Frequently Asked Questions

South Africa, David AnthonyHow do I declare the history major/minor?

Complete instructions for declaring the history major can be found here. History minor declaration instructions can be found here.  

Should I be learning a foreign language?

There is no language requirement for the history major or minor. However, proficiency in a foreign language is strongly recommended for all history students and is essential for those who plan to pursue graduate studies. Many Ph.D. programs in history require applicants to read one or two additional languages besides English. In addition, many programs offered through the Education Abroad Program (EAP) require study in an appropriate foreign language.

Can courses applied to the history major/minor requirements be taken Pass/No Pass?

As long as you are in compliance with the university's Pass/No Pass regulation then yes, you are allowed to complete 1-2 of your history major or minor courses for pass/no pass, with the exception of the Senior Comprehensive Requirement.

Is it possible to earn two degrees in history if I fulfill the requirements for multiple regions of concentration?

No, it is not possible to earn two history degrees, even if you complete all of the requirements for two separate regions of concentration. Regions of concentration are tools built into the history major requirements that help you focus your area of study in an otherwise broad discipline. In other words, regions of concentration are not distinct and separate majors and therefore can not be pursued as separate degree programs. There is only one history degree to work towards.  

Can I take classes outside the department and use them towards my degree?

Yes, with approval from a faculty member from your chosen region of concentration. Consult the Transfer Credits and Course Substitutions webpage.  

My schedule doesn't allow me to come to the first day of class. Is that ok?

No! Students who don’t show up on the first day of class get dropped from the course. That clears up space for the students who are still hoping to enroll. If attending the most important day of the quarter isn’t high on your list of priorities, your enrollment in the course isn’t high on the instructor's.  

I’ve scheduled something for the day of the mid-term, final, or one of the quizzes. Can I take the test another time?

No. You can’t. The only instances in which instructors arrange for a special exam are for DRC students and in cases of a verifiable personal or family emergency. DRC students are required to identify themselves and make arrangements with their instructor within the first two weeks of the quarter. Some other situations sometimes legitimately come into play (religious observances among them), in which case, students must also identify themselves and make arrangements with their instructor within the first two weeks of the quarter.  

Should I be going to office hours?

Yes! The importance of office hours in your undergraduate career cannot be stressed enough. It is probably the first and only place where you'll receive one-on-one attention from your instructors. Office hours are great venue for introducing yourself to and building a rapport with your professors, which is essential if you plan on going to a credential program (because they are, after all, teachers!) or graduate school (because they've all been!). Office hours also provide you with the opportunity to explore topics not covered in lecture or section. Have a question? Ask your professor. They have an amazing wealth of knowledge and skill. Plus, they're generally some of the coolest people around. Office hours are posted on each faculty member's directory listing on our website's Faculty section.  

Should I be collecting letters of recommendation as an undergraduate?

Yes! If you plan on going out into the workforce or on to graduate school or a teacher credential program, you should ask your professors for letters of recommendation in your junior and senior years. This is yet another reason for going to office hours: professors can't write you decent letters if they don't know you or have forgotten you.