Comprehensive and Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirements

History majors may satisfy the U.C. Santa Cruz comprehensive requirement, and the disciplinary communication (DC) general education requirement, in one of two ways:

Research Seminar (Required)
One quarter: 190 series, 194 series, or 196 series

In courses designated as History 190, 194, or 196, students participate in a small discussion-based research seminar, which provides an opportunity to acquire experience in practical research skills while developing a research project culminating in the writing of a substantial research paper. Seminars require submission of written work totaling approximately 25 pages and satisfy the disciplinary communication (DC) general education requirement.

History 190, 194, and 196 courses are restricted to declared history majors with junior or senior standing. Students are required to complete the Entry Level Writing Requirement, HIS 100, Historical Skills and Methods, and two additional upper-division history courses before they make take a seminar course. Individual seminar courses may have additional enrollment restrictions or prerequisites. Students should consult the History Course Catalog for more information about each of the History 190, 194, and 196 seminar courses offered.

Seminars must be taken in a student's chosen geographic region of concentration — Americas and Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Mediterranean World — to satisfy their comprehensive requirement. Students should consult the History Catalog of Course Requirements to identify seminars in their region of concentration.

Thesis (Optional)
Two quarters: HIS 195A, Thesis Research and HIS 195B, Thesis Writing

Preparing for Your Thesis

Students must complete at least one research seminar (HIS 190, 194, or 196 course) in their region of concentration before undertaking an independent, two quarter thesis project. Students are advised to complete their seminar by the end of their junior year. When possible, seminars should be taught by the student's intended primary thesis adviser.

In extraordinary circumstances, students may petition the History Department for an exception to this requirement. Students who are granted an exception to the seminar requirement will satisfy the U.C. Santa Cruz comprehensive requirement and the disciplinary communication (DC) general education requirement after successfully completing both HIS 195A, Thesis Research, and HIS 195B, Thesis Writing.

Students who want to write a thesis need to begin planning well in advance. Students must first find two faculty members, a primary thesis adviser and a second reader, to sponsor and advise on the thesis project. Students are advised to meet with appropriate history faculty members to discuss potential thesis topics and the feasibility of their proposed project as soon as possible. Once a thesis adviser and a second reader have been secured and a research topic defined, students must submit a senior thesis proposal to the department for consideration. Proposals are due at least one quarter before the start of the research quarter (see exact deadlines below).

Formatting and Submitting Your Thesis

Penultimate drafts must be submitted to the thesis adviser and second reader no later than the eighth week of classes during the thesis-writing quarter (see exact deadlines below).

Completed theses must be at least 40 pages in length. The final version of your thesis must be submitted in PDF format to the History Department Undergraduate Program Coordinator (historyundergrad@ucsc.edu) by the last day of the thesis-writing quarter (see exact deadlines below).

Your thesis must include a title page (see sample title page) which follows departmental formatting guidelines: 

  1. thesis title;
  2. author name;
  3. University of California, Santa Cruz;
  4. Department of History
  5. date;
  6. faculty sponsor names and signatures (electronic signatures are permitted)
  7. The following statement: “This thesis has been completed to departmental standards and is submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Bachelor of Arts in History.”

The second page of your thesis must include a brief (one paragraph) abstract or description of the work.

Students must receive a grade of C or better in both HIS 195A and 195B to satisfy the comprehensive requirement and the disciplinary communication (DC) general education requirement.

Download a Senior Thesis Guidelines and Proposal Packet (PDF) for more information about completing a Senior Thesis.

2020-2022 Thesis Deadlines

thesis deadlines
Thesis Quarters
Fall 2020/Winter 2021 Winter/Spring 2021 Spring/Fall 2021 Fall 2021/Winter 2022
Proposal Due: May 8, 2020 November 13, 2020 February 12, 2021 May 7, 2021
Penultimate Draft Due: February 22, 2021 May 17, 2021 November 15, 2021 February 21, 2022
Completed Thesis Due: March 19, 2021 June 10, 2021 December 10, 2021 March 18, 2022