Bachelor of Arts with a Major in History

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

A minimum of thirteen history (HIST) courses, including one to three introductory courses, one Majors’ Introductory Seminar, eight to ten upper-level courses, and a thesis or capstone project, as described below:

Introductory courses

At least one, but no more than three, History (HIST) courses at the 1000 level; these may include, but are not limited to, the following:
HIST 1011World History, 1500-Present
HIST 1020Approaches to Women's History
HIST 1110European Civilization in Its World Context
HIST 1121The War of Ideas in European and International History, 1750-Present
HIST 1310Introduction to American History
HIST 1311Introduction to American History
The introductory course requirement may be fulfilled by scoring 4 or 5 on Advanced Placement examinations: U.S. history AP (6 credits for HIST 1310 and HIST 1311), European history AP (3 credits for HIST 1120), and world history AP (3 credits for HIST 1011); or scoring 7 or above in an appropriate international baccalaureate program. Alternatively, requirement can be fulfilled by scoring 650 or above on the SAT II world history (HIST 1011) or U.S. history (HIST 1310 and HIST 1311).
Students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies for more detailed information regarding this requirement.

Majors' Introductory Seminar

To complete requirements for the major, a student must take a Majors' Introductory Seminar, preferably early in their program of study.
HIST 2005Majors’ Introductory Seminar
or HIST 2005W Majors’ Introductory Seminar
HIST 2105Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Europe
or HIST 2105W Majors’ Introductory Seminar: Europe
HIST 2305WMajors’ 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
Topics vary annually and are announced in the Schedule of Classes.
Students should consult the Director of Undergraduate for more detailed information regarding this requirement.

Upper-level courses

Eight to ten additional courses numbered from HIST 2000 to HIST 3999 (upper-level courses). The number of upper-level courses must be sufficient, when combined with the required introductory course(s), the Majors’ Introductory Seminar, and the thesis or capstone project, to produce a total of thirteen history (HIST) courses.
One or more of the upper-level courses, including for this purpose the Majors’ Introductory Seminar, must be from each of at least three of the following categories:
Europe: HIST 2100-2900 and HIST 3100-3199 groupings.
United States: HIST 2300-2399 and HIST 3300-3399 groupings.
World—the following regions combined count as one category:
Africa: HIST 2500-2599 and 3500-3599 groupings
Asia: HIST 2600-2699 and 3600-3699 groupings.
Latin America: HIST 2700-2799 and 3700-3799 groupings.
Middle East: HIST 2800-2899 and 3800-3899 groupings
At least one upper-level course must focus on the period before 1750.
Dean’s Seminars, Honors (HONR) courses taught by members of the Department of History, Majors’ Introductory Seminars, and special topics courses taught under HIST 3001 may be used to fulfill this requirement on a case-by-case basis.
Students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies for more detailed information regarding this requirement.

Thesis or capstone project

HIST 4098Thesis Seminar
or HIST 4098W Thesis Seminar
HIST 4099Senior Honors Thesis Tutorial
or HIST 4099W Senior Honors Thesis Tutorial
Students fulfill this requirement in their junior or senior year. The requirement may be satisfied by a suitable alternative (e.g., a digital history project or a documentary film) with the permission of the thesis instructor.
Students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies for more detailed information regarding this requirement.

Optional specialization

Students may choose to pursue an area of specialization by taking two courses beyond the thirteen required, with the expectation that a minimum of six courses will contribute to the student’s knowledge of a specific field; these may include a geographic region, chronological period, special topic (e.g., women’s history, legal history, or military history), or a combination thereof. The title of the specialization and proposed curriculum must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or other departmental delegate. A maximum of two courses counting toward the specialization may be taken in other departments of the University.

Foreign language

While there is no foreign language requirement, students 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–.