Program of Study
History interprets the past for the present by exploring the institutions, ideas, cultures, and creations of men and women in the context of time and place.
It is focused on change over time; both change of the subjects of study and of historians’ attempts to make sense of those subjects. History ranges over all of recorded human experience, drawing from and placing in context the achievements of the arts, sciences, social sciences, and other humanities.
The student of history will learn to evaluate evidence critically, to sift and organize evidence fairly and persuasively, to analyze the evidence for its patterns and meanings, and to integrate this into a broad scope of human experience. Historical study provides perspective, helping individuals to place their own lives, values, and world events in context, and to recognize the processes of change that have brought them to the present.
Working from these general principles and the special strengths of its faculty, the history department has designated the following 5 specific outcomes of a major in history.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in History will be able to:
- Develop historical research questions, formulate appropriate research strategies, and critically evaluate evidence about the past;
- Develop and defend historical arguments, demonstrating an understanding of different theoretical approaches to historical interpretation;
- Effectively communicate, in clear and convincing prose, an understanding of the causes of historical change;
- Evaluate the influence of new digital and multimedia formats on the practice and presentation of history; and
- Describe several varieties of experience found in the historical record and explain why diversity is a critical component of history.
History majors find careers in a great variety of fields. History is a traditional preparation for law, foreign service, teaching, public affairs, journalism, and work in museums or historical societies. History majors hold such diverse positions as presidents of banks, personnel officers, senators, network news anchors, purchasing agents, city managers, judges, business owners, and public safety officers. In addition, there is a growing arena of careers directly related to history—museum directors, curators, historical consultants, archivists, historical site administrators, and historic preservation officers. Both government agencies and private corporations hire historians to research, analyze, and organize their records. Many of these latter careers require some graduate work in history.
Preparation for the Major
Completion of twelve (12) units of lower-division history study, which must include two two-course sequences, each focusing on a different world area. Completion of the lower-division general education requirements, especially the writing composition course, is also strongly recommended prior to undertaking upper-division coursework.
In addition to the lower-division courses completed as preparation, the major requires thirty-three (33) upper-division units, including successful completion of HIST 301 and a 400-level history seminar course. Of these units, one course must have the majority of its content before 1800. Courses in the major must be taken from at least three different world areas that include: Africa, Ancient, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, United States, and Comparative/Transnational History. One course must have considerable content on Women’s History/Gender. All history courses counted toward the major, including Preparation for the Major courses, must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. No more than three (3) units of internship may be counted toward the major.
Single-Subject Preparation for Teaching Option
Students interested in majoring in History and teaching at the secondary level may elect the Single-Subject Preparation for Teaching Option. Successful completion of this option will allow students to waive the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) in History/Social Science. For certification of this option, students must maintain a 2.7 GPA both in overall work and in all courses used to complete the major and option.
Preparation for the Major (12 Units)
Refer to explanation of units in the section that follows. These may simultaneously fulfill major preparation and General Education requirements.
- Two history sequences in two different world areas Units: 12
Major Requirements (33 Units)
- HIST 301 - Historical Methods and Writing Units: 3 Strongly recommended to be taken at the beginning of the junior year.
- Nine (9) 300-level History courses Units: 27
- 400-level History seminar course Units: 3
Total (33 Units)
Of the 33 units:
- One course must have the majority of its content before 1800.
- Courses must be taken from at least three areas that include: Africa, Ancient History, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, United States, and Comparative/Transnational History.
- Note: One course must have considerable content on Women’s History/Gender.
Note: requirements a,b,c may be fulfilled simultaneously with other upper-division History requirements.
Lower-Division Preparation for the Major
Thirty units in lower-division courses including:
Related Breadth Courses Including: U.S. Government
Economics Including Macro/Micro Economics:
Supporting Social Science Courses:
- PSYC 100 and SOC 101 recommended, but other lower- or upper-division courses in Psychology or Sociology can satisfy this requirement. Units: 6
Forty-six units in upper-division courses including:
Political Science, U.S. Focus
Political Science, Global Focus
Of the above, courses must be taken from at least three world areas that include: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Comparative/Transnational history
Upper-Division History Electives, U.S. Focus (6 Units)
Upper-Division History Electives, Non-U.S. Focus (12 Units)
Total (46 Units)
Note: of the history courses above:
- one course must have the majority of its content before 1800.
- one course must have considerable content on Women’s History/Gender.
- one course must have significant consideration of ethical, moral, or religious issues in history.
Choose from: HIST 306 , HIST 310A , HIST 310B , HIST 313 , HIST 317 , HIST 318 , HIST 323 , HIST 341 , HIST 343 , HIST 356 , HIST 380 , HIST 383 , HIST 388
Students must complete and submit a portfolio of their coursework with a written narrative reflecting on their pre-credential teaching experience, and must complete all of the above courses with a GPA of 2.7 or above.
Minimum Total (120 Units)
Students must take a sufficient number of elective units to bring the total number of units to a minimum of 120