As a history major, you’ll gain a broad understanding of past events, plus critical thinking skills and writing expertise, all of which will prepare you for a number of careers, from curator of a museum exhibit on Middle Eastern art to grant writer for a large teaching hospital. If you have a talent for languages, you could become an intelligence officer with the FBI, or you can choose to continue your education with a graduate degree in education, law or medicine.
You’ll learn through hands-on experience with professors who are genuinely excited about their subject matter. Our students have traveled to Hungary for archaeological digs and participated in building a classroom in a rural area of Guatemala. Many of our history graduates who went into the field of education have earned Teacher of the Year honors in their respective school districts.
We offer intriguing courses that let you explore specific periods in world history, as well as unique topics including piracy in the 18th century, witchcraft beliefs and superstitions, and the complex history of medicine and healing.
Faculty Profile: Sasha Turner
A book 250 years in the making
For Sasha Turner, associate professor of history, the past is anything but dusty volumes of irrelevance. After 10 years of transcontinental research in the United States, Jamaica and England, Turner recently published the multiple award-winning book, “Contested Bodies: Pregnancy, Childrearing, and Slavery in Jamaica."
For decades, Turner said, white doctors from England — “man-midwives” as they were known — stopped the Afro-Caribbean childbirth traditions and rituals of 18th-century enslaved women in Jamaica. The doctors imposed European methods to control both the women and the childbirth experience.
“I think about my research and teaching in synergetic terms — they mutually inform and reinforce each other,” said Turner, whose “Contested Bodies” earned the prestigious Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize in 2018.
“What drives me as a researcher are critical theories of race and gender, and it is most energizing to expose students to such theorizing [and] encouraging students to re-think prior knowledge about a very familiar topic, weaving critical questions of race, class and gender through course themes," said Turner.
Curriculum and Requirements
BA in History Curriculum
Students majoring in history must meet the following requirements for graduation:
|University Curriculum 1||46|
|College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum 2||21-24|
|History Core Requirements 3,4,5|
|Select four electives 300 level or above||12|
|HS 201||Historical Writing||3|
|HS 408||Seminars in History||3|
All students must complete the University Curriculum requirements.
Students must complete the College of Sciences Curriculum requirements specific to their major. See details below.
No more than three courses may be at the 100 level.
The minimum requirement (36 credits) must be met with a grade of C or better in all courses.
Some courses will fill more than one requirement. Students take a total of 36 history credits.
Note about internships: The department is able to provide student internships with area historical societies and also attempts to place qualified students in credit-related internships with area governmental organizations.
College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum
The College of Arts and Sciences offers bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. Students earning either degree must complete one foreign language through the 102-level, and all students are encouraged to pursue a balanced program of study.
In addition, students earning a bachelor of arts degree must fulfill separate requirements for breadth and depth of study.
For the breadth requirement, students must complete at least 3 credits in each of the four CAS disciplinary areas other than the area of the student’s major. These areas are fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. A course taken to fulfill the CAS breadth requirement may not also be used to fulfill a UC requirement.
For the depth requirement, students must complete at least 9 credits within a single subject area other than that of the major. (A “subject area” is identified with a catalog subject code, such as PL, CJ, WS, MA, etc.)
A student enrolled in the Accelerated Dual-Degree BA/JD or BS/JD (3+3) program is exempt from these College of Arts and Sciences requirements, with the exception of the foreign language requirement. A student pursuing a double major is likewise exempt from these College of Arts and Sciences requirements, with the exception of the foreign language requirement.
Additional course details
Explore descriptions, schedule and instructor information using the Course Finder tool.