Jan 29, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED RECORD]


The Major in History

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. Students are encouraged to explore new areas by taking courses that focus on periods, regions, and themes 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.
    1. one in pre-1700 European history (HIEU).
    2. one in post-1700 European history (HIEU).
    3. one in U.S. history (HIUS).
    4. two from one or more of the following fields: Africa (HIAF), East Asia (HIEA), Latin America (HILA), Middle East (HIME), South Asia (HISA).
    5. one Major Seminar (HIXX 4501 or 4502) or Major Colloquium (HIXX 4511 or 4512).
      1. 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.
      2. A grade of “C” or better is required for the Major Seminar or Colloquium to count toward the major.
    6. five additional courses chosen from among the total offerings of the department.
  2. Of the eleven courses required for the major:
    1. five – including the Major Seminar or Colloquium – should be numbered 3000 or above.
    2. 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 toward the major, HIST 4501/4502 or HIST 4511/4512 courses count as the Major Seminar or Major Colloquium.
  5. Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) courses:  
    • Students with AP and IB courses cannot apply both to the major.  This is a clarification of the requirements for the History major
    • One Advanced Placement (AP) History course with a score of 5 may be applied toward the major. The AP course does not fulfill departmental requirements in the fields of United States (HIUS) or European (HIEU) History.  The AP course will transfer as HIST 2000T.  This is a revision of the requirements for the History major. It is effective for all students whose AP credits transfer to the University after the Spring 2010 semester.
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) courses with a grade of 6 count as one course toward the major; courses with a grade of 7 count as two courses toward the major. The IB course will transfer as HIST 2000T, with either three or six credits. 
  1. Up to four approved transfer courses may be applied toward the major.   Courses taken before matriculation transfer toward the major if they have been approved by the University and are on SIS with a History mnemonic (HIAF, HIEA, HIEU, HILA, HIME, HISA, HIST, HIUS).  Courses taken after matriculation require departmental approval.  Consult the Transfer Credit Approval Procedure link.
  2. 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).
  3. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 in the major.
  4. 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 or IB courses do not satisfy this prerequisite.

The Minor in History

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. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. No more than three General History (HIST) courses may be counted toward the minor.
  5. At least two courses should be numbered 3000 or above.
  6. 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).

There are no prerequisites for the minor.

The Distinguished Majors Program

Students who seek independent study and directed research may apply for admission to the History Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). The program consists of a two-year course of study. In the fall of their third year participants take a special colloquium on historical theory and methodology, and follow this in the spring with a Major Seminar or Major Colloquium of their choice. The fourth year is devoted to research and writing of a substantial (60 to 90 page) thesis. Distinguished majors must fulfill all the requirements of the history major. Applications for admission to the program are normally accepted in late March of each year from second-year students who have declared – or who plan to declare – history as their major. DMP students are eligible for degrees with distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction. The level of distinction is determined by the student’s GPA inside and outside the major (a minimum GPA of 3.4 is required for a degree with distinction), the quality of the DMP thesis, and overall performance in the program. For further information, contact the DMP director or the director of undergraduate studies.

The American Studies Major

The American Studies Major offers students the opportunity to study the United States in a multidisciplinary context. History majors focusing on the United States can also major in American Studies readily and efficiently, and this double major will deepen and enrich their study of United States history in fruitful ways. Students will be admitted to the American Studies Major after a competitive application process that is normally completed at the end of their second year. Those accepted take, in their third year, two seminars that are available only to American Studies students; a fourth-year seminar in a special topic of American Studies; and seven other courses, to be chosen in consultation with the Director of American Studies, from other departments throughout the college and the university. (History majors may count some of their coursework in United States history towards the American Studies major.) For more information, please contact the Director of the American Studies Program.

Requirement for Minor in the History of Science and Technology

Please refer to the section on the Division of Science, Technology, and Society in chapter 10.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Corcoran Department of History, Nau Hall, P.O. Box 400180, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4180; (434) 924-7147; Fax: (434) 924-7891; www.virginia.edu/history.

Course Descriptions

European History

General History

United States History