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How to Major in History

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Majoring in history at UO gives students enormous freedom to explore their interests. History courses cover a huge range of regions, topics, and times—a rich variety of themes that is reflected in the classes taught. Requirements for the major are designed to let students pursue their individual interests without being forced to take a particular course. This gives students the power to customize their major as long a few basic distribution requirements are satisfied, such as the HIST 290 methods course and the HIST 407 seminar, which both offer a variety of topics every year.

Below are some sample paths that show how majors might meet all the requirements in four years, while also pursuing a specialization. These are models for planning one’s study, but they are not the only possibility, so it’s best to think of them as examples and not “marching orders.”

Prospective history majors should start by contacting the department’s Undergraduate Advising Committee (, or any member of the department faculty. When ready to declare a history major or minor, submit an online declaration form using the link below:

Major/Minor Declaration Form

Course Levels

As a rule of thumb, lower-division courses are designed mainly with freshmen and sophomores in mind. 300-level courses are best suited for advanced sophomores and juniors, although seniors can also find topics of interest in them. 400-level courses are considered junior and senior level courses. Finally, our HIST 407 seminars are intended mainly for students who are further along in their history studies.

Paths with a Thematic Focus:

Environmental History
Indigenous Cultures
Colonialism in World History
War in World History
Antiquities: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds
Race and Ethnicity in World History
Sex and Gender in World History
Culture and Society

Paths with a Regional Focus:

US History
Asian History
Africa and Latin America
European History