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History Major & Minor

We study history because:

  • It’s just plain interesting. It’s about people trying to get on in life in all manner of circumstances in every corner of the globe, especially about how they created and responded to change.  How can we not be attracted to such human stories?
  • It’s practical in a broad sense.  Exploring how people in the past constructed, tried to live in, and changed their social, political, and symbolic worlds makes us more adept at understanding our own changing world.  Working on how and why things happened the way they did in the past makes us better at figuring out how and why things are happening the way they are now.
  • It’s practical in a narrow sense.  Studying history not only develops our ability to analyze the ever changing factors influencing human thought and action, it also teaches us how to bring mountains of information into coherent focus and express ourselves clearly and subtly.

The study of history is an excellent foundation for practically anything you want to do with your life.  

The History Major

Note: A grade of not lower than C (2.0) is required in each course comprising the major.

10 units, including

HIST 199 Elements of Historical Thinking
One course in United States history
One course in European history
One course in Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern or African (ALAMEA) history
HIST 400 Research Seminar for Majors
Two units at the 300-level
Three additional history electives


  • At least seven units must be above the 100 level. Students may take no more than two HIST 199 courses.
  • History courses at the 100, 200 and 300 level may be applied to the U.S., Europe, and ALAMEA requirement.
  • Students may apply to the major up to two courses from study abroad for a semester's study, three for a year's study.

The History Minor

Note: A grade of not lower than C (2.0) is required in each course comprising the minor.

5 units, with no more than two at the 100 level and no more than two taken abroad.