University Bulletin 2016-17

Majors in Arts and Sciences may be completed with a minimum of 120 semester hours unless designated otherwise. At least 30 hours of course work, which represents 25% of the required 120 hours, must be at the upper division level in order to fulfill the University's residency requirement. At least 15 of the 30 upper-division hours must be in the major or concentration area. An overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the student's major or concentration area. 

Requirements for a Major in History Credit Hours
A minimum of 36 semester hours for the BA in History. 36
HY 101  
HY 102  
HY 135  
HY 136  
One course in African (HY 362), Asian (HY 103, 104, 283, 284, 366, 367, 368, 461), Latin American (HY 228, 321, 323, 325, 326, 429), OR Middle Eastern History (HY 364, 365, 465).  
One research seminar (HY 441, 442, or 443)  
One elective course at the 400 level  
Three elective courses at the 300 or 400 level  
Two elective courses at any level  

Majors should seek as broad an acquaintance with the varieties of historical experience as possible. A strong major program should include upper-level courses numbered 300 or above in the history of Europe, the United States, Latin America, and non-Western societies. Students pursuing a degree in History also must have a minor in another discipline.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry. CIS 150 will fulfill the technology proficiency requirement for History Majors.

General education requirements for history majors

General Education Requirements for History are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences section. Note that Area IV requirements are partially satisfied and the Sequence Requirement is fully satisfied by the major requirements specified above.

Department of History web site

Undergraduate studies

Knowledge and awareness of history and society are important ingredients of a liberal education. The Department of History offers general courses for all students, a major and a minor in history, and preparation for students who plan to continue study at the graduate level, to teach history, or to enter related fields.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry. CIS 150 will fulfill the technology proficiency requirement for History Majors.

Honors in history

To be awarded Honors in History, a student must:

  • complete the standard requirements for a major in History
  • have a 3.5 overall GPA (University requirement)
  • have a 3.5 History GPA (Department requirement)
  • receive agreement of a member of the History Department to serve as mentor
  • receive permission of the Department Chair to undertake this program
  • complete a Senior Honor Paper (HY 499), with a grade of "B" or "A", in addition to the standard History requirements. HY 499: Senior Honors Paper (six semester hours credit) may be counted toward three hours of the 36 required for a major and toward the three hours of 400-level electives required for the major. Thus, the student receiving honors in History will be required to take a total of 39 hours in History instead of 36 (In HY 499, the student will normally take three hours in Fall Semester for research and three in Spring for writing, though occasionally this may be spread out over a longer period. A final committee of three or more faculty, which may include a representative of the University Honors Program, will conduct an oral defense)

NOTE: 1) one need not be receiving University Honors to obtain Honors in History; 2) a certificate will be awarded to the student indicating that they have been awarded "Honors in History."

Graduate studies

The Master of Arts degree in History is designed to meet the varied needs of students. There are two study tracks or plans for completion of the degree: thesis, non-thesis.
Normally, those who wish to enter a Ph.D. program, law school, or certain positions in archives, government, and community college teaching positions pursue the thesis option. Other students pursuing positions where a thesis is not needed often study in the non-thesis track.
For further information on the M.A. program, see the departmental booklet Graduate Program in History, which can be found on the Department website or request one from the Department.

Requirements for admission

Students are admitted each semester. In addition to Graduate School requirements, all applicants must submit GRE scores, a statement of purpose for undertaking graduate work in History and provide three academic letters of recommendation directly to the Office of Admissions. A writing sample is also required and should be sent directly to the History Graduate Coordinator. Please contact the History Department Coordinator of Graduate Studies for more information. The following criteria supplement Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission).

Regular Admission

  1. At least twenty-one semester hours of college work in History approved by the Graduate Committee of the Department of History.
  2. An average of "B" (3.0) or better in the junior- and senior-level history courses presented in fulfillment of requirement 1.

Provisional admission

Applicants whose undergraduate preparation in History does not meet the Graduate History Committee's full approval may, at the discretion of the Committee and under the regulations of the Graduate School, be admitted provisionally and may be required to make up deficiencies in undergraduate course work in addition to fulfilling the regular degree requirements listed as follows.
To qualify for Regular Standing, a Provisional Admission student must satisfy the general requirements of this Bulletin and achieve a grade of "A" or "B" in nine consecutive semester hours of acceptable graduate course work.

Non-degree students

Students holding baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions of higher education who are not interested in earning an MA degree, or who are not yet ready to apply for Regular Admission may enroll in a Non-Degree status. A suitable background for the courses to be taken is expected. Non-Degree students may enroll only in courses offered at specific times and places. They may not enroll in directed studies courses.

Graduate assistantships

A limited number of assistantships are awarded to incoming and returning graduate students on a competitive basis. Assistantships include a tuition waiver and a stipend, for which students are asked to work 20 hours a week, usually as teaching assistants, in public history, or assisting in the University Archives. Applications for each academic year are due in the department no later than March 15.