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Undergraduate Program

For a list of all history courses currently in the catalog, please go to, click on “browse courses” and put in the prefix “HIST”

The History Major »
History/Social Studies Education (K-12 Teaching) »
Pre-Law »
Minor in History »
Minor in East Asian History »
Minor in Public History »

The History Major

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in history consists of 39 credits distributed as follows:

Required courses (15 credits)

  • HIST 110 Western Civilization up to 1700 or HIST 111 Western Civilization Since 1700
  • HIST 101 American History to 1877 or HIST 102 American History, 1877 to the Present
  • HIST 103 East Asian Civilization or HIST 200 Global History (or Hist 203, 204, 206, 207, 208, or 209)
  • HIST 201 Introduction to the Study of History
  • HIST 496 Historical Research (American) or HIST 497 Historical Research (non-U.S.)

The CEEB Advanced Placement Examination allows students achieving a minimum score to be exempted from the corresponding required 100-level courses and to receive credit toward the history major requirements (and the university’s graduation requirements). Students may be exempted for up to two 100 or 200 level required courses.

Elective History Courses (24 credits)

Students must earn a minimum of 9 credits in history courses numbered 400 and above as part of the required 24 elective credits in classes listed as 200 and higher. The over 24 elective credits must also include no less than 9 credits in courses in American history and a minimum of 12 credits in European, Asian, Latin American, or African history.

No grade lower than “C” in any course will be counted toward the major. As an exception to this rule, students may earn up to 3 “P” credits in HIST 391 (Internship) as part of the 24 elective credits in the history major requirements.

Advising Guide for the History Major may be found under the tab “Students” and then under “Departmental Forms”

For a sample pathway to complete the History Major in four years, see HistFourYearAcademicPathway.

History/Social Studies Education (K-12 Teaching)

Studies major during the Fall 2002 semester and after. Be sure to check with a Social Studies advisor in the UMBC Department of Education for the most up-to-date Maryland state teacher certification requirements.

The Department of History offers a program for history majors who wish to become certified to teach history/social studies at the secondary level. This program has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. In completing the specific requirements of this program, students must also complete the normal requirements of the history major described above. In addition, students must be admitted to and complete UMBC’s Secondary Education teacher certification program. Upon successful completion of the course work and student teaching, students are recommended for teacher certification in the State of Maryland.

The history/social studies secondary education program consists of 48 credits distributed as follows:

History core requirements (15 credits)

  • HIST 110 Western Civilization to 1700 or
  • HIST 111 Western Civilization Since 1700
  • HIST 101 American History to 1877 or
  • HIST 102 American History, 1877 to the Present
  • HIST 103 East Asian Civilization or
  • HIST 200 World History in the 20th Century (or HIST 203, 204, 206, 207, or 209)
  • HIST 201 Introduction to the Study of History
  • HIST 496 Historical Research (American) or
  • HIST 497 Historical Research (non-U.S.)

Social Studies Concentration (33 credits)

A. Required history courses (6 credits)

  • HIST 413 (formerly HIST 342) The American Revolution
  • HIST 347 (formerly HIST 443) The United States Since 1945

B. Required supplementary social studies course (9 credits)

  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics or
  • ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • GEOG ___ An introductory Geography course
  • POLI 100 American Government and Politics

C. Elective history courses (18 credits)

At least one course must relate to each of the following areas:

  1. Anthropology and sociology
  2. A pluralistic society
  3. Current affairs and controversial issues.
    (See either history or education advisors for a list of recommended courses in these areas.)

For the most up-to-date information on the 39 credits in teacher education required by the
State of Maryland, see an advisor in the UMBC Department of Education.


Faculty Advisor: Prof. Amy Froide

The study of history provides excellent preparation for careers in law and the history major has traditionally been one of the most heavily represented undergraduate majors in American law schools. Recognizing this, the history department provides supplemental pre-law advising to those students considering law school.

Minor in History

Recognizing that a basic understanding of history is a crucial component of liberal undergraduate education rather than a luxury, the department offers a minor in history. It is designed to allow students to complement their career interests and vocational goals by studying history as an ancillary field. To earn a minor in history, in addition to their major in another discipline, students must complete a total of 18 credits in the history department. As with the major program, the minor requires that students complete two broad introductory-level courses. The required minimum score on CEEB Advanced Placement (AP) examinations may exempt a student from three of the six credits required in 100-level courses. After that, however, the minor provides great flexibility, allowing students the opportunity to concentrate on particular historical eras, interests, or areas. The minor consists of 18 credits distributed as follows:

Required courses (6 credits)

  • HIST 101 American History to 1877 or HIST 102 American History Since 1877 (3 credits)
  • HIST 110 Western Civilization up to 1700 OR HIST 111 Western Civilization Since 1700 OR HIST 103 East Asian Civ OR HIST 200 World History (including HIST 203-208) (3 credits)

Elective courses (12 credits)

At least 9 of these credits must be selected from 300- and 400-level courses.

Minor in East Asian History

The Department offers a minor in East Asian history which gives concrete recognition to students who have achieved a broad understanding of East Asia through the completion of the required program. It will provide excellent preparation for students pursuing careers in international affairs, education, journalism, business and law.

Required courses (3 credits)

  • HIST 103 East Asian Civilization (SS or C)

Elective courses (15 credits)

Electives must be distributed in such a way that each student has no less than 6 credits in Chinese history and no less than 6 credits in Japanese history. No grade lower than a “C” in any course will be counted toward the minor. The 15 credits should be selected from the following history courses:

  • 380 Women and Gender in Asia
  • 381 Japanese History Through Film and Literature (C)
  • 382 Pacific Crossings (C, SS)
  • 383 Japan in the Shogun Age (C)
  • 385 Contemporary Japan, 1945 to the Present
  • 387 Medicine and Health Care in China (C)
  • 388 Society and Culture in China (C)
  • 458 Japan to 1800
  • 459 Japan Since 1800
  • 477 History of China to 1644
  • 478 History of China, 1644 to 1912
  • 479 History of China, 1912 to 1949
  • 480 Contemporary China, 1949 to the Present
  • 494 Colloquium in World History and
  • 497 Historical Research (as applicable).

Minor in Public History

Ever wondered what you’re going to do with your UMBC degree? Do you love museums? Historical Societies? National Parks?
Ever wondered who gets to work there? Have we got a program for you!

Undergraduate students at UMBC can minor in public history. You can pair your minor with a major in history OR with a major from another program. Some of the most successful public historians have interdisciplinary training

A basic understanding of history is a crucial component of liberal undergraduate education, and public history provides a vital means for undergraduate students to connect their historical training to their future careers. This minor will give students strong training in basic historical skills, provide students with a solid grounding in historical content, expose students to the extensive career opportunities that the Baltimore and Washington regions offer in public history, and encourage them to gain practical experience through public history internships and practicums. The minor consists of 18 credits distributed as follows:

Required Core Courses (9 credits)

  • HIST 201: Introduction to the Study of History (3 credits)
  • HIST 300: Introduction to Public History (3 credits)
  • HIST 391: Internship in History (3 credits)

HIST 201 is a required core course for the history major as well; HIST 300 is a prerequisite for students wishing to take HIST 411.

Required Public History Specialty Courses, Choose One of the Following (3 credits)

  • HIST 411:  Public History Practices (3 credits)
  • HIST 414: Preservation (3 credits)
  • HIST 418: The American House (3 credits)
  • HIST 426: Material Culture (3 credits)
  • HIST 427: Digital Public History (3 credits)
  • HIST 429: History of Baltimore (3 credits)
  • Oral History (3 credits)

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Students will take 6 additional credits; at least three of these credits must be at the
300 or 400 level.

Students may take any history classes as electives

Students may also fulfill the six credits of the public history minor from the following:

  • AMST 205: Civic Agency and  Social Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
  • AMST 380: Community in America (3 credits)
  • AMST 422: Preserving Places, Making Spaces in Baltimore (3 credits)
  • AMST 424: Theories of Place and Space (3 credits)
  • GES 326: American Conservation Thought (3 credits)
  • GES 341: Urban Geography (3 credits)
  • GES 342: Metropolitan Baltimore (3 credits)

With departmental approval, students may take up to 3 credits in non-history courses not listed above that complement a focus on public history.

NB. The AMST and GES classes listed here have departmentally-specific prerequisites.



Departmental Honors

The Department of History at UMBC offers a program leading to the award of Departmental Honors at graduation. (Note: This program is different from the University Honors College Program and is open to all history majors that meet the requirements for Departmental Honors outlined below). For departmental honors the following stipulations will apply:

  1. To participate, a student must have a junior status and a 3.5 grade point average in history courses. Students with lower grade point averages can petition the Undergraduate Committee. There are no requirements concerning overall GPA.
  2. Students seeking departmental honors will follow the rules for a regular history major, but make the following additions and substitutions:
    • Students will earn departmental honors credit in two elective history courses on the 300 or 400 level. Taking the courses involves obtaining permission from the instructor teaching the course and negotiating a plan with that instructor for additional work earning the honors designation. Students should complete and submit the Departmental Honors Course Request before adding the course for honors credit. Students must earn at least a “B” in the two designated departmental honors courses.
    • In addition, departmental honors students will take the two-term History 498-499 sequence (Honors Thesis in History) in place of History 496 or 497. There will be a second reader for the Honors Thesis, and the advisor and second reader will determine the format of the summary review session. Prior to beginning work and registering, students should complete the Departmental HIST 498-499 Form which requires permission from the advisor and the departmental honors coordinator. Note: because of this requirement, departmental honors students will complete their major with a total of 42 credits in history rather than 39. Students must earn at least a “B” in the 498-499 sequence to qualify for departmental honors.
  3. Departmental honors students must complete a minimum of 21 credits in UMBC History courses and graduate with at least a 3.5 GPA in history courses.

Interested students should consult with a department faculty advisor no later than the fall semester of their junior year.

Required Forms

Departmental Honors Course Request » (need 2 for department honors credit)
Departmental HIST 498-499 Form »

For a sample pathway to complete the History Major in four years, see HistFourYearAcademicPathway.