For more information on the admission process, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website. Applications may be submitted via the Common Application.
Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
The George Washington University
800 21st Street NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20052
Contact for questions: or 202-994-6040

General requirements for the major
A minimum of 13 History (HIST) courses, some of which may be waived by examination, as follows:
Introductory course requirements
At least one but no more than three introductory courses numbered in the 1000s. These might include, but are not limited to, HIST 1011, HIST 1120, HIST 1121, HIST 1310, and HIST 1311.
Alternatively, the introductory course requirement may be fulfilled by examination as follows: Scoring 4 or 5 on the U.S. (6 credits combined for HIST 1310 and HIST 1311), European (3 credits for HIST 1120), and World (3 credits for HIST 1011) Advanced Placement Examination; or by scoring 7 or above in an appropriate International Baccalaureate program. In addition, the following courses may be waived by scoring 650 or above on the SAT II World (HIST 1011) or U.S History (HIST 1310 and HIST 1311).
Majors’ Introductory Seminar
One Majors’ Introductory Seminar, selected from the following:
HIST 2005Majors’ Introductory Seminar
HIST 2105Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Europe
or HIST 2105W Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Europe
HIST 2305Majors' Introductory Seminar: United States
or HIST 2305W Majors’ Introductory Seminar: United States
HIST 2505Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Africa
HIST 2605Majors' Introductory Seminar: Asia
or HIST 2605W Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Asia
HIST 2705Majors' Introductory Seminar: Latin America
or HIST 2705W Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Latin America
HIST 2805Majors' Introductory Seminar: Middle East
or HIST 2805W Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Middle East
Senior or Honors thesis or capstone
HIST 4098Thesis Seminar
or HIST 4098W Thesis Seminar
HIST 4099Senior Honors Thesis Tutorial
or HIST 4099W Senior Honors Thesis Tutorial
Students with an overall GPA of 3.3 and a GPA of 3.5 in completed History courses may write a Special Honors Thesis. Students must find a thesis advisor who is a full-time member of the faculty.
An equivalent capstone project approved by the thesis instructor may be completed in lieu of the thesis.
Upper-level course requirements
In addition to the Majors’ Introductory Seminar, eight to ten upper-level courses numbered in the 2000s and 3000s, taken as follows:
Topical courses
Of the upper-level courses (including, for this purpose, the Majors’ Introductory Seminar), at least one course must be taken from three of the following groups. At least one of these courses must focus on the period before 1750.
HIST Group A: Europe (courses numbered in the 2100s or 3100s)
HIST Group B: North America (courses in the 2300s or 3300s)
HIST Group C: Africa (courses in the 2500s or 3500s)
HIST Group D: Asia (courses in the 2600s or 3600s)
HIST Group E: Latin America (courses in the 2700s or 3700s)
HIST Group F: Middle East (courses in the 2800s or 3800s)
HIST Group G: Theory/Methods
Dean’s Seminars and Honors (HONR) courses taught by members of the History Department faculty, Majors’ Introductory Seminars, and HIST 2001, HIST 2005 and HIST 3001 may count toward the topical requirement, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
With the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies or departmental delegate, a history major may, but is not required to, declare a specialization by having at least six courses contribute to the student’s knowledge of a specific field. An area of specialization might be a geographic region, chronological period, or other topic (such as women’s history, legal history, or military history), or a combination thereof. Up to two courses counting for the specialization may be taken in other departments with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies or departmental delegate.
Foreign language
A foreign language is not required, but majors are strongly encouraged to take at least two semesters of a foreign language, particularly if they plan to pursue a graduate degree in history.

In addition to the University General Education Requirement, undergraduate students in Columbian College must complete a further, College-specific general education curriculum—Perspective, Analysis, Communication, or G-PAC. Together with the University General Education Requirement, G-PAC engages students in active intellectual inquiry across the liberal arts. Students achieve a set of learning outcomes that enhance their analytical skills, develop their communication competencies, and invite them to participate as responsible citizens who are attentive to issues of culture, diversity, and privilege.

G-PAC approved courses, Dean's Seminars, and Sophomore Colloquia that may be available for registration are listed on the CCAS Advising website.

Coursework for the University General Education Requirement is distributed as follows:

  • Writing—one approved course in university writing and two approved writing in the disciplines (WID) courses.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical or creative thinking skills.
  • Mathematics or Statistics—one approved course in either mathematics or statistics.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry.
  • Social Sciences—two approved courses in the social sciences.

Coursework for the Columbian College general education curriculum is distributed as follows:

  • Arts—one approved course in the arts that involves the study or creation of artwork based on an understanding or interpretation of artistic traditions or knowledge of art in a contemporary context.
  • Global or Cross-Cultural Perspective—one approved course that analyzes the ways in which institutions, practices, and problems transcend national and regional boundaries.
  • Humanities—one approved course in the humanities that involves critical thinking skills (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • Local or Civic Engagement—one approved course that develops the values, ethics, disciplines, and commitment to pursue responsible public action.
  • Natural or Physical Science—one approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement.
  • Oral Communication—one course in oral communication.

Certain courses are approved to fulfill the requirement in more than one of these categories.

Courses taken in fulfillment of G-PAC also may be counted toward majors or minors. Transfer courses taken prior to, but not after, admission to George Washington University may count toward the University General Education Requirement and G-PAC, if those transfer courses are equivalent to GW courses that have been approved by the University and the College.

In addition to the general requirements stated under University Regulations, in order to be considered for graduation with Special Honors, students must have an overall GPA of 3.3 and a GPA of 3.5 in the major at the time of graduation; and complete HIST 4099 Senior Honors Thesis Tutorial with a grade of A or A–.