University of Southern California
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Undergraduate Degrees


All history department majors should consult with the department student advisor. Students should seek an appointment early in each semester so that an advisement file may be established for each student. The file will be kept current.

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in History

Ten courses in history are required, three at the lower division level and six at the upper division level along with HIST 300 Approaches to History. The three required lower division courses must include one from the 100 level and one from the 200 level, and each of the three must be from a different geographic category. The department will accept scores of 4 or 5 on either Advanced Placement European History or Advanced Placement American History as a substitute for one requirement at the 100 level. At the upper division, majors are required to take a minimum of three courses in a thematic, temporal or geographic concentration they articulate under the guidance of faculty; they must also take at least two upper division seminars, approved by the department, including one in their concentration. No more than 4 units of HIST 490 Directed Research may be counted as satisfying the upper division seminar requirement.

For geographic breadth, at least one of the 10 courses must be taken from approved course work in each of the three following areas: Asia and Eurasia, Europe, and North and Latin America. For temporal breadth, at least one of the 10 courses must be taken from approved course work in each of the three following time periods: before 1300, 1300 to 1800, 1800 to the present. Students must consult with a department advisor in order to determine which courses meet these requirements.

Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Science Education

This degree is designed for students who are interested in a career in secondary school teaching. The courses chosen reflect the content of subjects taught in high schools and middle schools in California and therefore should be useful for those contemplating the profession of teaching history and social studies. It does not, however, provide a waiver of the CSET examination.

Required CoursesUnits
ECON 203Principles of Microeconomics4
ECON 205Principles of Macroeconomics4
HIST 240The History of California4
HIST 300Approaches to History4
HIST 349Colonial North America 1600-17604
HIST 36019th Century U.S. History4
HIST 36120th Century U.S. History4
HIST 440Early Modern World History4
HIST 441Modern World History4

At least one of the following:
HIST 101The Ancient World4
HIST 102Medieval People: Early Europe and Its Neighbors, 400-15004
HIST 103The Emergence of Modern Europe4
HIST 180Introduction to Islamic Civilization4
HIST 275The Worlds of the Silk Road4
HIST 335History of Japan to 15504
HIST 338China to 960 A.D.4
HIST 339China, 960-1800 A.D.4

At least one of the following:
HIST 104Europe and Its Influence Since 1750: From the Rise of Democracy to the Age of Extremes4
HIST 280The Modern Middle East4
HIST 333Korea: The Modern Transformation4
HIST 336History of Japan, 1550-19454
HIST 340History of China since 18004

At least one of the following:
HIST 272Native History and Historians: Mexico and Peru to 16154
HIST 370Spanish America, 1492-18214
HIST 372Modern Latin America4

One of the following:
POSC 100Theory and Practice of American Democracy4
POSC 300Principles, Institutions, and Great Issues of American Democracy4
POSC 340Constitutional Law4

Required Capstone Seminar
A capstone seminar, HIST 488 Teaching History in the Secondary Schools, will be taught by a member of the history department and will focus on the ways in which historical research is brought into middle and high school curriculum. Seminar participants will examine textbooks and other materials designed for history instruction; engage in independent research; write curriculum and/or classroom units or lesson plans; and visit classrooms to assist with history instruction in the schools.

Bachelor of Arts in Middle East Studies

See Department of International Relations for a complete listing of requirements.

Minor in History Requirements

Prerequisites: cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better and approval of a minor plan of study by the department's undergraduate advisor.

Requirements: 20 upper division units, including a minimum of 16 upper division units from Department of History offerings. Up to 4 upper-division units from outside department offerings may be included with the approval of the undergraduate advisor.

An appropriate capstone course chosen from HIST 300, HIST 440, HIST 441 and HIST 494 must be included in the proposed program as part of the departmental work. The capstone course will normally be the last (or among the last) courses taken for the minor.

Honors Program

The department offers a two-semester honors program, in which qualified students spend their first semester in an honors track in an upper division seminar or take HIST 490 Directed Research in their concentration. During the second semester, all honors students are required to take HIST 492 Honors Thesis in which each completes a thesis project on a topic of his or her choosing under faculty direction. Contact the department honors director for further information. To graduate with honors, department majors must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their major course work.

Teaching Credential Requirements

Credential requirements in California and elsewhere are complex and changeable. Students interested in preparing for public school teaching should contact the Credentials Office, Rossier School of Education, and the undergraduate advisor, Department of History, for up-to-date information.

Interdisciplinary Middle East Studies Minor

See Department of International Relations.

Interdisciplinary Race, Ethnicity and Politics Minor

See Department of Political Science.

Interdisciplinary Russian Area Studies Minor

See Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Interdisciplinary Law and Society Minor

See Department of Political Science.