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History Undergraduate Degrees

Requirements for the Major (required for students entering KU Fall 2018 or laterFor students beginning at KU prior to Fall 2018, please consult the appropriate checklist under the "Forms" tab.

The Department of History is organized into 10 fields of study. For the purposes of the undergraduate major, these fields are divided into two categories, reflecting a Western or non-Western orientation. Some courses can provide credit in either category.

Category I

  • Ancient
  • Medieval
  • Modern Western Europe
  • Russia/Eastern Europe
  • United States

Category II

  • Africa and Middle East
  • East Asia
  • Latin America
  • Native America

The minimum requirement for a major in history consists of 36 credit hours representing both Categories I and II, as follows:

  1. HIST 301 The Historian's Craft
  2. A Minimum of four courses (12 hours), each, in Category I or Category II
  3.  HIST 696: Senior Research Seminar or HIST 690/691: Honors Thesis Seminar
  4. A minimum of 21 hours (excluding HIST 301 & HIST 696) must be at taken at 300-699 level. At least six of these hours are required to be at the 500-699 level. (i.e., no more than 9 hours, 3 courses, numbered 100-299)

Exceptions to any of the above requirements must be by petition to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

We urge every major to work closely with an advisor to develop a coherent course of study that reflects his or her intellectual interests. Only two courses are required for all majors. The historical methods course, History 301 (The Historian’s Craft), is ideally taken as soon as the student decides to major in history and must be completed before a student can register for the second required course, History 696 (Senior Research Seminar). HIST 696 is normally taken during the senior year. Students with at least a 3.5 grade-point average in history may also apply to complete a 2-semester Honors Thesis class (HIST 690 and HIST 691) instead of HIST 696.

Thematic Areas

Classes offered by the Department of History touch on a variety of themes that transcend the division between Western and Non-Western History. Students are encouraged to select courses that examine areas of interest to them. Choosing courses from the same thematic area allows students to consider historical questions and problems across time and space and can help students gain an awareness for how Western and Non-Western societies have experienced similar historical issues.  The following themes reflect concentrations in the department’s undergraduate curriculum that may be of interest to students.

Black and Minority Experience in the US

  • HIST 109: The Black Experience in the Americas
  • HIST 322: LGBTQ US History, 1600-1900

Disease, Migration and Cultural Exchange

  • HIST 390: Disease in Global History: From Coronavirus to the Black Death
  • HIST 395: History of Sushi

Gender and Sexuality

  • HIST 322: LGBTQ US History, 1600-1900
  • HIST 324: History of Women and the Body

Global Powers

  • HIST 300: Modern Africa
  • HIST 314: Globalization: History & Theory
  • HIST 394: Made in China
  • HIST 570: Middle East after World War II

Pivotal Moments in the 20th Century

  • HIST 140: Global Environment: The Discovery of Environmental Change
  • HIST 340: The History of the Second World War
  • HIST 343: The Holocaust in History
  • HIST 345: Hard Times: The Depression Years in America
  • HIST 374: History of Modern American Conservatism

Just a Taste!

  • HIST 104: Introduction to African History
  • HIST 109: The Black Experience in the Americas
  • HIST 115: French Revolution to the Present
  • HIST 124: Latin American Culture and Society

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