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Course Description

Surveys the history of Boston from the colonial era to the recent past. Examines the legacy of Puritanism, the city’s role in the Revolutionary War, the immigrant experience, reform movements, race relations, urban planning, sports, and politics.

At the completion of this course, students should be able to...

  • discuss the genesis and significance of various reform/social movements launched and sustained in the city over time – to abolish slavery; to establish public libraries and schools; to achieve equal rights for women; and to ensure better treatment of wage-workers, those suffering mental illnesses, and the poor.
  • explain how the arrival of immigrants to the city in the nineteenth century was greeted by more established residents and eventually changed the balance of power in Boston, and how in the early 21st century Boston became a "majority-minority" city. 
  • trace the history of Boston’s physical development and explain the significance of important events in the city’s planning history such as the filling of the Back Bay, the creation of the Emerald Necklace, the demolition of the West End, and the Big Dig.
  • explain how the controversy over busing in the mid-1970s revealed deep-seated racial and class antagonisms in the city.

This is an online/virtual synchronous course that follows the published schedule of course meetings and requires attendance at all sessions. Tufts virtual courses are designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive courses to Tufts and visiting students. For more information about virtual course policies and expectations, please visit 

This section is also open to rising high school students who are 11th or 12th grade students. High School students who enroll will be prompted to submit an additional application after enrollment including: a high school transcript, letter of recommendation, parental permission, and other required consent forms.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: None.

Refund Policy: The refund policy for Courses at Tufts offerings is dependent on the offering type: whether the offering is a course, workshop or short course, or in-demand offering. Please refer to the section details to confirm the type of offering as well as any exceptions to the standard refund policy. The refund policies for each offering type are viewable here:

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences