New Hampshire Approves First Ever History Only College


The American College of History and Legal Studies (ACHLS) has gained approval from the state of New Hampshire to open its doors in August 2010 becoming the first ever history-only school. The New Hampshire Post-Secondary Education Commission, which oversees advanced education in the Granite State, approved the Massachusetts School of Law (MSL) application last month.

American FlagACHLS will be a rarity among colleges for two reasons – it will become the first school to offer nothing but history studies and it will operate as a completion college which means that only the junior and senior years of college will be offered. The school will operate in New Hampshire because the state of Massachusetts requires that two-year schools offer associates degrees or transfers to four-year colleges, whereas New Hampshire has no such restrictions. MSL is located in Andover near the New Hampshire border while ACHLS will operate from an office park in nearby Salem, NH.

Small Classes, Limited Admission

Regarding its method of operation ACHLS has this to say – Its curriculum focuses exclusively on American history and legal history, with attention to U.S. history in the context of world history and to the history of important American legal subjects such as constitutional law and regulatory law. All of its professors teach by the discussion method — not the lecture method: in every substantive class the professor leads a discussion among the students of the subject at hand (as done in the best law school teaching). Its classes are all small — no more than a maximum of 20 students.

Annual tuition is expected to cost around $10,000 an amount significantly lower than what most private schools charge. MSL says that ACHLS will start out with a minimum of fifty students during it first year, but it might consider accepting as many as one hundred students if demand proves high enough. MSL believes that ACHLS will be of particular interest to lawyers who often become lawmakers and that the history emphasis will help future politicians make good decisions with a historical aspect in mind.

Curriculum And Application

ACHLS is currently hiring professors and staff while assembling its curriculum. The school plans to teach courses such as: The History of Women’s Rights; History of Sports in American Society; American Reform Movements; Race In American Law; and more. Persons interested in obtaining information about ACHLS and/or in applying to enter its first class, which will matriculate in August, 2010, should contact Paula Colby-Clements. She can be reached by phone at 603-204-3919, by email at

Photo Credit — Lize Rixt

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