Major Requirements

Whether you choose to major or minor in history, we hope to provide you with stimulating, thought-provoking, scholarly courses that will help you understand both how you have become who you are and the varying ways people have come to grips with the perennial problems of human existence. As with other liberal arts majors, we will work to provide you with skills in research, analysis, and communication that will serve you well professionally and personally for the rest of your lives.

The major in history consists of a minimum of 27 hours and must include History 390 or 392, one course in premodern history, and a minimum of 3 hours in each of the following three fields:  European history; United States history; and African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history. Students may only count two 100-level courses toward the required 27 hours; 100-level course do not meet the field requirements.

Details on Field Requirements:

  • You must have 3 hours in U.S. history. There are no specific requirements within American history. Latin-American history courses do not count in this category.
  • You must have 3 hours in European history. Russian and Ancient history count toward this requirement. HST 101, 102 and 120 meet the Divisional Requirement and count toward the major but not toward this requirement.
  • You must have 3 hours in Asian, African, Latin-American, or Middle Eastern history. HST 103 through 110 meet the Divisional Requirement and count toward the major but not toward this requirement.
  • You must take one course in pre-modern history. The following courses meet this requirement:
    • 206 Early Middle Ages;
    • 207 High Middle Ages through Renaissance;
    • 209 Europe: Renaissance to Revolution;
    • 217 France to 1774;
    • 219 Germany to 1871;
    • 222 Renaissance and Reformation;
    • 223 Great Britain to 1800;
    • 230 Russia to 1865;
    • 242 Middle East to 1500;
    • 244 Imperial China;
    • 246 Japan to 1800;
    • 253 Colonial America, 1582-1774
    • 255 American West to 1848
    • 258 The American Colonies to 1750
    • 260 Premodern South Asia
    • 268 African History to 1870
    • 284 Latin America’s Colonial Past
    • 305 Medieval and Early Modern Iberia;
    • 307 The Italian Renaissance;
    • 308 Alexander the Great;
    • 312 Jews, Greeks, and Romans;
    • 315 Greek History;
    • 316 Rome: Republic and Empire
    • 328 History of English Common Law
    • 341 African in the Atlantic World
    • 353 War and society in Early America
    • 387 Muslim Empires Compared: The Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals

N.B. Sometimes, History 311 (Colloquium) or HST 399 (Directed Reading) will satisfy the above distribution requirements. In the case of the pre-modern requirement, the primary focus of the course must be in the years before 1750 CE. In such cases, you must have the Department chair put a note in your departmental file identifying the course and area.

Research seminar. Students must take one history seminar, HST 390, in which they write a major research paper. Students should take this course before their last term and preferably before their senior year. Usually three or four 390′s are offered each term, with different faculty each term. We strongly recommend that students take a 390 only in a field in which they have previously taken a course.

If a student qualifies to enter the departmental honors program, s/he may substitute History 392, the individually directed research course, for the History 390 requirement.

If after completing the research project in History 392 or 390 and having the grade filed for that course, the student and the supervising professor agree that more work will produce adequate improvement and learning, you may, with the official permission of the instructor form filed in the History Office, take History 397, Historical Writing Tutorial (1.5 hours) to improve your work. Credit for History 397 does not count toward the major.

Majors may include within the required 27 hours up to 6 hours of advanced placement or comparable work and up to 6 hours of any combination of independent study and directed reading other than the hours earned in History 397.  Students must take at least 15 hours of class work at Wake Forest University and have a GPA of 2.0 in history to graduate with the major. Courses that a student elects to take pass/fail do not count toward the major.

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