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College of Liberal Arts

CSULB students walk on campus

History - Programs

Bachelor of Arts in History (code HISTBA01)

Honors in History

Minors in History (code HISTUM01)

Master of Arts in History (code HISTMA01)

Single Subject Teaching Credential, Social Science (code 185)

Bachelor of Arts in History (code HISTBA01) (120 units)

Admission Under Impaction

To be eligible for admission to the major in History, applicants must demonstrate the following prior to the semester for which the application is submitted: Applicants must have met requirements for admission to the university as a freshman or transfer student and have completed the following courses (or equivalents) with a grade of “C” or better: General Education English, General Education Communication Studies and at least 6 lower division units of History course work. Eligible applicants will be selected for admission on a space-available basis based on cumulative grade point average.


Majors must take 48 units of history: 9 lower-division and 39 upper-division.

1. Core (15 units):

  • Take the following courses with a grade of "C" or better:
    • HIST 301 Methodology of History (4)
    • HIST 302 Theory and History (4)
  • Take the following course:
    • HIST 499 Senior Seminar (4)

(HIST 301 MUST be taken in the first semester of upper-division course work in the major. HIST 301 is a prerequisite for 302, and both courses are prerequisites for 499.)

  • Take one history course that fulfills the gender, race, and ethnicity requirement (from a list of approved courses available from the Undergraduate Advisor).

2. Fields of emphasis (18 units)

  • Option One: two fields of nine units each.
  • Option Two: three fields of six units each.
    • Select the fields from the following:
      • A. Africa and the Middle East
      • B. Ancient and Medieval Europe
      • C. Asia
      • D. Latin America
      • E. Modern Europe (Including Britain)
      • F. United States
      • G. World
  • History B.A. students with a field of concentration in Modern European history must take either HIST 330 or HIST 331. They may elect to take both HIST 330 and HIST 331.
  • History B.A. students with a field of concentration in United States history must have, at the minimum, one course in U.S. history at the 300 level and one course in U.S. history at the 400 level.

3. Breadth (6 units):

  • Take six units in a field (or fields) of history outside of their fields of emphasis.

4. Develop a portfolio (beginning with HIST 301) reflecting work in the History major. The portfolio will be evaluated as one of the requirements in the senior seminar (HIST 499). Complete 18 units of upper-division work in the major.

  • NOTE: History majors are strongly encouraged to include the study of foreign language and literature in their programs. Students working for a single-subject credential in secondary education must consult with the College's secondary education advisor as to the applicable credential major requirements.

Honors in History

Students with a major in history may be admitted to the History Department honors program (option of the University Honor’s Program) provided they have:

  • 1. Completed at least 30 semester units of college- or university-level courses, including at least two history courses;
  • 2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3, and a 3.5 in history courses;
  • 3. Submitted to the department honors committee chairperson two letters of recommendation from faculty members;
  • 4. Received admission approval from the departmental honors committee.

Students who have the minimum GPA requirements established by the University Honors Program (3.0 overall and 3.3 in the major, but who do not meet History departmental GPA requirements above may petition the department honors committee for conditional admission to the Department Honors Program).

In order to graduate with Honors in history a student must:

  • 1. Complete all regular requirements for the history major;
  • 2. Complete HIST 501 Theories and Methodologies of History (3)
  • 3. Complete HIST 498H Honors Research (3)
  • 4. Complete HIST 499H Honors Thesis (3)
  • 5. Complete 6 units of additional course work chosen in consultation with the Department Honors Advisor; such courses normally will require two analytical papers or a research paper on a honors level of performance;
  • 6. Have at the time of graduation a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 and a GPA of at least 3.5 in history.

Students admitted to the program must maintain a file in the University Honors Program which will include copies of proposals for 498H and 499H.

Oral History Program

This program, housed in the Department of History, is designed to teach and train history students in the use of materials that focus on largely unwritten sources. History majors, and social science credential students with a history concentration, are urged to take HIST 402.

Minor in History (code HISTUM01)

A minimum of 21 units which must include:

Lower Division:

  • Take a six-unit sequence from the following:
    • HIST 211 World History: Origins to 1500 (3)
    • HIST 212 World Since 1500 (3)
    • or
    • HIST 131 Early Western Civilization (3)
    • HIST 132 Modern Western Civilization (3)

Upper Division:

  • Take a minimum of 12 units, which must include at least six units in each of two areas as defined for the major.

Minor in Jewish Studies (code HISTUM02)

For requirements, see description in the Jewish Studies section of this catalog.

Minor in Latin American Studies (code HISTUM03)

For requirements, see description in the Latin American Studies section of this catalog.

Minor in Middle Eastern Studies (code HISTUM05)


A minimum of 18 units.


Minimum twelve (12) units: At least three units must be in History of the Middle East and four units must be in Arabic.*

ARAB 101A, 101B, 201A, 201B, 250; HIST 416/516, 418/518, 431/531, 432/532; R/ST 331I; POSC 367.


Must take a minimum of six (6) additional units, selected with an advisor, from the following courses without repeating courses from the core: ARAB 101A, 101B, 201A, 201B, 250; AH 116; ART 465/565; CWL 104, 402/502; GEOG 309I; HIST 393, 394, 416/516, 418/518, 428, 431/531, 432/532; POSC 367; R/ST 331I, 490**.
Three (3) of these units may be taken from the following courses, which have a global and comparative perspective, without repeating courses from core: CBA 300; HIST 440/540; WGSS 401I; CDFS 410; R/ST 102, 448/548; HIST 495**.

  • *Other languages of the Middle East may be substituted with the approval of the Director of the program.
  • **Only topics courses relevant to the minor will be accepted.

Master of Arts in History (code HISTMA01)


1. A bachelor’s degree in history with an overall 3.0 GPA or higher or

2. A bachelor’s degree with 24 units of upper-division courses in history. These courses must be comparable to those required of a major in history at this University. Deficiencies are determined by the graduate advisor after consultation with the student and after study of transcript records.


The Master of Arts in History is a program of 30 minimum units as defined below.

  • Core Courses required of all students:
    • HIST 501 Theories and Methodologies of History (3)
    • HIST 590 Topics in Comparative History (3)

Options for Field of Study

The fields are Africa and the Middle East, Ancient/Medieval Europe, Asia, Latin America, Modern Europe, United States, World.

Option One

For Students pursuing one field of concentration.

  • Take 18 units of graduate-level coursework in field:
  • Take HIST 510 Literature of History (3) (in the field)
  • Take HIST 510 Literature of History (3) (outside the field)
  • Take Research Seminar if offered. For example:
    • HIST 611 (Ancient/Medieval), HIST 631 (Europe), HIST 663 (Latin America), HIST 673 (US), and HIST 682 (East Asia)

Option Two

For students pursuing two fields of concentration.

  • Take 9 units of graduate-level coursework in each field:
  • Take two HIST 510s, one in each field
  • Take Research Seminar in the field of concentration. For example:
    • HIST 611 (Ancient/Medieval), HIST 631 (Europe), HIST 663 (Latin America), HIST 673 (US), and
      HIST 682 (East Asia)

Electives applicable to all students:

Six units of electives of graduate (500/600) coursework in History or supporting disciplines relating to the student's Field(s) of Concentration. Upon written approval of the Graduate Advisor, students may substitute three to six units of upper-division (300/400) coursework in History or supporting disciplines relating to the student's Field(s) of Concentration. Graduate students who wish to enroll in double-numbered (400/500) courses must take the 500-level course.

All Students

The courses for Special Preparation (595), Directed Study (695), Directed Research (697), and Thesis (698) may be applied to the 18 unit total only with the permission of the graduate advisor. A student may propose a field other than those cited above with the consent of the Graduate advisor and her/his graduate committee.

A reading knowledge of a foreign language may be required, depending upon the candidate’s program of study as recommended by her/his graduate committee.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students should see Graduate Advisor to file Advancement to Candidacy after at least 6 units but no more than 15 units of graduate coursework are completed.

Must have taken 501 as well as have passed the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) or appropriate designated course. The Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) is administered several times every academic year by the University Testing Office. Must be attempted in the first semester of graduate work and passed by the time of advancement. Exam may be waived if earned a 4.0 or higher on Writing portion of GRE.

Advancement must take place at least two semesters prior to taking Comprehensive Exams or completing the Thesis. Comprehensive Examination Approval Form or Thesis Committee Agreement Form must be filed with department at time of Advancement. At this point, a student must commit to taking exams or writing a thesis. Advancement to Candidacy is a formal contract listing courses student has taken, is taking, and will take. Changes to contract may be made in consultation with Graduate Advisor.

Culminating Project

Students must take either Comprehensive Exams in one field (two periods) or in two fields, or write a Thesis on one field or incorporating two fields to culminate their Master's Degree in History.

Comprehensive exams require filing a Comprehensive Examination Approval Form with the department.

Completion of a thesis: a thesis requires filing a Thesis Committee Agreement Form and enrolling in HIST 698 with the thesis advisor for four (4) units.

All candidates for the M.A. degree in history who have selected to write a thesis must demonstrate competency in one foreign language. Exceptions are granted only with the approval of the chair of a graduate student’s committee and the Graduate Advisor.

The language competency requirement may be met in two ways:

  • 1. Through an examination by a faculty member with expertise in the student's language. The exam will be a translation of about a 500-word text to be completed in two hours; a dictionary is allowed.
  • 2. By taking the equivalent of two full years of university level foreign language courses, with an average GPA of 3.0 in those courses. If the primary concentration is in Ancient/Medieval, a student may also fulfill this requirement by taking one year of Greek and one year of Latin. All course work completed must be within five years of admission to the graduate program.

Single Subject Teaching Credential, Social Science (code 185)

In order to demonstrate subject matter competence by course work for the Social Science teaching credential, candidates must complete 39 units from the menu of core requirements listed below, which may be taken as part of the History BA major. Students must complete 15 additional units in the breadth area. Consult the department's Social Science Education Credential Advisor.

Core Requirements (39 units)

  • Take each of the following courses:
    • History:
      • HIST 172 Early United States History (3)
      • HIST 173 Recent United State History (3)
      • HIST 211 World History: Origins to 1500 (3)
      • HIST 212 World History: Since 1500 (3)
      • HIST 396 Contemporary World History (3)
      • HIST 473 California History (3)
    • Economics:
      • ECON 300 Fundamentals of Economics (3)
    • Geography:
      • GEOG 100 World Regional Geography (3)
      • GEOG 306 United States and Canada (3)
    • Political Science:
      • POSC 100 Introduction to American Government (3)
      • POSC 215 Issues of Comparative Politics (3)
    • Introduction to History-Social Science Teaching:
      • EDSS 300 Introduction to Teaching (3)
    • Capstone:
      • HIST 401 Hist for Secondary Social Science Teach (3)

Breadth Requirements (15 units)

Courses must be selected from each of the following fields.

1. Diversity in History

Candidates must select three units from the following: HIST 338, 370 (same as CHLS 300), 394, 406A, 406B, 469, 485A, 485B, 486, or 490.

2. United States Studies

Candidates must select six units from the following:

AFRS 332, 400; AIS 335, 485; ASAM 335I, 345, 346; ANTH 321, 322, 329; AMST 310, 350I; CHLS 300 (same as HIST 370)*, 350; ECON 355; GEOG 304; HIST 370 (same as CHLS 300)*, 371, 372, 373, 375, 376, 378, 379, 380A, 380B, 407I, 451, 469*, 471, 474I, 475, 477A, 477B, 478, 479, 480, 481, 482I, 485A*, 485B*, 486*; PHIL 451I; POSC 308, 311, 312, 321, 323, 326, 412, 423, 424; RST 302I, 482I; SOC 420, 427; WGSS 308, 315, 318, 320.

3. Global Studies

Candidates must select six units from the following:

AFRS 304; ANTH 307I, 323, 324, 332, 333, 335, 345; ASAM 301I; CHLS 450I; ECON 366, 372; GEOG 308I, 309I, 313I, 314I, 315I, 316, 318, 321, 322; HIST 304, 332, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338*, 339, 340, 341A, 341B, 353, 356, 357, 362, 364, 365, 382A, 382B, 383A. 383B, 384, 385, 386, 388, 391, 392, 394*, 400I, 406A*, 406B*, 407I, 409, 416, 418, 431, 432, 440, 441, 443, 461, 462, 463, 488, 491; POSC 358, 362, 367, 371; RST 308, 344, 352, 353I, 383I.

*Cannot be used as part of this breadth requirement if this course is chosen as part of the Diversity in History requirement

In addition to meeting the subject matter competence requirement for the Preliminary Single Subject Credential in Social Science, prospective History/Social Science teachers are also required to compete 44 units of professional preparation in the Single Subject Credential Program, including student teaching. Students may begin the professional preparation courses as early as the junior year. With careful planning, it is possible to complete all the credential program courses, except student teaching, as an undergraduate. Courses may also be completed as a post-baccalaureate student. Refer to the Single Subject Teacher Education section of this Catalog or the Single Subject Credential Program website ( for a description of the professional preparation requirements, courses, and application procedures. Prospective students should consult with the Social Science Education Credential Program Advisor early to plan their program.