The Undergraduate Major

At the crossroads of the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences, history is the study of human experience as it has unfolded over the ages. As an academic discipline, it presents a unique gateway both to the richness of our cultural heritage and to the immense variety of world civilizations.

The UC San Diego History major prepares students for a wide variety of rewarding careers. Thematic, pre-professional, and geographic Fields of Emphasis allow students to focus their study from broad range of interests. Undergraduate students interested in pursuing a graduate degree are well served by our Honors Program. Likewise, the department encourages its majors to further enrich their college experience through Study Abroad.

Major Requirements (as of FA21)

All work in the major must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of 199 courses which are mandatory P/NP. At least eight of the twelve upper-division courses must be taken at UC San Diego. Petitions for exceptions to any of these requirements may be submitted to the Undergraduate Advisor for consideration by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Lower Division Requirement (3 courses)

Three lower-division History (HILD) courses, or Roosevelt Making of the Modern World (MMW), or Revelle Humanities (HUM). AP students entering with advanced placement credit in US History (score of 3 or better) may have two of the three lower division classes waived. Transfer students, after consulting with the History Undergraduate Advisor, may petition to substitute a two-semester or three-quarter survey from another school for the department's lower division requirement.

  1. HILD or MMW or HUM
  2. HILD or MMW or HUM
  3. HILD or MMW or HUM

Upper Division (12 courses)

HITO 100-The Craft of HIstory and eleven (11) four-unit, upper-division courses (numbered 100-190) which must include the below distribution of courses. Freshman history majors are encouraged to take HITO 100-The Craft of History, in their sophomore year or once they've fulfilled their college writing requirement. Transfer students should take HITO 100-The Craft of History during their first year at UC San Diego and before taking a colloquium.

1. The Craft of History (HITO 100) 

Field Emphasis* 

2. Upper Division Field Course
3. Upper Division Field Course
4. Upper Division Field Course

Non-Field Emphasis

5. Upper Division Non-Field Course
6. Upper Division Non-Field Course
7. Upper Division Non-Field Course

Elective

 8. Upper Division History Course 
 9. Upper Division History Course 
10. Upper Division History Course 
11. Upper Division History Course 
12. Upper Division History Course 

Pre-1800

At least 3 of the 12 upper-division courses must be focused on the period before 1800.

  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)
  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)
  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)

Colloquium

At least 1 of 12 upper-division courses must be a colloquium (courses numbered between 160-190).

  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective

*Fields of Emphasis

Geographic

  • History of Africa (HIAF)
  • History of East Asia(HIEA)
  • History of Europe (HIEU)
  • History of the Middle East (HINE)
  • History of Latin America (HILA)
  • History of the United States (HIUS)

Thematic

  • History of Science (HISC)
  • Gender and Sexuality 
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Migration  
  • War Revolution and Social Change

Pre-professional

  • Business
  • Education
  • Global Relations
  • Law
  • Medicine
Special Studies Courses

Of the twelve upper-division courses required in the major, no more than two may be 199 credits. Special group (HITO 198) or independent (HITO 199) study courses are especially recommended for those students interested in the Honors Program and in graduate study.

Major Requirements (pre-FA21)

All work in the major must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of 199 courses which are mandatory P/NP. At least eight of the twelve upper-division courses must be taken at UC San Diego. Petitions for exceptions to any of these requirements may be submitted to the Undergraduate Advisor for consideration by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Lower Division Requirement (3 courses)

Three lower-division History (HILD) courses, or Roosevelt Making of the Modern World (MMW), or Revelle Humanities (HUM). AP students entering with advanced placement credit in US History (score of 3 or better) may have two of the three lower division classes waived. Transfer students, after consulting with the History Undergraduate Advisor, may petition to substitute a two-semester or three-quarter survey from another school for the department's lower division requirement.

  1. HILD or MMW or HUM
  2. HILD or MMW or HUM
  3. HILD or MMW or HUM

Upper Division (12 courses)

Twelve four-unit upper-division courses (numbered 100-190) which must include the following distribution of courses:

Field Emphasis* 

1. Upper Division Field Course
2. Upper Division Field Course
3. Upper Division Field Course

Non-Field Emphasis

4. Upper Division Non-Field Course
5. Upper Division Non-Field Course
6. Upper Division Non-Field Course

Elective

 7. Upper Division History Course 
 8. Upper Division History Course 
 9. Upper Division History Course 
10. Upper Division History Course 
11. Upper Division History Course 
12. Upper Division History Course 

Pre-1800

At least 3 of the 12 upper-division courses must be focused on the period before 1800.

  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)
  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)
  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)

Colloquium

At least 1 of 12 upper-division courses must be a colloquium (courses numbered between 160-190).

  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective

*Fields of Emphasis

Geographic

  • History of Africa (HIAF)
  • History of East Asia(HIEA)
  • History of Europe (HIEU)
  • History of the Middle East (HINE)
  • History of Latin America (HILA)
  • History of the United States (HIUS)

Thematic

  • History of Science (HISC)
  • Gender and Sexuality 
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Migration  
  • War Revolution and Social Change

Pre-professional

  • Business
  • Education
  • Global Relations
  • Law
  • Medicine
Special Studies Courses

Of the twelve upper-division courses required in the major, no more than two may be 199 credits. Special group (HITO 198) or independent (HITO 199) study courses are especially recommended for those students interested in the Honors Program and in graduate study.

Major Declaration

Prior to declaring the major we ask that students meet with the Undergraduate Student Affairs Advisor to make sure your on the right path. We also encourage students to discuss their academic interests and course plan with the Department of History's Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies or with another faculty member. Building a relationship by regularly meeting with a faculty advisor with will enrich your educational experience. 

Undergraduate Curriculum and Advising Committee

Dr. Weijing Lu (HIEA)
Dr. Nancy Caciola (HIEU-Ancient/Pre-modern)
Dr. Deboarh Hertz (HIEU-Modern)
Dr. Mark Hendrickson, Chair (HIUS)
Dr. Nir Shafir (HINE)
Dr. Jessica Graham (HILA)
Dr. Claire Edington (HISC)

Double Major Declaration

Eligibility

  • Minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Junior Standing (90 units)
  • Fewer than 135 units completed 

Please note that double majors must graduate with no more than 240 total units.

Procedure

  1. Meet with your college academic advisor to go over the process for submitting the Double Major Petition.
  2. Complete the paperwork by:
    1. Filling out Double Major Petition
      1. list only the 15 courses (3 lower-division, 12 upper-division)
      2. only list the course subject code and number (eg. HITO 100) of the courses you have completed or are already enrolled in. Otherwise use HILD (history lower-division), and HIUD (history upper-division) for planned courses followed by the parenthetical for the specific requirements eg. HIUD (field), HIUD (non-field), HIUD (elective)
      3. for planned colloquia use HIUD 160-190 (field, non-field, or elective)
      4. place a + next to the three pre-1800 courses
    2. Filling out a Quarter by Quarter plan 
      1. Students may overlap up to 2 courses in each department to satisfy requirements in both majors by submitting a copy of the syllabus with the petition. (History allows overlaps from the following departments: Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Theater, and Urban Studies & Planning).
      2. Courses that will be used to fulfill requirements for both majors should only be listed in the overlap section of the petition. 
    3. Writing a brief Statement of Purpose
  3. Submit the Double Major Petition, Quarter Plan, Statement, and any additional documentation to each department's Undergraduate Advisor for approval.
    1. If you are overlapping non-history courses, please include the syllabus for the non-history course with the double major petition. The overlap will need to be approved by History's Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Studies.
  4. Submit the completed and signed petition to your College Academic Advising Office for final approval.

Covid-19 response P/NP policy

January 22nd, 2021

Dear History Majors and History Minors:

Please take a few minutes to carefully read through the entire following important announcement from the History department. You may have heard about the recent decisions from the UC San Diego Divisional Senate to adopt one-time exceptions regarding P/NP and S/U grades, as well as extending several deadlines.

The main changes are: P/NP Grades: P/NP grades taken during Winter and Spring 2021 will not count towards the 25% cap on P/NP (P/NP courses will be removed from both the numerator and denominator in this calculation). Students will be able to select P/NP (and S/U) grading option through the end of the 10th week.

The Department of History will allow courses for History major/minor degree requirements to be taken for a Pass grade for Winter and Spring 2021. (See below for details.) Deadlines: The undergraduate drop deadline, with a W, is extended to the end of Week 7. Students will be able to select P/NP (and S/U) grades through the end of the 10th week (changes should be made by students via WebReg). Details: History Major/Minor requirement courses in which students receive a "Pass" may count towards the fulfillment of that requirement, even though that course is not taken for a letter grade. This exception will be in effect for Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021 only, for all History majors and minors.

Please note that if you are using a grade of "Pass" in your course towards your major or minor requirements, the system has been updated and programmed to automatically bring in those courses for your History major/ History minor requirements (for approved quarters only). Students who want to take a class for P/NP are responsible for making any changes needed in WebReg before the grading option deadline. For students who started before Fall 2019 and who may use “D” grades towards their major requirements, please note that a "D" is considered a "No Pass," so in the event you receive the equivalent of a "D" and you take the course P/NP, you will not receive credit towards that specific degree requirement. Additionally, before you decide on completing your courses for P/NP, be sure to consider your personal situation and whether it will negatively affect any financial aid, VA benefits, scholarships, graduate school application, job applications, course motivation, etc. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our advising staff via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC, vac.ucsd.edu).

Sincerely,

The department of History