Undergraduate Program

Majoring in History

Dr. Liam Kelley, Undergraduate Coordinator

History is the study of the past. In examining the past we learn about how the world we live in today emerged. At the same time, we also sharpen a number of critical skills. Historians study complex historical processes and developments. They learn to deal with ambiguity and conflicting points of view. They read and analyze documents and other primary source materials in their historical contexts, and they write fact-based papers that synthesize large amounts of information. Majoring in history is thus an excellent way to prepare for a career in any number of diverse fields which require people to think critically and communicate effectively, such as teaching, journalism, law, politics, government service, public relations, library and information sciences, publishing or business.

In addition to these general aspects concerning the study of history, the Department of History curriculum also emphasizes the following specific student learning outcomes:

1. Students can explain historical change and continuity.

2. Students can develop a clear argument using recognized historical methods.

3. Students can write clear expository prose and present their ideas orally according to disciplinary conventions.

4. Students can interpret and use primary sources.

5. Students can identify the main historiographical issues in a specific area of concentration.

Download the Student Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Map


Requirements for the History Major

To fulfill the requirements for the major, students must complete, with a grade of C* or better, 33 credit hours of history at the 200-level and above as follows:

• Five courses (15 credit hours) in one of four fields (United States, Asia/Pacific, Europe, or Comparative/World), or what is called the student’s “area of focus”

• One upper-division course (3 credit hours) in each of the other three fields

• HIST 396** and 496***

• One additional history course

Note: no more than two 200-level courses (6 credit hours) can be applied to the major. Further, 200-level courses can only be counted toward the major in the student’s area of focus or as the one additional history course. 100-level courses do not apply, however we encourage History majors to take HIST 151 and 152 to fulfill the College’s FG requirement.

* Required grade is "C" or better (a "C-" will not meet this requirement)
** 396 prerequisite: any 300- or 400-level HIST course
*** 496 prerequisite: 396 and any 400-level HIST course

Download the History Department Requirements Form


How to Declare History as Your Major

Fill out the Major Request Form and bring it to the undergraduate coordinator during his office hours, or contact him to make an appointment. At this meeting you will be assigned an advisor in your field of focus. This is someone whom you can seek advice from concerning your plan of study, and when you prepare to graduate you will need to get your advisor’s signature on the Goldenrod.

Note: if you have transferred to UH and declared history as your major when you did so, you still need to make an appointment with the undergraduate coordinator to declare your area of focus and to get assigned an advisor.

Download the Declaration of Major Form


Completing the Goldenrod

Approximately one semester before graduating, you must fill out, and have signed by your advisor, a form called a Goldenrod (which can be requested at the History Office, Sakamaki A-203 or from the undergraduate adviser). On this form you will write down all of the history courses which you have completed, as well as indicate if there are any more which you still need to take before graduating. You will then need to set up an appointment with your advisor. Bring the Goldenrod and a printout from STAR (showing a record of your completed history courses) to this meeting. Your advisor will then check to make sure that the Goldenrod is correct and that you will have completed all requirements for the major by the time you are scheduled to graduate.


Requirements for the History Minor

The minor requires the successful completion with a grade of C or better of 15 credit hours of upper division history courses (history courses 300 level or higher).


How to Declare History as Your Minor

Fill out the Verification of Academic Minor Form and bring it to the undergraduate coordinator during his office hours, or contact him to make an appointment, for him to verify and sign. Be sure to do this before graduation!

Download the Verification of Academic Minor Form