History Requirements

  • Mission Statement

    The mission of the History Department is to cultivate within our community the lifelong habit of actively engaging and critically questioning the relationship between past, present, and future. We affirm that everyone has a history and that, as global citizens, exploring those histories matters.

    Learning Goals

    Upon graduation, Ursinus history majors will:

    1. Recognize and question their positionality and responsibility as historians in the world.

    2. Respect and investigate the ambiguity and complexity of human experience.

    3. Actively reflect on the forces and inequalities that have and continue to shape the world and our knowledge of it.

    4. Seek out and value multiple perspectives and a variety of evidence before arriving at a conclusion.

    Learning Outcomes

    Ursinus history majors will achieve these goals by:

    1. Understanding multiple historical narratives in and about the world, of which American history is but one.

    2. Understanding and explaining different and competing theoretical perspectives and cultural practices that generate/shape historical knowledge.

    3. Evaluating and critically questioning the central competing narratives, temporal constructs, and debates in global history.

    4. Accurately and persuasively communicating historical knowledge to a wide range of audiences in different media.

    5. Analyzing contemporary phenomena, including the dominant ideas, sociopolitical forces, and power dynamics that shape any given society, within historical contexts.

    6. Actively exercising collaboration and leadership skills with peers and mentors.

    7. Designing original lines of critical inquiry and selecting, analyzing and synthesizing historical evidence and theoretical perspectives to create new knowledge.

    Requirements for Majors

    History majors must take a minimum of eleven courses that fulfill the following requirements:

    1. HIST-101 or 102

    2. HIST-125 or 126

    3. Three electives

    4. HIST-200W

    5. One 300-level U.S. and American history course

    6. One 300-level non-Western history course

    7. One 300-level world and comparative history course

    8. One 300-level European and Mediterranean history course

    9. One 400-level Capstone Seminar (HIST-425W, 426W, 450W, 451W, or 475W)

    The three electives must include one U.S. and American history course, one European and Mediterranean history course, and one non-Western history course. At least two electives must be at the 200-level; the third elective may be at the 100-, 200- or 300-level.

    History majors who are approved to register for HIST/IDS-492W may count HIST/IDS-491W as their third elective. History majors completing two or more majors may count a course outside the History Department as their third elective with approval of their History Department faculty advisor. History majors may petition their faculty advisor in the department to count one Advanced Placement or transfer course as their third elective, pending syllabus review. The History Department welcomes majors transferring to Ursinus College and encourages them to consult the department chair proactively regarding transfer credits and completion of the major.

    HIST-150, HIST-250, and HIST-350 are topics courses that may also be used to fulfill major area distribution requirements relevant to their topics.

    History course numbering:

    • World/comparative history X01-X24
    • U.S. and American history X25-X49
    • Non-Western history X51-X74
    • European and Mediterranean history X75-X79, X86-X99

    The capstone, oral presentation, and writing requirements within the major are fulfilled by completing HIST-200W and HIST-425W, 426W, 450W, 451W, or 475W.


    History majors who wish to pursue study in an area or topic in greater depth, including students who are considering graduate study in history or a related discipline, may choose to complete a Concentration. Concentrations are not a requirement for history majors.

    A Concentration consists of three courses on the history of a particular area in addition to the requirements of the major, for a total of five courses in the Concentration area.

    Concentrations include:

    African and African-American history. Applicable courses include HIST-228, 251, 332, 351, 426W.

    East Asian history. Applicable courses include HIST-151, 152, 252, 254, 352, 354, 451W.

    European and Mediterranean history. Applicable courses include HIST-175, 176, 275, 276, 375, 376, 475W.

    Non-Western history. Applicable courses include HIST-151, 152, 251, 252, 254, 351, 352, 354, 451W.

    U.S. and American history. Applicable courses include HIST-125, 126, 212, 225, 226, 227, 228, 330, 332, 425W, 426W.

    World and comparative history. Applicable courses include HIST-101, 102, 202, 203, 303, 307.

    Student-Initiated Concentration: Three courses on the history of a particular area or topic in addition to two courses on the area or topic taken to fulfill the requirements of the major, for a total of five courses. Concentration and specific courses to be approved by the Chair of the History Department.

    Note: With departmental permission, a student may substitute one course from outside the History Department (or one Advanced Placement or transfer course) in fulfillment of a Concentration. Also, when appropriate, HIST-150, 250, 350, 381, 382, 400W, 450W, 491W, and/or 492W may be included in a Concentration with departmental permission.

    Requirements for Minors

    Students seeking a minor in history must complete a minimum of five courses in the department, including HIST-200W and at least one course at the 300-level or higher. One Advanced Placement or transfer course may be counted towards a minor in History.