Dec 09, 2022  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
    
USC Catalogue 2022-2023

History (BA)


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The Bachelor of Arts in History requires students to take 10 courses (40 units).

The History major offers students a means to encounter the peoples and cultures of the past and develop critical thinking, research and writing skills essential for understanding the present. The program exposes students to underlying connections between the study of past times and places and the roots of that study in human concerns about values, identities, issues and policies.

In their lower-division courses, majors will have the opportunity to explore the histories of different cultures across time. Students at the upper-division level hone their knowledge of different cultures and societies, while also learning how to do history. When they arrive at their capstone course, they will apply that knowledge to a substantial world of independent research.

Lower-Division Requirements

All majors are required to complete HIST 201  Approaches to History. It is recommended that students complete HIST 201  early in their course of study.

Students can take up to three additional lower-division survey courses. However, if they prefer to take upper-division courses instead, they may.

The Department of History will accept scores of 4 or 5 on Advanced Placement European History, Advanced Placement United States History or Advanced Placement World History as a substitute for one course requirement at the lower-division level.

Upper-Division Requirements

Six upper-division courses are required, of which at least two must be 400-levels. No more than 4 units of HIST 490x  Directed Research may be counted as satisfying the upper-division seminar requirement.

Geographic and Temporal Breadth Requirements

For geographic breadth, majors must take at least one course from four geographic areas. Those areas and the classes that fulfill them are listed below. Majors must also take two class that focus on the period before 1800 and two that focus on the period after 1800 to show temporal breadth. The courses that cover those periods are listed below. A single course may fulfill both a geographic and temporal requirement.    

Capstone Requirement

Every major must complete a capstone to finish the major. To do so they must take a 400-level course their last year in the major (usually their senior year, but exceptions will be considered), which includes a substantial work of independent scholarship. They must have their choice approved by the department. See the department website for how to achieve an approved capstone. For students who choose to complete the Honors Thesis, this counts as a capstone. Classes that can be considered for a capstone are listed below.

All majors must take:


Geographic Requirement: The Americas


All majors must take ONE course in this area. See possible courses below.

Geographic Requirement: Europe and the Mediterranean


All majors must take ONE course in this area. See possible courses below.

Temporal Requirement: Pre-1800


All majors must take TWO courses from this period. See possible courses below.

Temporal Requirement: Post-1800


All majors must take TWO courses from this period. See possible courses below.

Capstone Requirement


All students must take a 400 level seminar course during their last year as a major. Please see the department website and emails for details on the capstone classes offered for the academic year. 

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