All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.
“Whereas other subjects may make us smarter for next time,” said the great historian of the Renaissance, Jakob Burckhardt, “the study of history makes us wiser forever.” History prepares students for careers in law, government, diplomacy, international business, nonprofit administration, and education. But history is also good preparation for any other field that requires assessing evidence and making written and oral arguments, fields including engineering, medicine, and entrepreneurship. Moreover, history opens the mind to the full range of the human experience as it has unfolded over the ages. As an academic discipline at the crossroads of the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences, history is a unique gateway to the richness of the American cultural heritage, to the immense variety of world civilizations, and to understanding what has happened in the past and why.
To declare a major in history, consult with the undergraduate student affairs adviser on the fifth floor of H&SS. In selecting your field of emphasis, you may also consult with the director of undergraduate studies or other faculty members. The fields of emphasis are as follows: Africa (HIAF), East Asia (HIEA), Europe (HIEU), Near East (HINE), Latin America (HILA), History of Science (HISC), United States (HIUS); career preparation fields for law, business, medicine, education, and global relations; and the following three thematic fields: gender and sexuality; race, ethnicity, and migration; and war, revolution, and social change. A list of courses approved for the thematic fields is available in the department office or on its website, http://history.ucsd.edu. In special cases, upon approval of the director of undergraduate studies, students may devise a different field of emphasis (e.g., economic, legal, or social history).
Basic requirements for the major are as follows:
Lower-division courses may be selected from the following:
HILD 2 A-B-C. United States History
HILD 7 A-B-C. Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.A.
HILD 10-11-12. East Asia
HILD 14. Film and History in Latin America
HILD 20R. World History: Ancient to Medieval
HILD 30. History of Public Health
HILD 40. Anthropocene 1: The Neolithic
HILD 41. Anthropocene 2: The Columbian Exchange
HILD 42. Anthropocene 3: The Industrial Revolution, 1400–1750
HILD 43. Anthropocene 4: The Great Acceleration, 1945–Present
Majors may also satisfy the lower-division requirement by completing the Revelle College Humanities Sequence or the Eleanor Roosevelt College Sequence “Making of the Modern World.” Some community college courses have been preapproved to count automatically toward the lower-division requirement. Majors may petition for other courses from other schools to count toward the lower-division requirement or for AP credits to count.
Fields of Emphasis:
Preprofessional law, business, medicine, education, and global relations
East Asia (HIEA)
Near East (HINE)
Latin America (HILA)
History of Science (HISC)
United States History (HIUS)
Gender and Sexuality
Race, Ethnicity, and Migration
War, Revolution, and Social Change
Students majoring in history will normally take at least eight of their twelve upper-division history courses at UC San Diego. Exceptions may be made for transfer students and for students participating in the EAP/OAP program.
Special independent study courses, (HI** 198) Directed Group Study, and (HI** 199) Independent Study, are available, especially for students interested in the Honors Program and in graduate study.
With the exception of 199 courses, all work in the major must be taken for a letter grade. Of the twelve upper-division courses required in the major, no more than two may be History 199 credits. Exceptions to these rules may be approved by the director of undergraduate studies.
Established in 1983, the Armin Rappaport Memorial Fund endows an annual prize for the best graduating student in the major. The recipient of the award is announced at every June commencement.
History majors are encouraged to participate in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) and the UC San Diego Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Interested students should contact the Study Abroad Office and visit the website at http://studyabroad.ucsd.edu. Financial aid can be used for EAP and OAP study and special study abroad scholarships are available.
History majors who study abroad and satisfy specified requirements may add the global concentration in history.
This concentration requires
Study Abroad: A minimum of eight units earned through Study Abroad, of which a minimum of four units would count toward the major.
Proficiency in a second language: Through the fourth quarter of university-level instruction.
Global content classes: A minimum of two courses with the department or program-identified global content.
For a list of the history courses that fulfill the global content requirement for history majors, go to https://history.ucsd.edu/fields/The-following-History-courses-fulfill-the-global-content-requirement-for-History-majors.pdf.
Interested students should see the department adviser for additional information.
The department offers a special program for outstanding students. The Honors Program is especially recommended for those students interested in pursuing graduate study in history or allied fields. It is also a particularly effective preparation for professional careers. Candidates for History Honors are chosen during the spring quarter from among juniors in history who have taken at least four upper-division courses in the department. Juniors with a 3.5 GPA in history (3.0 overall) are eligible to apply. Admission to the program is based on the student’s academic work. Interested candidates should complete the application form (available in the Department of History office) by the second Friday of May.
In addition to regular course work in the department, the Honors Program consists of a colloquium in historiography (HITO 196) offered in the fall quarter of the senior year and a program of independent study leading to the completion of an honors essay on a topic of the student’s choice. During the fall quarter of the senior year, candidates select a topic and begin preliminary work on the Honors essay in consultation with a major field adviser (HITO 194). During the winter quarter the student pursues a course of independent study devoted to the completion of the Honors essay (HITO 195). The award of History Honors is based on satisfactory completion of the colloquium in history and the Honors essay. Students are expected to maintain an average of 3.5 or better in all work taken within the department. Honors candidates must include at least three colloquia in their regular course work.
Candidates for history honors should organize their upper-division course work as follows:
The minor consists of at least seven courses, five of which must be upper-division. Although there is no specific distribution requirement, the courses should constitute a coherent curriculum. No more than two upper-division courses applied to a minor may be taken for Pass/Not Pass. Prospective minors in history should consult with an undergraduate adviser for approval of their program.