History

Bachelor of Arts
School of Arts and Humanities

As a field of study, History provides students with many of the necessary skills for a productive professional career and an intellectually fulfilling life. Toward these ends, the History major attempts to provide students with the ability to think and read critically and analytically, to form sound opinions and support them with logical arguments based on documentary evidence, to communicate ideas effectively, and to conduct historical research. The History major further attempts to provide students with a body of historical knowledge that will enable them to understand contemporary events of local, national, and global importance, as well as to understand and appreciate the various cultures and civilizations that make up the world community. Above all, the History major helps to provide students with the means for lifelong learning.

By combining the development of specific skills with the acquisition of a body of historical knowledge, the History major prepares students for successful careers in primary and secondary education (history and social studies), business and industry, and governmental service. The major also prepares students for graduate study in history, law, and other academic and professional fields.

Students majoring in History are required to complete 36 credit hours in History, 20 credits of which must be in one of the following areas of specialization:

  • U.S. History
  • European History
  • 19th-Century Studies
  • 20th-Century Studies

At least 16 of the 20 credit hours toward the area of specialization must be at the 300 level (or higher). At least 4 of the 20 credit hours must be at the 400 level.

Students majoring in History must also complete HIST 200: Reading and Writing in History. Note: HIST 200 must be completed before any student (major or nonmajor) completes 13 credit hours in History.

Students of History are strongly advised to acquire reading proficiency in at least one foreign language. Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language is essential for all students who intend to apply to graduate school.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

Each student must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English as specified by the Language Requirement for Students with Majors in the School of Arts and Humanities.

INTEGRATIVE STUDIES REQUIREMENTS

40 credits minimum

History courses completed to fulfill major requirements may also count toward fulfillment of Integrative Studies in Humanities.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

36 credits

4 credits at the 100 level
8 credits at the 200 level, including HIST 200
16 credits at the 300 level
8 credits at the 400 level
20 credit hours must be completed in one of the following areas of specialization:

  • U.S. History
  • European History
  • 19th-Century Studies
  • 20th-Century Studies

At least 16 credit hours toward the area of specialization must be at the 300 level (or higher) and at least 4 of the 20 credit hours must be at the 400 level. All History majors must complete 8 credit hours in non-U.S./non-European history.

Certification as a Social Studies Teacher

Dual Major in Education

  • Secondary Education

Additional Major Requirements

  • One course in U.S. history
  • One course in non-U.S./non-European history
  • ISECON 104 Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • Select one of the following:
    • ISGEOG 101 World Regional Geography
    • GEOG 105 Geography for Teachers
  • Select one of the following:
    • 100- to 200-level course in Sociology
    • ISANTH 110 Cultural Anthropology
  • Select one of the following:
    • ISPOSC 210 U.S. Politics
    • ISPOSC 220 Global Politics
  • PSYC 101 General Psychology

ELECTIVES

Select courses to reach a total of 120 credits for the degree.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

120 credits

History Honors Program

Motivated history majors may have the opportunity to participate in an advanced program of study concentrating on professional research and writing skills. Students who meet the program requirements and high disciplinary standards as determined by the faculty of the History Department will graduate with Honors in History. The program will require students to engage in an intensive study of relevant primary and scholarly secondary sources, formulate an original argument, and defend it in a substantial thesis project. Students who participate in the History Honors Program must complete all requirements for the History major, including a sequence of Honors Independent Studies over the course of two semesters, beginning the first semester of their senior year. These courses may be applied for course credit within the History major.

Admission to the Honors Program will be based on the following criteria:

  • Students must have a minimum 3.2 GPA overall and a minimum 3.5 GPA in the major.
  • Prior to the end of their junior year, students will submit writing samples, which will be evaluated by the department as a whole; approval of the writing sample will be based on criteria agreed on by the members of the department.
  • Students must have a thesis proposal approved by the members of their Honors committee before the end of the schedule adjustment period during the first semester of their senior year. Each student's honors committee will be composed of three members - one primary and two secondary advisors. The precise composition of the committee will be agreed on by the student and faculty members.

Participation in the History Honors Program will culminate in an oral defense of the Honors thesis, which will be adjudicated by the student's committee members. Following the defense, committee members will meet privately to determine the outcome of the defense. Members can choose between three outcomes: pass with honors, pass with no honors, fail.

Students whose defense of their Honors theses pass with honors, and who have maintained a minimum major GPA of 3.5 and a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, will graduate with Honors in History.

Students taking part in the program will take two Honors designated courses in sequence, starting the first semester of their senior year. Honors students will be required to take HIST 498 Honors Thesis Research (4 credits) first semester senior year and conclude with HIST 498 Honors Thesis Writing (4 credits) during the second semester of their senior year. These classes will be conducted under the current program rubric as Independent Studies. In HIST 498 Honors Thesis Research, students will conduct intensive research into their approved topic, being directed by and reporting progress to their Honors Committee, in a form deemed suitable by the members of the committee (e.g., bibliographical essays, annotated bibliography, scholarly book reviews, etc.). In HIST 498 Honors Thesis Writing, students will compose an honors thesis, under the supervision of their Honors Committee, which will be evaluated in accord with professional scholarly standards. HIST 498 Honors Thesis Writing will culminate, as explained above, in an oral defense adjudicated by the members of their Honors Committee. Both HIST 498 Honors Thesis Research and HIST 498 Honors Thesis Writing will receive letter grades.

Under certain circumstances, to be determined by the department, students can apply to the History Honors Program one semester early in order to complete the sequence of required courses before the final semester of their senior year.