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.
Integrative Studies Requirements
40 credits minimum
One IHHIST course completed to fulfill major requirements may also count toward fulfillment of Integrative Studies in Humanities.
HIST 200, Reading and Writing in History, is required. Students are encouraged to take History 200 as early as possible in order to facilitate their historical analytical skills particularly for use in upper level courses.
The major also requires at least six upper-level courses (300- or 400-level), at least two of which must be taken at the 400-level.
Students are required to take at least two courses in Latin American, African, Asian, and/or Native American History. At least one of the two courses must be an upper-level course.
- Self-Designed Major (in which students pursue a topic of particular interest to them that is approved by their history faculty adviser)
- War, Peace, and Society (History courses designated WPS)
- Gender, Race and Class (History courses designated GRC)
- Ideas and Beliefs (History courses designated IB)
- Media and Popular Culture (History courses designated MPC)
Note that numerous history courses have more than one designation.
Specializations will consist of 20 credits (5 courses). Four of these five courses (16 credits) must be upper-level courses and at least one of those upper level courses must be at the 400 level.
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.
Select courses to reach a total of 120 credits for the degree.
History Honors Program
Motivated history majors may have the opportunity to engage in a more rigorous program of study that demonstrates their ability to incorporate and analyze a broad range of source materials. 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 achieve a high standard of performance.
Any student who achieves a grade of at least AB (or A-) in HIST 200: Reading and Writing in History is eligible to participate in the honors program. Completion of this course with the requisite minimum grade is required before any student can proceed to the second part of the program, contracting with faculty to achieve honors in individual courses.
- Students can contract with individual History Department faculty members to make any HIST or IHHIST (300-400 level, see below) course into an honors course.
- Courses that are contracted to carry the honors designation will carry an additional workload agreed upon between the faculty member and the student. This additional course work can include: longer research papers; an annotated bibliography; required oral presentation in a forum outside of class; and/or additional sources.
- In order to earn the honors distinction for an upper-level course, contracting students must complete the agreed upon work and achieve a minimum course grade of an AB (or A-).
- In addition to the gateway course (HIST 200), students must earn honors in at least four upper-level courses (300- or- 400-level), including at least one 400-level course.
- Information on honors contracts will be kept by the director of the History Department Honors Program. When a student completes the requirements to achieve the distinction of Honors in History, the director will convey this information to the Registrar’s Office.