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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 find and interpret evidence from diverse sources, bring mountains of information into coherent focus and express our insights clearly and subtly.

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

IMPORTANT UPDATES TO THE MAJOR:

  • As part of the curricular revisions, most HIST 199s have been renumbered as 200-level courses. The history department will continue to offer classes under the HIST 199 category and these courses will continue to count for FSHT.  However, the 199 category will be reserved for newly-hired faculty, and contingent or visiting faculty. 
  • History courses taken before we renumbered them and had them approved for FSHT cannot retroactively satisfy the FSHT requirement.  This is not negotiable.
  • Changes to the history major requirements only apply to UR students admitted to UR in 2021 or later. [In other words, if you have already declared your history major—NONE of the changes apply to you!]
  • There are no changes to the history minor requirements.
  • If you already took a HIST 199 class you may not take it again now that it has been renumbered to HIST 2xx.
  • The only HIST 400 in 2022-2023 will be Dr. Kahn’s HIST 400: Genocide, W 3-5:40pm. Rising seniors, plan your schedule accordingly. Instructor’s permission is required to register for this course.

History Major Requirements for students admitted to UR before 2021:

Students must take at least 7 (seven) units above the 100-level.  Of those seven units, one must be a HIST 400-Research Seminar for majors and two must be HIST 300 – level courses.  No more than two HIST 199 courses will be accepted for major credit.  Here is the full breakdown:

  • You must have 10 units to complete the major
  • A grade of not lower than C (2.0) is required in each course of the major.
  • At least one unit at the HIST 400 level (HIST 400-Research Seminar for Majors)
  • At least two units at the HIST 300 level
  • At least one HIST 199-Foundations of Historical Thinking course. [If you are a current history major and have not taken any HIST 199s yet, you can satisfy this requirement with an FSHT-approved HIST 200- course.]
  • At least seven units must be above the 100 level. Students may count no more than two HIST 199 courses toward a history major
  • Regional Distributions: One course each in US history, European history, and the histories of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East or Africa.
    • History courses at the 100, 200 and 300 level may be applied to the U.S., Europe, and Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern or African history requirement.
  • A 5 on AP/IB on the US and European history exams will only count towards HIST 199.
  • Students may apply to the major up to two courses from study abroad for a semester’s study, three for a year’s study.
  • You cannot double up credit by taking a senior seminar in CLST and have it count as your History senior seminar. You must take a senior seminar in the History Department.

Major Requirements for students admitted to UR in 2021 or later:

Students must take at least 8 (eight) units at the HIST 200 level or above. Of those eight units, one must be a HIST 400-Research Seminar for majors and two must be HIST 300 – level courses.  No more than two HIST 199 courses will be accepted for major credit.  Here is the full breakdown:

  • You must have 10 units to complete the major
  • A grade of not lower than C (2.0) is required in each course of the major.
  • At least one unit at the HIST 400 - level (HIST 400 - Research Seminar for Majors)
  • At least two units at the HIST 300 - level
  • At least eight of your ten courses need to be at the 200 - level or above.
  • Regional Distributions: One course each in US history, European history, and the histories of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East or Africa.
    • History courses at the 100, 200 and 300 level may be applied to the U.S., Europe, and Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern or African history requirement.
  • No more than two HIST 199 courses will be accepted for major credit.
  • A 5 on AP/IB on the US and European history exams will only count towards HIST 199.
  • Students may apply to the major up to two courses from study abroad for a semester’s study, three for a year’s study.
  • You cannot double up credit by taking a senior seminar in CLST and have it count as your History senior seminar. You must take a senior seminar in the History Department.

The History Minor:

Note: A grade of not lower than C (2.0) is required in each course of the major.
Five units, with no more than two at the 100 level. At least three of the minors five courses must be taken in residence in the history department of the University of Richmond. No more than two courses for the minor can be drawn from study abroad.

Course lists. A list of 2022-2023 History courses by category is on the History homepage at http://history.richmond.edu/courses/upcoming-fall-courses.html and http://history.richmond.edu/courses/upcoming-spring-courses.html

       The Spring Semester schedule is tentative and incomplete, thus subject to change.

Internships. Internships are available at the many libraries, museums, and historic sites in the Richmond area. See http://history.richmond.edu/internships/index.html. If you wish to do an internship, please consult with Professor Watts right away. Do not delay, as securing an internship involves applying to, and having an interview at, your chosen agency.

Directed study. To qualify to take History 401 Directed Study, you must have completed five History courses. To register, you must secure agreement from a faculty member to direct your work in a specific program of study

Sabbaticals & Leaves. Professor Seeley and Professor Bischof will be on leave for some or all of the 2022-23 academic year.

Research Seminar. The only HIST 400 research seminar will be offered in Fall 2022

  • HIST 400 - Researching Genocide. Professor Kahn. As the required senior seminar of the history major, this course poses the central question: how do we research the history of genocide? Focusing heavily on the craft of writing and revision itself, the course guides students toward the step-by-step production of an original thesis-driven 25-page research paper on a topic of their choosing related to the history of genocide that is grounded in primary sources and situated within secondary literature. The papers must be rigorously researched, astutely analyzed, sensibly organized, and elegantly written. Class time is devoted not only to discussion of assigned readings, but also to practical research and writing workshops, individual meetings with the instructor, and extensive peer review of classmates’ works-in-progress.

Related courses. History majors are always encouraged to take courses in such related disciplines as Religious Studies, English, Political Science, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Art History.

Computer Science
Major

The History Major

A grade of not lower than C (2.0) is required for each course in the major. At least 8 units must be at the 200-level or above. At least two courses must be at the 300-level. No more than two 100-level courses will be accepted for major credit.

10 units

  • One unit in U.S. history

  • One unit in European history

  • One unit in the histories or Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, or Africa

  • HIST 400 Research Seminar

  • Six electives in history

Minor

The History Minor

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

5 units, with no more than two at the 100 level. Three of the five courses in the minor must be taken in residence in the history department of the University of Richmond. No more than two courses for the minor can be drawn from study abroad.