Strengthen your research and writing skills; learn to think critically; and prepare for a future in politics, law, journalism, or education by pursuing a bachelor's degree in history.
Like other liberal arts majors, a major in history offers a solid base of critical thinking on which to build a career or further graduate study. This program is designed to help prepare you for a future in politics, law, journalism, or education. It is appropriate for you if you have an interest in teaching history or social studies; working in public history archives, historic sites, museums, and galleries; or pursuing graduate-level study in history or law and public policy.
One of the very first schools to offer a degree program in history online, UMGC brings you nearly two decades of experience in teaching history in an online environment. Plus, if you're based in the Washington, D.C., area, you'll have myriad opportunities to find internships and part-time and full-time jobs in the field via public institutions and federal positions. Our alumni have gone on to work at such agencies as the National Archives and the National Park Service.
This program is also available as a minor.
Your Coursework in History
In the history curriculum, you can study a range of historical eras and geographical areas, including China, the Middle East, wartime Europe, and the United States. You’ll also dig into research and writing, learning how to lay the groundwork for and eventually complete a substantial original historical research project suitable for presentation or publication.
What You'll Learn
Through your coursework, you will learn how to
- Research, interpret, and present historical knowledge
- Write and speak clearly and appropriately about historical information for diverse audiences
- Engage in history as a moral and ethical practice, recognizing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives
- Apply historical precedents to contemporary life and develop self-reflection
- Achieve a deep understanding of the different peoples, events, and cultures that have shaped human civilization
In past projects, students have had the opportunity to
- Interpret current events and ideas in a historic context
- Focus on the ways in which race, class, ethnicity, and gender have shaped the varied experiences of U.S. citizens
- Examine the art, religion, and literature of civilizations of various time periods and locations
- Study World War II and other major conflicts from a variety of perspectives
- Research, write about, and present the results of a project on a chosen topic
A degree with a major in history requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 33 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 46 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 17 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.
Courses in the Major (33 Credits)
- World History I (3 Credits, HIST 115)
or Western Civilization I (HIST 141)
- World History II (3 Credits, HIST 116)
or Western Civilization II (HIST 142)
- History of the United States to 1865 (3 Credits, HIST 156)
- History of the United States Since 1865 (3 Credits, HIST 157)
- Historical Methods (3 Credits, HIST 289)
- Historical Writing (3 Credits, HIST 309)
- Senior Thesis in History (3 Credits, HIST 495)
Upper-level HIST courses (12 credits)—Focused study in U.S. or world history recommended, as follows:
- The American West (HIST 316L)
- Recent America: 1945 to the Present (HIST 365)
- U.S. Women's History: 1870 to 2000 (HIST 377)
- African American History: 1865 to the Present (HIST 461)
General Education Courses (41 Credits)
Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and research and computing literacy).
Note: Excess credit earned in fulfilling any general education requirement (e.g., by taking a 4-credit course where only 3 credits are required) may be applied toward the research and computing literacy requirement.
Research and Computing Literacy Courses
- Program and Career Exploration in Communication/Humanities (3 Credits, PACE 111B) or other PACE 111 course
(to be taken in first 6 credits)
- Introduction to Research (1 Credit, LIBS 150), Career Planning Management (1 Credit, CAPL 398A), or other general education elective
- Digital Media and Society (3 Credits, CMST 301) or another computing course appropriate to the academic major
- Academic Writing I (3 Credits, WRTG 111) or other writing course
- Academic Writing II (3 Credits, WRTG 112)
- Foundations of Oral Communication (3 Credits, SPCH 100)
or other communication, writing, or speech course
- Advanced Research Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 391)
or other advanced upper-level writing course
Topics for Mathematical Literacy (3 Credits, MATH 105) or College Mathematics (3 Credits, MATH 103) (Available overseas only) or other approved math or statistics course
Arts and Humanities Courses
- Technological Transformations (3 Credits, HIST 125) or other arts and humanities course
- Introduction to Humanities (3 Credits, HUMN 100) or other arts and humanities course
Behavioral and Social Science Courses
- Economics in the Information Age (3 Credits, ECON 201) or other behavioral and social sciences course
- Technology in Contemporary Society (3 Credits, BEHS 103) or other behavioral and social sciences course
Biological and Physical Sciences Courses
- Concepts of Biology (3 Credits, BIOL 101) and Laboratory in Biology (1 Credit, BIOL 102)
or Introduction to Physical Science (3 Credits, NSCI 100) and Physical Science Laboratory (1 Credit, NSCI 101)
or other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
- Physical Geology (3 Credits, GEOL 100) or other science lecture course
Minor and Elective Courses (46 Credits)
- Professional Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning (6 Credits, EDTP 500) (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMGC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor)
- Adolescent Development and Learning Needs (6 Credits, EDTP 535) (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMGC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor)
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Career Services also offers webinars and workshops to support the unique needs of UMGC students and alumni.