A history major provides an excellent preparation for a variety of careers including law, teaching, business and marketing, journalism and government. The stress in all parts of the program on student participation through discussion in small groups, writing and critical analysis, provides majors with skills that are highly transferable to other disciplines and employment.
The major program requires 11 courses: five core courses and six history electives. In developing our course requirements, the department has tried to balance the needs of generalists with the needs of those who have particular interests that they wish to explore. The core courses reflect the belief that all students must have a broad background within which to judge the development of particular regions and epochs (two 100-200 level surveys). All students, likewise, must have a thorough understanding of how historians pose questions and then construct projects to answer those questions (History 387 and History 388). And all students must have the opportunity to do historical research which exercises the skills they are attempting to master (History 401).
The six history electives completing the program serve to deepen student understanding of the development of a particular region or epoch, and to allow the individual to explore their unique interests. The student may select from among any of the courses advertised by the department at the 200 or 300 level, although there are guidelines to be observed. First, at least four of the six electives must be courses at the 300-level or above. Second, no student may take more than four courses in one of the departmentally defined areas: either U.S., modern European, medieval, or Latin American history. Finally, at least two of the six elective courses must contain substantial content exploring issues in the period prior to 1800.
To be accepted as a major, a student must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and grades of C or better in all history courses. Normally, students complete at least two 100 or 200 level surveys and two additional elective courses before the junior year.
For further information on the history major, the core courses, and special opportunities, click on the Advanced Information button in the menu.
The department also offers a special program in collaboration with the education department combining history with secondary education. This program has additional requirements for entry and completion and offers students multi-state certification in the teaching of social studies at the high school level. Interested students should consult the information on the program offered in the education department's website.