Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Requirements

Why Major in History?

Because students of history learn to write well and think clearly, a history major is excellent training for almost any career, including law, business, international relations, and journalism. The unique opportunities we offer students of history, from completing individual Capstone research projects to publishing articles in Chronos, our undergraduate history journal, prepares our majors well for future jobs that require critical thinking, research and writing skills.

Unlike pre-professional programs, majoring in history does not limit your choices after graduation. The training you receive as a history major will serve you well throughout life, a point made frequently by history alumni. In short, whether or not your plans include further education after Syracuse, majoring in history is a practical choice.

    Major Requirements 

    To complete a history major, students must take 10 courses (30 credits) in history:    

    • Of these 10 courses, at least 7 courses (21 credits) must be upper division (numbered 300 or higher).

    • The Major also requires one lower-division, two-course foundation sequence:

              HST 101-102
              HST 111-112
              HST 121-122
              HST 210-211

    • Majors must take HST 301 (Practicum in History), a seminar that introduces history majors to the methods and goals of historical study, and to the skills needed to conduct independent historical research. Ideally this course should be taken as early as possible, upon declaration of the major.

    • Majors must  take HST 401, the senior seminar.  They may petition to take an independent study (HST 490) in lieu of the 401 requirement. Students completing the Distinction Thesis in History are not required to take HST 401.

    • Majors must select a geographical concentration (either U.S., European, or Global history).  At least 5 courses (15 credits) must focus on this concentration and students must complete at least one course from each of the other two areas of concentration. Majors should aim to take the lower-division survey and HST 401 in their areas of concentration.  No more than two lower-division (6 credits) may be counted toward the concentration.
      • Global - courses that focus on the ancient, pre-modern or modern history of any of the following regions or countries therein Africa, East Asia (China, Korea, Japan), India, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa. 
      • Europe - courses focusing on the European landmass including Russia whether ancient, medieval, early modern or modern, and those that emphasize the experiences of Europeans in the world through imperialism and wars. 
      • U.S. - any course primarily focused in the region that now constitutes the United States of America from the colonial era to the present, including courses in Native American history, African American history, and U.S. activities oversees. 

    • Majors must complete two courses (at least 1 at upper-level) in each major chronological period of history (pre-modern, modern). Lower-division surveys and/or HST 401 may be counted toward this total.

    • Advanced Placement (AP) Credits:

    • Advanced Placement Score Credit Requirements




      U.S. History  4-5 
      European History  4-5 
      World History  4-5 
    •  International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit:

               History Examination = 6 credits lower division

      Students may count a maximum of 9 lower division AP/IB credits toward a History major, as stipulated by the rule of no more than 9 lower division credits of the 30 required for a major.

    • At least 5 courses (15 credits) have to be taken at Syracuse University. Students with AP credits are still required to take 5 courses here at Syracuse University.   

      Minor Requirements 

      To complete a history minor, students must take 6 courses (18 credits) in history, including: 

      • 2 courses (6 credits) in lower-division and 2 courses (6 credits) in upper-division (300 or higher), all in a single general area of history (U.S., European, or Global concentration).

      • at least 1 course (3 credits) outside of the general area of concentration.

      • at least one course (3 credits) in each chronological period (pre-modern, modern)

      • 4/6 courses must be upper-level (300+)

      • At least 5 courses (15 credits) have to be taken at Syracuse University. Students with AP credits are still required to take 5 courses here at Syracuse University.

      • Minors are NOT required to take seminars, but they may take HST 301 or 401 if they would like.