BA History

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Program Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the BA in History, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a breadth and depth of historical knowledge of diverse regions of the world, and apply that knowledge toward a more critical and contextual understanding of the world today.
  2. Recognize and understand the historical experiences and contributions of members of diverse groups of people throughout history, including those who have been historically marginalized and/or underrepresented in historical sources and historiography.
  3. Identify and evaluate multiple perspectives and interpretations of the past, and grasp different approaches (e.g. political, social, cultural, intellectual, legal, economic) to historical research, both qualitative and quantitative.
  4. Engage in and make constructive use of relevant theoretical concepts and historiographic debates.
  5. Locate, critically analyze, and interpret diverse types of primary sources used by historians, and synthesize information in primary and secondary sources in historical analysis.
  6. Effectively communicate historical knowledge and formulate convincing arguments, verbally and in analytical writing.
  7. Design, research, and produce original and sustained projects.
  8. Achieve Cal Poly’s Diversity Learning Objectives.
  9. Pursue diverse careers that require advanced skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication, synthesis-based research, intellectual innovation, and information literacy.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

In addition to the program requirements listed on this page, students must also satisfy requirements outlined in more detail in the Minimum Requirements for Graduation section of this catalog, including:

  • 60 units of upper-division courses
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP)

Note: No Major or Support courses may be selected as credit/no credit.

HIST 100Introduction to the Study of History2
HIST 110Western Civilization: Ancient to Renaissance4
HIST 111Western Civilization: Reformation to the Present4
HIST 201United States History to 1865 (D1) (USCP) 14
HIST 202United States History Since 18654
HIST 213Modern Political Economy (D2) 14
HIST 210World History to 1800 (GE Electives) 14
or HIST 221 World History, Beginnings to 1000 CE
or HIST 222 World History, 1000-1800
or HIST 223 World History, 1800 - Present
HIST 303Research and Writing Seminar in History5
HIST 304Historiography4
HIST 460Senior Project I2
HIST 461Senior Project II2
History Electives
Select upper-division HIST courses 224
Select a minimum of 12 units at the 400 level
Select a minimum of 12 units from the following Non-U.S., Non-European courses
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Cultures of West Africa and the African Diaspora
East Asian Culture and Civilization
Comparative World Environmental History & Sustainability Since 1492
Modern Middle East
Modern East Asia
The Lure of the Sea
The City in the Modern World
Modern South and Southeast Asia
Colonial Latin America
Modern Latin America
Modern Central America
Vietnam War at Home and Abroad
Modern Japan
20th Century China
Chinese Film and History
Modern Southeast Asia
The History of Prostitution
Japanese Postwar Film and History
The History of Vietnam
Imperial Russia
Soviet Russia
The Indian Ocean
Precolonial African History
Modern African History
Topics and Issues in Latin American History
Topics and Issues in Asian History
Topics and Issues in African History
Topics and Issues in Comparative History
Imperialism and Postcolonial Studies
Arabia and the Arab Gulf States
Foreign Language Requirement
Select from the following:4
Intermediate Mandarin Chinese I
Intermediate French I
Intermediate German I
Intermediate Italian I
Intermediate Japanese I
Intermediate Spanish I
or equivalent course
Society and the Individual Breadth:
Upper-Division D (General Education) course not in HIST 14
Any upper-division courses (300-400, including HIST)24
(See GE program requirements below.)56
Free Electives 329
Total units180

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 16 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • If any of the remaining 56 units is used to satisfy a Major or Support requirement, additional units of Free Electives may be needed to complete the total units required for the degree.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • A grade of C- or better is required in one course in each of the following GE Areas: A1 (Oral Communication), A2 (Written Communication), A3 (Critical Thinking), and B4 (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning). 
Area AEnglish Language Communication and Critical Thinking
A1Oral Communication4
A2Written Communication4
A3Critical Thinking4
Area BScientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
B1Physical Science4
B2Life Science4
B3One lab taken with either a B1 or B2 course
B4Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning4
Upper-Division B4
Area CArts and Humanities
Lower-division courses in Area C must come from three different subject prefixes.
C1Arts: Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theater4
C2Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English4
Lower-Division C Elective - Select a course from either C1 or C24
Upper-Division C4
Area DSocial Sciences - Select courses in Area D from at least two different prefixes
D1American Institutions (Title 5, Section 40404 Requirement) (4 units in Major) 10
D2Lower-Division D (4 units in Major) 10
Upper-Division D (4 units in Support) 10
Area ELifelong Learning and Self-Development
Lower-Division E4
Area F Ethnic Studies
F Ethnic Studies4
GE Electives in Areas B, C, and D
Select courses from two different areas; may be lower-division or upper-division courses.
GE Electives (4 units in Major plus 4 units in GE) 14
Total units56