History

All Majors & Minors

Requirements

  • History is essential to active and empathetic global citizenship. Rather than simply memorizing facts, Ursinus History students learn to think critically about the relationship between the past and the present. Through a diverse curriculum, they discover how different elements of human existence—economics, politics, religion, social dynamics, physical environment, and more—affect individuals and their societies. Our goals are to provide a strong foundation in research methods; to foster analytical and communication skills; and to cultivate the global and multicultural perspectives that are necessary to understand the human condition and contemporary world affairs. Our students graduate ready to engage in a globalized world.

    Through their coursework, as well as internships and other independent learning experiences in our history-rich region, our majors and minors prepare for a surprising variety of career fields. Graduates of our program go on to pursue careers in law, business, government, the Foreign Service, journalism, the health professions, and more. Those who wish to pursue a history-centered career find opportunities in high school and college teaching, as well as museums, historic sites, archives, and libraries. We proactively support our students in their pursuit of internships, independent learning experiences, and careers. Over the course of these careers, the majority of history alumni obtain graduate degrees.

    Requirements for Majors

    History majors must take a minimum of ten courses in History, at least four of which must be at the 300-level and no more than two may be at the 100-level. The following requirements must be fulfilled: HIST-200W; two courses in United States history (HIST-113, 114, 220, 222, 223, 225, 321, 322, 323, 327, 328, 329); two courses in European history (HIST-201, 205, 206, 207, 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308); two courses in non-Western history (HIST-231, 241, 244, 253, 331, 343, 344, 345, 346, 353); two courses in comparative history (HIST-261, 262, 265, 361, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369); and one 400-level capstone course. History majors must fulfill their capstone, oral presentation, and writing requirements by completing one of the following courses: HIST-401W; HIST-421W; HIST-442W; HIST-462W.

    (HIST-150, HIST-199, HIST-250 and HIST-350 are topics courses that  may also be used to fulfill major area distribution requirements relevant to their topics. HIST-212 may also be used to fulfill a 200-level major area distribution requirement.)

    All History majors are strongly encouraged by the department to participate in an approved study abroad program or to take an approved History Internship. History courses taken abroad may be counted to fulfill department requirements.

    Concentration Option

    Concentrations are not a requirement for history majors. The Concentration Option is for students 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. Concentrations will consist of three courses beyond the department’s core requirements, for a total of five courses in the Concentration area.

    Concentration Options include:

    • Concentration in African and African-American history: (113, 114, 220, 222, 223, 231, 321, 322, 323, 329, 331, 361, 367)
    • Concentration in American history:(113, 114, 220, 222, 223, 225, 321, 322, 323, 327, 328, 329)
    • Concentration in East Asian history:(241, 244, 343, 344, 345, 346, 361)
    • Concentration in European history: (201, 205, 206, 207, 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 308, 361, 368)
    • Concentration in World/Comparative history: (207, 253, 261, 262, 265, 331, 361, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369)
    • Student-initiated Concentration: Two courses in a specific area selected from the department’s core requirements, plus three additional courses appropriate to the concentration. (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 in fulfillment of a Concentration. Also, HIST-150, 199,m 250, 350, a History Internship, 400W (Research), 491–492W (Honors), and/or a 400-level seminar may be included in a Concentration, when appropriate.)

    Special Career Interests

    Graduate Study in History

    Students seeking admission to graduate programs in history should consider undertaking independent research and specializing in an area or period in addition to the requirements of the history major. Possible area specializations include: African-American history; American history; Comparative or World history; East Asian history; and European history.

    Careers in the Law

    Students who plan to seek admission to law school should acquire a faculty Pre-legal adviser. There are no specific course requirements, but prospective law students should choose electives that sharpen their reading, writing, speaking, and reasoning skills. They should also consider independent research.

    Careers in Teaching

    Students interested in teaching history or social studies at the secondary school level should inform their faculty advisers and consult the Ursinus College Education Department. Students seeking secondary school teaching certification in social studies must include HIST-262 in their curriculum. In addition, teaching candidates must take ECON-120 or 102; POL-218 and one additional Politics course; one Anthropology course; one Sociology course; and all prescribed Education courses, including EDUC-453 (Student Teaching).

    Careers in Public History

    Students wishing to pursue a career in public history, including historical preservation and museum studies, should take ART-360 and pursue historic site or museum internships. They should also consider an area or period specialization in addition to the requirements of the history major.

    Requirements for Minors

    Students seeking a minor in history must take a minimum of five courses in the department, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400-level. A maximum of two Advanced Placement or transfer courses may be counted towards a minor in History.

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