History, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The History major develops critical intelligence and fosters an understanding of ourselves and our world through the study of the past—both the "deep past" and the more recent past.

The Program

A student electing a major in History will receive a broad education in histories of several geographic areas. Students preferring more active engagement in research and writing are encouraged to complete history seminars and/or the honors program.

Career Alternatives

A degree in history is excellent preparation for a professional career such as teaching, law, journalism, public administration, or business management. Professional schools in these and related fields (including the health  professions) are looking for students who can weigh conflicting evidence, evaluate alternative courses of action or divergent points of view, and express conclusions logically in everyday language. These analytical skills are stressed in history classes, and their mastery gives the history student a solid preparation for subsequent training in a specialized career.

History of Science, Medicine, & Technology

Students can create a concentration in the History of Science, Medicine, & Technology upon consultation with a faculty advisor. They may draw upon the relevant History courses (History HIS 002, HIS 016, HIS 085, HIS 107, HIS 135A, HIS 135B, HIS 136, HIS 139A, HIS 139B, HIS 185A, and HIS 185B) as well as History and Philosophy of Science offerings.

History & Philosophy of Science

Courses from the History & Philosophy of Science minor may count toward the History major. STS 130A, STS 130B, STS 150, and STS 180 fulfill upper division requirements in either the U.S. or Europe concentration.

For a more detailed description of course offerings, see History & Philosophy of Science.

Honors & Honors Program

A student becomes eligible for graduation with honors by meeting the minimum GPA (usually 3.500) and course requirements established by the College of Letters and Science. To qualify for high or highest honors, students must also complete the History Department honors program with a GPA of  3.500 or above and write a thesis that meets the criteria for high honors or highest honors. Students apply to participate in the department honors program during the latter part of their junior year. Admission to the program is based on GPA, a thesis proposal, examples of previous writing, and the recommendation of a faculty member who is willing to sponsor the student's project, interviews, and faculty recommendations. Students admitted into the program must complete the HIS 104A, HIS 104B, HIS 104C sequence of honors courses, which requires the completion of a senior honors thesis. Students who anticipate seeking admission to the honors program are urged to complete at least one HIS 102 (undergraduate seminar) before the end of their junior year. Interested students are urged to consult with faculty in their field early in their junior year. Students may substitute HIS 104B and 104C for any courses in their program other than HIS 102.

Students who anticipate pursuing graduate work in history or a teaching credential, and who do not wish to opt for the research emphasis embodied in the honors program, are encouraged to select Plan II of the major.

Study Abroad & the History Major

The department strongly encourages interested students to pursue their studies abroad. While there are no specific required courses or prerequisites, students are urged to take at least one history course that touches upon the geographic area where they plan to study abroad before departing. To receive a history degree from UC Davis, students must complete at least 18 upper division units in the history  major at UC Davis (which can also include HIS 101, HIS 102, HIS 103). The remaining major requirements can be fulfilled abroad provided that (a) the course should be evaluated as at least four UC Davis units, (b) the course should be considered upper division by the standards set forth by the UC Davis Study Abroad Program, and (c) the course should be in the field of History. Students may present copies of the course work, syllabus, and writing assignments to the department's liaison person with the Global Learning Hub office for approval.

Teaching Credential Subject Representative

See the Teaching Credential/M.A. Program.

Preparing for Careers in Teaching History majors can pursue rewarding careers in teaching. To ensure your undergraduate coursework prepares you for a subject matter competency test, please contact the History Project.

Major Advisors

History Undergraduate Advisor or see History for updated information.

Graduate Study

The Department of History offers programs of study and research leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history. Detailed information may be obtained by contacting the Graduate Advisor.

Graduate Advisor

See the department’s website for updated information.

American History & Institutions

This University requirement can be satisfied by passing any one of the following HIS courses:

HIS 017AHistory of the United States4
HIS 017BHistory of the United States4
HIS 072AWomen & Gender in America, to 18654
HIS 072BWomen & Gender in America, 1865-Present4
HIS 170AColonial America4
HIS 170BThe American Revolution4
HIS 170CThe Early National Period, 1789-18154
HIS 171ASlavery, Society & Expansion in the Early U.S.4
HIS 171BCivil War Era4
HIS 172American Environmental History4
HIS 173Becoming an American: Immigration & American Culture4
HIS 174AThe Gilded Age & Progressive Era: United States, 1876-19174
HIS 174BWar, Prosperity, & Depression: United States, 1917-19454
HIS 174CThe United States Since World War II, 1945 to the Present4
HIS 174DSelected Themes in 20th-Century American History4
HIS 175American Intellectual History4
HIS 176ACultural & Social History of United States4
HIS 176BCultural & Social History of United States4
HIS 177AHistory of Black People & American Race Relations: 1450-18604
HIS 177BHistory of Black People & American Race Relations: 1860-Present4
HIS 180A (Discontinued)3
HIS 180B (Discontinued)3
HIS 181Religion in American History to 18904
HIS 183AThe Frontier Experience: Trans-Mississippi West4
HIS 183BThe Frontier Experience: Trans-Mississippi West4
HIS 184History of Sexuality in America4
HIS 189California History4

See University Requirements.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Choose five lower division courses from the following seven concentrations, including at least one course in three different concentrations. Additional units to reach 20.20
(a) Africa
Africa to 1900
Africa Today
(b) Asia
History of Indian Civilization
History of East Asian Civilization
History of East Asian Civilization
Korean Culture & Society: From Ancient Three Kingdoms to the Global K-Pop
(c) Europe
History of Western Civilization
History of Western Civilization
History of Western Civilization
(d) Latin America
History of Latin America to 1700
History of Latin America, 1700-1900
History of Latin America 1900-present
(e) Middle East
Introduction to the Middle East
(f) United States
History of the United States
History of the United States
Race in America to 1865
Race in the United States Since 1865
Women & Gender in America, to 1865
Women & Gender in America, 1865-Present
The History of the United States in the Middle East
The History of the United States in the Middle East
Nature, Man, & the Machine in America
(g) World
Introduction to History
Introduction to the History of Science & Technology
Cities: A Survey of World Cultures
Modernist Culture
World History to 1350
World History, c. 1350-1850
World History III
History of the Jewish People in the Modern World
Food & History
Global Sexualities
History of Global Capitalism
Sex, Science, & Society
Migration & Borders in Global History
The Vietnam War
Research in History
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal20
Depth Subject Matter
History Seminar
Choose 4-5 units:4-5
Introduction to Historical Thought & Writing
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Ancient
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Medieval
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Modern Europe to 1815
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Europe Since 1815
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Russia
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: China to 1800
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: China Since 1800
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Britain
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Latin America Since 1810
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: American History to 1787
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: United States, 1787-1896
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: United States Since 1896
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Japan
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Africa
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Christianity & Culture in Europe, 50-1850
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: India
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Muslim Societies
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Education Abroad Program
Undergraduate Proseminar in History: Comparative History
Topics in Historical Research
Choose at least three courses in a single Concentration listed below.12
Choose at least two courses in a second Concentration listed below.8
Choose at least one course in a third Concentration listed below.4
Additional units to reach 40.12
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal40-41
Total Units60-61

Fields of Concentration

A course may only be used to fulfill one concentration.

(a) Africa

HIS 102OUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Africa5
HIS 115AHistory of West Africa 4
HIS 115BHistory of East Africa & the Indian Ocean4
HIS 115CHistory of Southern Africa from Exploration to the Rainbow Nation4
HIS 115DPostcolonial Africa4
HIS 115ESlavery, Africa, & the Atlantic World4
HIS 116African History: Special Themes4

(b) Asia

HIS 102GUndergraduate Proseminar in History: China to 18005
HIS 102HUndergraduate Proseminar in History: China Since 18005
HIS 102NUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Japan5
HIS 102QUndergraduate Proseminar in History: India5
HIS 111AAncient History4
HIS 191AClassical China4
HIS 191BHigh Imperial China4
HIS 191CLate Imperial China4
HIS 191D19th-Century China: The Empire Confronts the West4
HIS 191EThe Chinese Revolution4
HIS 191FHistory of the People's Republic of China4
HIS 191GSpecial Topics in Chinese History to 18004
HIS 191HSpecial Topics in Chinese History after 18004
HIS 191JSex & Society in Modern Chinese History4
HIS 194AAristocratic & Feudal Japan4
HIS 194BEarly Modern Japan4
HIS 194CModern Japan4
HIS 194DBusiness & Labor in Modern Japan4
HIS 194EEducation & Technology in Modern Japan4
HIS 195BHistory of Modern Korea4
HIS 195CA History of Vietnam4
HIS 196AMedieval India4
HIS 196BModern India4

(c) Europe

HIS 102AUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Ancient5
HIS 102BUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Medieval5
HIS 102DUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Modern Europe to 18155
HIS 102EUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Europe Since 18155
HIS 102FUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Russia5
HIS 102IUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Britain5
HIS 102PUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Christianity & Culture in Europe, 50-18505
HIS 111BAncient History4
HIS 111CAncient History4
HIS 121AMedieval History4
HIS 121BMedieval History4
HIS 121CMedieval History4
HIS 122Selected Themes in Medieval History4
HIS 125Topics in Early Modern European History4
HIS 126YThe History of Human Rights in Europe4
HIS 130AChristianity & Culture in Europe: 50-14504
HIS 130BChristianity & Culture in Europe: 1450-16004
HIS 130CChristianity & Culture in Europe: 1600-18504
HIS 131AEarly Modern European History4
HIS 131BEuropean History During the Renaissance & Reformation4
HIS 131CThe Old Regime: Absolution, Enlightenment & Revolution in Europe4
HIS 132Crime & Punishment in Early Modern Europe4
HIS 133European Thought & Culture from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment4
HIS 134AThe Age of Revolution4
HIS 135AHistory of Science to the 18th Century4
HIS 135BHistory of Science, 18th to 20th Centuries4
HIS 136Scientific Revolution4
HIS 138AThe Rise of the Russian Empire, 1304-18254
HIS 138BReform & Revolution in Tsarist Russia, 1825-19174
HIS 138CRussian History: The Rise & Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917 to Present4
HIS 139AMedieval & Renaissance Medicine4
HIS 139BMedicine, Society, & Culture in Modern Europe4
HIS 140The Rise of Capitalism in Europe4
HIS 141France Since 18154
HIS 142AHistory of the Holocaust4
HIS 142BThe Memory of the Holocaust4
HIS 143History of Eastern Europe & the Balkans4
HIS 144AHistory of Germany, 1450 to 17894
HIS 144BHistory of Germany since 17894
HIS 145War & Revolution in Europe: 1789-19184
HIS 146AEurope in the 20th Century4
HIS 146BEurope in the 20th Century4
HIS 147AEuropean Intellectual History: 1800-18704
HIS 147BEuropean Intellectual History: 1870-19204
HIS 147CEuropean Intellectual History: 1920-19704
HIS 148AWomen & Society in Europe: 1500-17894
HIS 148BWomen & Society in Europe: 1789-19204
HIS 148CWomen in Society in Europe: 1914-Present4
HIS 149Comparative Cultural History of Modern Britain & France, 1880-19144
HIS 151AEngland: The Middle Ages4
HIS 151BEngland: The Early Modern Centuries4
HIS 151C18th-Century England4
HIS 151DIndustrial England4
HIS 160Spain & America in the 16th Century 4

(d) Latin America

HIS 102JUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Latin America Since 18105
HIS 156Latin American Migration History4
HIS 157Business, Biomes & Knowledge: Latin American Environmental History4
HIS 158Special Topics in Latin American History4
HIS 160Spain & America in the 16th Century 4
HIS/HMR 161Human Rights in Latin America4
HIS 162History of the Andean Region4
HIS 163AHistory of Brazil4
HIS 163BHistory of Brazil4
HIS 164History of Chile4
HIS 165Latin American Social Revolutions4
HIS 166AHistory of Mexico to 18484
HIS 166BHistory of Mexico since 18484
HIS 167Modern Latin American Cultural & Intellectual History4
HIS 168History of Inter-American Relations4
HIS 169AMexican-American History4
HIS 169BMexican-American History4

(e) Middle East

HIS 190AMiddle Eastern History I: The Rise of Islam, 600-10004
HIS 190BMiddle Eastern History II: The Age of the Crusades, 1001-14004
HIS 190CMiddle Eastern History III: The Ottomans, 1401-17304
HIS 190DMiddle Eastern History IV: Safavids Iran, 1300-17204
HIS 193AHistory of the Modern Middle East, 1750-19144
HIS 193BHistory of the Modern Middle East, From 19144
HIS 193CThe Middle East Environment: Historical Change & Current Challenges4
HIS 193DHistory of Modern Iran, From 1850 to Present4

(f) United States

HIS 102KUndergraduate Proseminar in History: American History to 17875
HIS 102LUndergraduate Proseminar in History: United States, 1787-18965
HIS 102MUndergraduate Proseminar in History: United States Since 18965
HIS 169AMexican-American History4
HIS 169BMexican-American History4
HIS 170AColonial America4
HIS 170BThe American Revolution4
HIS 170CThe Early National Period, 1789-18154
HIS 171ASlavery, Society & Expansion in the Early U.S.4
HIS 171BCivil War Era4
HIS 171CReconstruction, America’s Second Founding4
HIS 171DSelected Themes in 19th-Century American History4
HIS 172American Environmental History4
HIS 173Becoming an American: Immigration & American Culture4
HIS 174AThe Gilded Age & Progressive Era: United States, 1876-19174
HIS 174BWar, Prosperity, & Depression: United States, 1917-19454
HIS 174CThe United States Since World War II, 1945 to the Present4
HIS 174DSelected Themes in 20th-Century American History4
HIS 175American Intellectual History4
HIS 176ACultural & Social History of United States4
HIS 176BCultural & Social History of United States4
HIS 177AHistory of Black People & American Race Relations: 1450-18604
HIS 177BHistory of Black People & American Race Relations: 1860-Present4
HIS 178Water in the West: Environment & Politics in America's Arid Lands4
HIS 179Asian American History, 1850-Present4
HIS 180ANAmerican Political History, 1789-18964
HIS 180BNAmerican Political History, 1896-present4
HIS 180CThe Fight for the Right to Vote4
HIS 181Religion in American History to 18904
HIS 182Gender & Justice in American History4
HIS 183AThe Frontier Experience: Trans-Mississippi West4
HIS 183BThe Frontier Experience: Trans-Mississippi West4
HIS 184History of Sexuality in America4
HIS 185AHistory of Science in America4
HIS 185BHistory of Technology in America4
HIS 187History of US Foreign Relations in the 20th Century4
HIS 188America in the 1960s4
HIS 189California History4

(g) World

HIS 100Selected Topics in History4
HIS 102RUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Muslim Societies5
HIS 102XUndergraduate Proseminar in History: Comparative History5
HIS 107Medicine's Histories: Human & Veterinary Medicine from the Ancient World to One Health 4
HIS 108Global Environmental History4
HIS/SAS 109Environmental Change, Disease & Public Health4
HIS 110Themes in World History4
HIS 110AColonialism & the Making of the Modern World4
HIS 112ATopics in Pre-Modern Jewish History 4
HIS 112BTopics in Modern Jewish History4
HIS 112CHistory of Jews in the Muslim World4
HIS 113History of Modern Israel4
HIS 114Histories of 20th Century Partition4
HIS 119World War I4
HIS 120World War II4