Richmond Home

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.  

The History Major

Note: A grade of not lower than C (2.0) is required in each course of 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 the histories of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East or Africa

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 count no more than two HIST 199 courses toward a history major.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.