk with Dr. Andrew Bellisari on Imagining the “New Vietnamese” See more
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Students in Fulbright History Lab practice working with periodicals from the 1960s in March 2023.
Make a gift to History

Degree Requirements

A Bachelor of Arts in History is awarded following the successful completion of:

General education:

  • 5 Core courses (20 credits) and 8 Exploratory courses (32 credits), of which up to two Exploratory courses (8 credits) can be counted towards the major.
  • Experiential Learning (4 – 12 credits).

Regular Major Requirements:

  • Exploring the Past (4 credits)
  • 2 foundation courses (8 credits)
  • Hands-On History (4 credits)
  • 2 intermediate courses (8 credits)
  • 2 advanced courses (8 credits)
  • 1 History elective (4 credits)
  • 2 additional research seminars (8 credits); OR
  • Fulfill 8 additional credit hours of experiential learning (8 credits); OR
  • 1 research seminar and 4 additional experiential learning credit hours (8 credits)

Sample Student Journey:

Year 1
  • Core Courses
  • Exploratory Courses
  • Exploring the Past
  • Foundation Courses
Year 2
  • Core Courses
  • Exploratory Courses
  • Foundation Courses
  • Hands-On History
Year 3
  • Experiential Learning
  • Intermediate Courses
  • Research Seminars
  • Electives
Year 4
  • Research Seminars
  • Electives
  • Capstone I
  • Capstone II

Minor Requirements

A History Minor allows students to master both the fundamentals of historical methodologies while also gaining the breadth necessary to understand the history of different regions in comparative perspective. Moreover, by having the freedom to choose from a wide variety of intermediary and research seminars, History Minors will have the freedom to explore and debate, in depth, the important issues that stand at the center of the human experience concerning our political systems, leadership, society, economy and culture.
A Minor in History is an excellent complement to several social science and humanities disciplines that benefit from an understanding of world history and those historical processes that continue to shape our present, such as Economics, Psychology, Literature, Art and Media Studies. Moreover, a History Minor will serve well those who wish to unlock the history behind mathematics, computer science, natural science or engineering.
A Minor in History is achieved by completing Exploring the Past, Hands-On History, and four (4) other history courses, comprising one (1) foundation course, one (1) intermediate courses, one (1) research seminar, and one (1) additional History elective at any level (24 credits in total).

Requirements for Declaring the History Major and Minor

In order to formally declare the History Major, students must have completed the two gateway courses: Exploring the Past and Hands-On History. To declare a History Minor, students must have completed Exploring the Past.

Graduation with Honors Requirements

  • Minimum GPA threshold by summer term of a student’s third year
  • Student must complete Capstone I and Capstone II
  • The Capstone must be graded Honors

Sample course list

Foundation Courses: Foundation courses introduce students to the grand narratives of global history from 1500 to the present.

  • History of the World
  • Modern Europe
  • Modern East Asia
  • Modern Southeast Asia
  • Atlantic World
  • The United States and the World

Intermediate Courses: Intermediate courses explore historical research methods in more specific national, regional, or thematic areas (e.g., intellectual history, social history, economic history, gender history, etc.).

  • American Foreign Policy
  • History of Capitalism and the Corporation
  • The Cold War
  • Rebels and Revolutionaries in Modern China
  • The Global Vietnam War
  • History of ASEAN
  • History of International Relations Thought
  • Environmental History
  • Pirates, Prostitutes, and Prisoners: An Outlaw History of French Indochina

Advanced Courses: Advanced courses in History are research seminars that promote sophisticated historical analysis and immersive classroom discussion of primary and secondary sources related to a particular subject.

  • America’s Nuclear Age: The United States, Nuclear Weapons, and the Cold War
  • Europe on Trial: Law, Politics, and Society since Nuremburg
  • This Land Is My Land: Settler Colonialism in Comparative Perspective
  • Refugees: A History of the Twentieth Century
  • History of Vietnamese Diplomacy
  • Asian Borderlands
  • Gender and Ethnicity in Modern East Asia
  • Race and Empire

Capstone: Students complete the optional capstone project in the fourth year. The Capstone in History comprises one year-long research design seminar (4 credits) taken alongside two semesters of independent research and writing (2 credits each). The primary objective of the History Major Capstone is for students to produce a body of original historical research based on primary source evidence.

The project generally takes the form of an undergraduate thesis; however students may design a non-traditional project with a substantial written component (e.g., a documentary, a museum exhibit, a digital database, an oral history archive, etc.). Students will design their Capstone project in close consultation with history faculty and receive scaffolded peer-review in the research design seminar. Capstone projects should reflect student specialization in at least one geographical, temporal, or thematic historical field and are encouraged to apply historical perspectives to problems in other disciplines.

Capstone projects are eligible to be evaluated for honors.

  • dropdown dot Exploring the Past (in year 1)
  • dropdown dot Foundation Courses (2 required)

    Foundation Courses (100-level):

    • History of the World
    • Modern Europe
    • Modern East Asia
    • Modern Southeast Asia
    • Atlantic World
    • The United States and the World
  • dropdown dot Hands-On History
  • dropdown dot Intermediate Courses (2 required)

    Intermediate Courses (200-Level):

    • American Foreign Policy
    • History of Capitalism and the Corporation
    • The Cold War
    • Rebels and Revolutionaries in Modern China
    • The Global Vietnam War
    • History of ASEAN
    • History of International Relations Thought
    • Environmental History
    • Pirates, Prostitutes, and Prisoners: An Outlaw History of French Indochina
  • dropdown dot Advanced Courses (2 required)

    Advanced Courses (300-level):

    • America’s Nuclear Age: The United States, Nuclear Weapons, and the Cold War
    • Europe on Trial: Law, Politics, and Society since Nuremburg
    • This Land Is My Land: Settler Colonialism in Comparative Perspective
    • Refugees: A History of the Twentieth Century
    • History of Vietnamese Diplomacy
      Asian Borderlands
    • Gender and Ethnicity in Modern East Asia
    • Race and Empire
  • dropdown dot History Elective Courses (1 required)
  • dropdown dot Major Requirement* (2 required)

    Major Requirement:

    • Additional research seminars (2 required);
    • OR 8 additional credit hours of experiential learning;
    • OR 1 research seminar and 4 additional experiential learning credit hours.
  • dropdown dot Capstone I & Capstone II** (2 required)

*Regular major requirements
**Major with Honors requirements

Meet our faculty

Our faculty combines global experience and local insight, driving our commitment to providing you with academic excellence.

Featured faculty

faculty
As a historian, I believe exploring the past is the best way to understand ourselves in the present. When I joined Fulbright as a founding faculty member, I was excited not only for the opportunities it provided to re-imagine the university, but also for the possibilities it offered to re-imagine how we can teach history. Too often history is taught as a series of dates or facts to be memorized, but in my courses I want to promote learning that excites students, allowing them to build empathy with people in the past, uncover new stories to tell, and engage in meaningful dialogue about contrasting versions of history. History has the power to connect us to people, places, and times both remarkably different and oddly similar to our own. My interest in the history of French colonialism has taken me across the globe—from Algeria, Lebanon, and France to Cambodia, Laos, and all over Vietnam—and has shown me the power that the past continues to exert on the present: from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to the languages we speak, the laws we debate, and the values we uphold. I have also learned that there is no singular historical experience, but rather a diversity of experiences—some are just better recorded than others. Uncovering the richness of history is a great adventure and helps us understand where we’ve been, think about where we are, and most importantly envisage where we’d like to go.
Andrew Bellisari, Founding Faculty Member and Assistant Professor of History See more

Meet our Fulbrighters

Come and learn how Fulbright has impacted the lives of our current students and graduates.

Featured student

academy
“I always found it hard not to be drawn into the nuances of the historical circumstances around me, as well as the sensation of touching the paper-trail remnants of the past. As my high school years came to an end, I decided to pursue History in college, though not without reservations. Since matriculating at Fulbright, I found the History program to be a true scholarly community, where expectations are constantly set at the highest level and the support is always unlimited. I immediately felt welcomed when I was inducted into Fulbright Historical Society in my very first days at the school. I study the histories of the popular and mass movement fronts under the leadership of the Vietnamese Communists, especially their historical political entities, and evolution of their “loyal companionship” as described by Dr. Vu Minh Hoang (my advisor since my first year) to the VCP. I am interested in the political revolution of the popular front elements born out of the August Revolution, which originated from intellectual and student circles in colonial Hanoi and Saigon. Besides, I hope to further explore the nuances of local governance in modern Vietnam, ranging from North Vietnam to the historical Binh Tri Thien – where I come from – which served as a cornerstone for the delimitation and division of Vietnamese territories at many points—in order to study how bottom-up dynamics shaped the history of modern Vietnam in the Revolutionary era.
Tran Cong Dai, Class of 2025 Collapse
Class of 2025
  • Nguyễn Phúc Huy Bảo
  • Tran Cong Dai
  • Nguyen Khanh Minh Anh
Class of 2024
  • Nguyễn Ngọc Phương Anh
  • Võ Linh Đan
  • Nguyễn Thị Kim Hoa
  • Nguyễn Thị Tú Mai
  • Nguyễn Minh Hạnh
  • Nguyễn Phương Anh
  • Đỗ Cẩm Hoàng Hoa
alumni

Meet our Alumni

Come and learn how Fulbright has impacted the lives of our current students and graduates.

Featured alumni

faculty
“During my freshman year, I took the course on Global History, which allowed me to explore the pasts of many countries and peoples and myriad other interesting topics. Initially, I found myself to be ignorant towards the world I live in, but then, I decided to major in History! The thing I like the most about the major is the History community. We have a tight-knit community of students and faculty that allows us to engage on a more personal level. I can always count on my professors whenever I need their help. I love discussing and learning from my peers. They gave me tremendous support to pursue my dream. I am now a freelance journalist. I believe that majoring in History is a great choice; it has equipped me with the needed skills and more to work in the field.”
Nguyen Thi Thanh Lam, Class of 2023 Collapse

Selected Faculty Publications

Mark Frank

2023 “National Climate: Zhu Kezhen and the Reframing of the Atmosphere in Modern China.” History of Science 0(0): 1-29. Open access: https://journals.sagepub.com/share/QTJDAFGZG43TEGRHSEPV?target=10.1177/007 32753231157453 (Online First version.)

2021. “Frontier Atmosphere: Observation and Regret at Chinese Weather Stations in Tibet, 1939- 1949.” The British Journal of the History of Science 54(3): 361-379

Andrew Harold Bellisari

The Loose Ends of Empire: The Logic and Logistics of Decolonization in Algeria

“Making the ‘New Vietnamese’: Race, Psychological Warfare, and the Fate of France’s African Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1946-1962)”

“The Art of Decolonization: The Battle for Algeria’s French Art, 1962-1970,” Journal of Contemporary History, 52,3 (July 2017): 625-645.

Elsa Costa

“’But I Want the Truth!’: The Legacy of Martial Gueroult in São Paulo Philosophy, 1935-2018.” A Contracorriente 19.3 (NCSU)

Capstone projects

Class of 2023
The Girls with No Tomorrow” in “The Arms of The Revolution”: The Rehabilitation of Sex Work in Sài Gòn/ Hồ Chí Minh City During the First Post-War Decade (1975-1985)
Bui Khanh Minh
Fighting another war: Vietnamese soliders in the Cambodian - Vietnamese war
Nguyen Thi Hoai Thuong
Religion in the Second Indochina War: Buddhist Activism and the Quest for Peace (1963 - 1964)
Tran Thu Phuong

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Khoảnh khắc bạn đối mặt với nỗi sợ và dũng cảm hành động, đó là lúc bạn đã khai phóng bản thân. Đã có nhiều đêm bạn mất ngủ, đã có nhiều phút giây bạn nản chí. Nhưng, bạn đã không bỏ cuộc. Các bạn đã luôn kiên cường vượt qua những thử thách, những khó khăn trên chặng đường bốn năm vừa qua. Fulbright tự hào về các bạn. Hẹn gặp các bạn tại Commencement Day 8/6/2024, ngày chúng tôi tự hào giới thiệu với thế giới: Khóa 2024 – Class of the Fearless của Đại học Fulbright Việt Nam.

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