Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences

BA in History

You’ll study the rise of American industry and the development of American labor, world wars and America’s growing influence on world affairs, the impact of immigration, the birth and explosive growth of mass culture, and the struggles to extend American democracy to excluded groups.

Our Bachelor of Arts in history program gives you an understanding of themes and context about the experience of the past. Here there is no rote and tedious memorization! Your courses and out of the classroom experiences prepares you for a broad range of careers such as business, law, education, human services, nonprofit organizations, museum work, and the arts.

About the Major


A majority of your history courses are divided among three geographically distinct fields of concentration: American history, European history, and the history of Asia and the Middle East.

To get the most out of your undergraduate study of history or if you plan to do graduate work in history, we strongly recommend enrollment in the University Honors program and to consider undertaking a senior thesis. Faculty advisors will help you develop programs of study emphasizing honors courses pertinent to the major and will direct independent studies and honors theses.

We also encourage you to consider studying for a semester abroad in your junior or senior year. The opportunity to study a country’s or region’s history “on site” is invariably a broadening and deepening experience.

Degree Requirements

You must complete 36 credits in history. These include 12 credits in required courses. To see a complete listing of classes, visit the course catalog

Core Classes

Explore a few of the exciting history course offerings.

Civilization since 1500: Making the World Modern
A study of the changing human experience with civilization during the formation of the modern world.

The United States since the Civil War Era   

History as Detection: Workshop

This workshop course employs the detective and interview methods in historical research, including artistic, popular, or interdisciplinary topics.

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Pick Your Path

You choose to concentrate in one or more of the following areas while taking a minimum number of credits in each of the other fields.  

  • American History  
  • European History  
  • History of Asia and the Middle East

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Additional Requirements

Beyond core requirements, history majors take 24 credits. Majors concentrating in American history take 9 credits in that field beyond the required courses. Majors concentrating in European history or the history of Asia and the Middle East take 12 credits in their fields. In order to guarantee a balanced history education, students take at least 3 credits in each field of concentration and are limited in the number of credits they can apply toward the major from any given field. Finally, all students take a 400-level capstone Senior Seminar, HIS 441W. Some courses overlap geographical regions and may be counted in one of two different fields. Students should consult their advisors at least once per term to make sure they are taking the appropriate courses. Learn more

Minor Requirements

History minors must complete a total of 18 credits. This includes 12 credits of electives, with at least 3 credits in each of the following fields: American history, European history, the history of Asia and the Middle East. Required courses include:

  • Civilization since 1500: Making the World Modern, or
  • Civilization to 1650: Unfolding of Traditional Civilization
  • The United States to the Civil War Era, or
  • The United States since the Civil War Era

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Learning Outcomes

Bachelor of Arts in History students will:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of modern world history at college level.
  • Analyze, interpret, and critique primary sources.
  • Analyze, interpret, and critique secondary sources.
  • Conduct research on historical subjects in primary and secondary sources.
  • Analyze statistical data, cultural sources, and maps.
  • Make presentations and lead classroom discussions.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with and proper use of digital sources.

My experience has prepared me to be an active and thoughtful member of society who can work in any field.

Abigail Dunkin '19, History

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