The Major in History
A major in history informs students about the past. It also stimulates thoughtful reading, provokes clear thinking, enlivens critical capacities, and promotes good writing. Historical study provides an outstanding preparation for informed citizenship in an increasingly complex and interdependent world and a firm foundation for many career objectives. To these ends, the department encourages students to work closely with faculty to construct challenging, coherent, and integrated programs of study.
The major program is structured flexibly to achieve breadth while permitting students to specialize in an area that is of particular interest. In consultation with their faculty adviser, students should plan a program that combines small, specialized classes with large introductory ones. Students are encouraged to explore new areas by taking courses that focus on periods and regions with which they are not familiar.
Many history majors choose to study abroad, and faculty advisers are happy to work with students in incorporating foreign study into their major.
The requirements for the history major are as follow:
1. Eleven history courses of 3 or 4 credits each, taken for a letter grade.
a. one in pre-1700 European history (HIEU).
b. one in post-1700 European history (HIEU).
c. one in U.S. history (HIUS).
d. two from one or more of the following fields: Africa (HIAF), East Asia (HIEA), Latin America (HILA), Middle East (HIME), South Asia (HISA).
e. one Major Seminar (HIXX 4501 or 4502) or Major Colloquium (HIXX 4511 or 4512).
i. Major Seminars and Colloquia are offered in a wide range of topics. Students should select a Major Seminar or Colloquium whose topic is familiar to them based on their work in at least two previous History courses.
ii. A grade of “C” or better is required for the Major Seminar or Colloquium to count toward the major.
f. five electives – that is, five courses chosen from among the total offerings of the department.
2. Of the eleven courses required for the major:
a. five – including the Major Seminar or Colloquium – should be numbered 3000 or above.
b. no more than six may be taken in any one field of history. (For purposes of this requirement, each History Department mnemonic – i.e., HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, and HIUS – represents a distinct field of history.)3. No more than two 1500-level seminars may be counted toward the major.
4. Courses with the General History (HIST) mnemonic count as electives for purposes of the major, except HIST 4501/4502 and HIST 4511/4512 courses, which fulfill the Major Seminar or Major Colloquium requirement.
5. One Advanced Placement (AP) History course with a score of 4 or 5 may be applied toward the major. The AP credits should appear on the student’s transcript or Academic Requirements form with a History Department mnemonic in order to be applied toward the major.
6. Up to four approved transfer courses may be applied toward the major. The transfer credits should appear on the transcript or Academic Requirements form with a History Department mnemonic in order to be applied toward the major. (For approval of and questions about transfer credits, contact the department’s Transfer Credit Adviser.)
7. Courses taken in other departments may not be counted toward the major unless cross-listed in the History Department (e.g., ECON 2061/HIUS 2061).
8. Students should maintain a GPA of 2.0 in the major.
9. Before declaring the major, a student should have completed at least one university-level (i.e., UVa or transfer) history course with a grade of “C” or better. This course may be counted toward the eleven required for the major. AP credits may not be used to satisfy this prerequisite.
The Minor in History
Students in virtually any field will find a minor in history to be a valuable complement to their major. History bridges disciplines. It encourages students to consider a society in all its aspects—political, economic, social, moral, and aesthetic. Above all, history teaches an appreciation of change and continuity over time. Classes in history help develop skills in communicating ideas and evaluating arguments. With good reason, history is a fundamental part of a liberal education.
The requirements for the history minor are as follows:
1. Six History Department courses of 3 or 4 credits each, taken for a letter grade.
2. Courses should be distributed in at least three geographic fields. For purposes of this requirement, the geographic fields are: Africa (HIAF), East Asia (HIEA), Europe (HIEU), Latin America (HILA), Middle East (HIME), South Asia (HISA), and United States (HIUS).
3. No more than three General History (HIST) courses may be counted toward the minor.
4. At least two courses should be numbered 3000 or above.
5. Courses taken in other departments may not be counted toward the minor unless cross-listed in the History Department (e.g., ECON 2061/HIUS 2061).
6. All six courses must be taken in residence at the University or on approved study-abroad programs taught by a member of the History faculty.
7. There are no prerequisites for the minor.
The minor in history consist of six courses. These must be distributed in at least three areas of history, and at least two courses must be numbered 300 or above. All courses counted for the minor must be taken in residence at the University.