History Major Requirements, Fall 2015 - Spring 2018

Pont du Gard, France. Photo Contributed by Benh Lieu Song

The history major does not have any qualification requirements. Students who plan on majoring in history are encouraged to declare as soon as possible. It is advisable to complete at least one lower-division history course before declaring, but it is not required.


What are Catalog Years?

"Catalog years" or "catalog rights" are terms that describe the degree requirements in effect for a specific academic year. You may choose to complete the degree requirements in effect the year you started at UCSC or the requirements established in subsequent years.

More information about Catalog Rights may be found on the UCSC Office of the Registrar website. Questions about your history major catalog year may be directed to the History Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

Major Requirements, Catalog Years Fall 2015 - Spring 2018

The history major requires a minimum of 12 courses. At least eight of the 12 required courses must be upper-division. A maximum of four courses, including the introductory survey course, may be lower-division.

The history curriculum offers three broad, geographically defined regions of concentration:

Each history major selects one of the three regions of concentration listed above as their area of emphasis. In consultation with the history faculty and the history undergraduate program coordinator, the student plans a program of study that will fulfill the following distribution of courses:

Region of Concentration (5 courses + 1 comprehensive requirement)

I. At least one lower-division introductory survey course within their chosen region of concentration:

  • Americas/Africa: History 10A, 10B, 11A, 11B, or 30
  • Asia/Islamic World: History 40A, 40B, 41, or 44
  • Europe: History 65A, 70A, or 70B

Transfer courses may or may not satisfy the survey course requirement; consult with the history undergraduate program coordinator.

II. Four additional courses in the chosen region of concentration, three of which must be upper-division

III. One comprehensive (exit) requirement: All students must complete either a research/readings seminar (HIS 190, 194, or 196), OR a senior thesis (HIS 195A and 195B) in their area of concentration

Historical Skills and Methods (1 course)

IV. HIS 100, Historical Skills and Methods

HIS 100 introduce history majors to historical methods and provides preparation for advanced historical research. Students develop critical reading, historical analysis, research, and disciplinary writing skills.

Breadth Requirements (4 courses)

V. Two courses from each of the remaining two regions of concentration

Upper-Division Elective (1 course)

VI. One additional upper-division history course from any of the three regions of concentration

Distribution Requirements

Of the 12 courses required for the major, at least three must meet chronological distribution requirements. One must be set before 600 A.D., and two must be set in periods prior to the year 1800 A.D.

Double Major

Pursuing a double major is a highly individual decision, and should be based on a student's educational and career goals. For many students, pursuing a single major and including internships, research opportunities, or more classes than are required in their major discipline is just as challenging and rewarding as a double major, if not more so.

Intensive Major Option

The intensive major offers students a pathway to enrich their study of history, refine their skills in writing and research, and receive a designation on their transcripts that signals their ambition and accomplishment to potential employers and graduate schools.

A student becomes eligible for a double major by satisfying the minimum degree requirements for each major. To pursue a double major program, you must file a quarterly academic plan that shows you are able to complete all of your double major requirements within the maximum number of quarters of enrollment available to you at UCSC.

Upper-division courses applied toward a second major/minor may or may not also be applied to the history major requirements. Read the UC Santa Cruz Academic Senate "Double Counting" policy and consult with the history undergraduate program coordinator if you'd like to share upper-division courses between multiple majors or minors.

Course Substitutions

History majors must take a minimum of six regularly scheduled history courses, including the comprehensive exit and disciplinary communication (DC) requirements, from members of the UCSC History Department faculty. Intensive history majors must complete a minimum of eight. Subject to the limits and restrictions indicated in each category, the following courses may be petitioned to satisfy history major requirements:

Advanced Placement (AP) History

The university grants credit for College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations on which a student scores 3, 4, or 5. This credit is applied toward the 180 credit graduation requirement, and in some cases also satisfies general education requirements. AP scores do not satisfy history major requirements.


Undergraduate Program Director
Associate Professor Catherine Jones
Office: Stevenson College, room 272
Email: catjones@ucsc.edu

Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Stephanie Sawyer
Office: Humanities 1, room 201
Email: historyundergrad@ucsc.edu

See Also