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Major Requirements

Requirements for History majors

Major Requirements Checklists

Dynamic undergraduate major degree checklist (fill online, then print). This will calculate your GPA and total your credits (Does not function under Safari or Chrome)


Static undergraduate major degree checklist (PDF) (Print, then fill in)  Copies of the static checklist of requirements can be obtained from the history office also.

Specific requirements for all history majors:

Minimum credit requirements

  1. 49 graded credits in history courses, all for letter grades
  2. Only lower-division requirement is HIST 290: Historian’s Craft (taken within first two years of program)
  3. 33 of these must be in upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses
  4. 21 of these must be in 400-level courses
  5. No more than 8 credits may be in HIST 405 (Reading and Conference)

A standard menu of lower-division courses would include HIST 290: Historian’s Craft and three 100 or 200-level courses at 4 credits apiece. A standard menu of upper-division courses would include three 300-level courses at 4 credits apiece, four 400-level courses at 4 credits apiece, and one 407 research seminar worth 5 credits.

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Residency requirements

The following must be taken here at the University of Oregon

  1. 21 credits in upper-division courses, including at least three courses numbered 408-499.
  2. All courses taken to fulfill the research paper requirement
  3. Courses in UO-sponsored study abroad programs do count toward residency requirements, but courses in non-UO-sponsored study abroad do not count toward residency requirements.

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Field requirements

  1. 8 upper-division credits in history before 1800. See the roster of “pre-1800 courses” for a list of courses meeting this requirement.
  2. 8 upper-division credits in each of three fields selected from the following list:

Note that courses taken to fulfill the pre-1800 requirement may be counted at the same time as field requirement courses.

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Research paper (HIST 407) requirement

  1. A research paper written in a seminar (HIST 407) is required of all history majors.
  2. Students must obtain permission from the instructor teaching a desired seminar before enrollment in the course can be completed. Permission forms can be obtained in the history department office, and should be completed by both the student and the instructor before being returned to the staff in the department office for processing.
  3. Because the department has a large number of majors who will need to complete HIST 407 before obtaining their degrees, it is essential to plan ahead. It is wise to consult with the department’s Undergraduate Advisor and/or one of our Peer Advisors as you begin to plan for your seminar.
  4. Elsewhere on this website, in the “Courses” section, you will find a tentative list of HIST 407 seminars to be given during the academic year.
  5. If at all possible, you should seek out seminar courses related to your interests in history, rather than waiting to see what is being offered the last term of your senior year to take the course.
  6. A list of past HIST 407 seminars is also available to give you a sense of the workload and range of topics, but keep in mind that for any given course, there is no guarantee that it will be offered again before you graduate.
  7. Seminars are not offered during the summer, but are taught during the fall, winter, and spring terms.
  8. It would be wise to contact professors teaching desired seminars a term before they are to be offered; most professors maintain lists of student to whom they have given permission, so that when official registration begins the process of adding the seminar will go smoothly.
  9. Please seek permission for only one seminar, rather than getting your name added to multiple permission lists.

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Alternative research paper requirement

  1. In exceptional circumstances a term paper written in a colloquium (HIST 408) or in a 400-level lecture course may be expanded into a research paper.
  2. Students who have secured written approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies for this option should enroll in Reading and Conference (HIST 405) for 2 graded credits under the direction of the instructor supervising their work.
  3. Approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies will not be given unless the instructor in the relevant 400-level course provides written proof of her or his agreement to teach the Reading and Conference (HIST 405) and supervise the writing of the research paper.
  4. This procedure for writing a research paper does not duplicate the seminar experience. It should not be used to compensate for a student’s lack of planning and preparation. It is permitted only when there are strong pedagogical reasons for pursuing it.

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Language requirement

  1. All history majors must complete two (2) years of a second language regardless of the degree choice (B.A. or B.S.).
  2. Students must demonstrate proficiency in a second language either by completing (with a C-/P or better) at least the third term of the second year of another language or by examination, showing competence equivalent to that attained at the end of two years of college study.
  3. Courses to fulfill the language requirement may be taken at the University of Oregon, in an overseas program, or by transfer from another college or university.

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Minimum GPA requirements

  1. A grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher is required in history courses taken at the University of Oregon.
  2. A mid C or better is required in courses taken to fulfill the research paper requirement.
  3. A letter grade of C- or better is required in all courses taken to fulfill the upper-division history before 1800 and field requirements.

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Advising and entering the major

  1. To declare a major in history, students must first have a formal advising session with our primary undergraduate advisor. The advisor will aid students in a plan of study and assign a faculty advisor according to field of interest.
  2. The faculty advisor helps develop a plan that directs the course of study and ensures timely completion of the requirements. Don’t know who your faculty advisor is? Simply go to Duckweb, log in, and request a degree audit from the registrar’s office. Your degree audit will include the name of your faculty advisor for the History major.
  3. The current primary Advisor for Undergraduate Studies is Professor Robert Haskett. Click on the link for his contact information. His office hours may be obtained through the “Faculty” section of this website or from the history department office staff.  The current Director of Undergraduate Studies is Professor Julie Weise.
  4. A staff of undergraduate peer advisors is available to help majors and prospective majors at any stage of their academic careers. Peer Advisors are trained in university and history major requirements. They are an excellent resource for information regarding graduate programs, careers in history, and history-related activities.

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