History Major

Students of history ask new questions, find new evidence, incorporate more voices, and reconsider old assumptions. Studying history enriches our understanding of the world by deepening our knowledge of the past and by pushing us to ask new questions that provide insight into our own time. Our History Department is committed to helping students learn to think historically, which entails asking not just what happened, but why it happened the way it did.


Major Requirements

The history major requires a minimum of 12 unique courses. At least eight of the 12 courses must be upper-division (HIS 100-199). A maximum of four courses may be lower-division (HIS 1-99).

Each history major identifies one of three geographic regions of concentration as their primary area of focus:

Major Declaration

The history major does not have any qualification requirements. Students who plan on majoring in history are encouraged to declare as soon as possible!

Select one of the geographic regions listed above to learn more about the requirements for that specific concentration.

Grade Policy

Courses applied to the history major must be completed with grades of Pass, C (2.0 GPA), or better.

A maximum of two Pass (P) courses may be applied, with the exception of the comprehensive requirement, which must be taken for a letter grade. Student are encouraged to consult the university’s Pass/No Pass policy before deciding to take courses on a Pass/No Pass basis.

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.

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 UC Santa Cruz History Department faculty. Some coursework completed via study abroad, an alternate UC Santa Cruz department, or another domestic university may be petitioned to satisfy history major requirements. Consult the Course Substitutions webpage for more information and petitioning instructions.

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 for their major 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 UC Santa Cruz.

Upper-division courses applied toward a second major/minor may or may not also be applied to the history major requirements. Review 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.


Undergraduate Program Director
Professor Alan Chrsity
Office: Cowell College Academic Building, Cowell 121
Email: achristy@ucsc.edu

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

See Also