Bachelor of Arts in History
Dr. Daniel R. Thorburn
The Bachelor of Arts in History is a broad-based program that has specific goals including: (1) engaging the mind and imagination of those who study history; (2) introducing students to worlds, times, places, and cultures - including their own - in ways they have never before considered; and (3) promoting the acquisition of historical knowledge and critical thinking, reading, writing, and research skills. Upon successful completion of the undergraduate history major, students should be able to demonstrate competency in the vital skills of historical explanation, discernment, and synthesis.
The study of the past broadens our perspective and allows us to discover the essential elements of human existence. The term historian covers a broad range of career options and job settings. In general, historians study, assess, and interpret the past to determine what happened and why. They examine court documents, diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts; they conduct research, write, teach, evaluate, and make recommendations. They interview individuals and study artifacts and archeological evidence.
In addition to providing experience in logical argumentation, history courses offer research, writing, and analytical skills necessary for many fulfilling careers. Graduates with a degree in history often become educators themselves and teach in elementary schools, secondary schools, or in postsecondary institutions. Beyond teaching, historians also work as researchers in museums and local historical organizations that deal with cultural resources management and historic preservation and make valuable contributions to government and private think tanks. A history degree is excellent preparation for journalists, ad writers, editors and anyone interested in producing multimedia materials and documentaries. Historians have rewarding careers as information managers such as archivists, records managers, and librarians. Finally, training in history creates a strong intellectual foundation for people interested in advocacy such as lawyers and paralegals, litigation support, legislative staff work, and nonprofit foundations. Positions that attract history majors will likely require some of the following qualifications beyond the Bachelor of Arts in History: experience, extensive knowledge of a particular time period or region, and specialized writing and research skills.
BA History/MA History Transition Program
Students currently enrolled in the BA History program who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and are within six courses of completion of the BA program may register for the BA History/MA History transition program. They do so by asking their admission advisor to submit a plan change into the transition program, allowing them to take two MA History classes as electives during the BA History program. Students may choose up to two 600-level History courses with the exception of HIS 600, HIS 692, HIS 695, HIS 696, HIS 697, HIS 698 or HIS 699.
For students in the BA History/MA History transition program, the University will waive up to two Master of Arts in History courses taken as part of the bachelor s degree if the grade earned is a B or higher. No graduate units will be awarded; instead the University will waive the MA history course(s) taken as part of the bachelor s degree. However, these students must still meet the residency requirements for the Master of Arts in History program. Students must apply to and begin the the MA in History program within six months of completing the BA in History program.
Students interested in the transition program to the MA History can have their admissions advisor apply to the program's Faculty Advisor for a waiver of the HIS 600 prerequisites requirement for the two transition classes that the student chooses. The Faculty Advisor will grant such waivers. Once students have completed the transition program and are matriculated into the MA History program, they will need to take HIS 600 as their initial course in the MA History program since it will be enforced as the prerequisite to all other courses in the program.
A complete description of Transition Program requirements can be found in the Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate knowledge of World History.
- Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. History.
- Analyze a variety of primary sources.
- Analyze secondary sources for their argument and use of supporting evidence, including how the argument may be influenced by the incompleteness of evidence or by biases that are part of surviving evidence.
- Discuss current concerns, new theories, new evidence and issues that shape the history of historical interpretation.
- Conduct historical research and support with appropriate primary and secondary source materials.
To receive a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in History, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as listed below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level. The following courses are degree requirements. In absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy the total units required for the degree. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information regarding admission and evaluation.
If the foreign language requirement is not completed in General Education, the equivalent must be completed as preparation for the History major either by testing or by satisfactorily passing two courses in one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. Other languages are acceptable upon approval of the director of the program.
Preparation for the Major (5 courses; 22.5 quarter units)
Required for the Major (10 courses; 45 quarter units)
Electives (6 courses; 27 quarter units)
Students must complete a minimum of 27 quarter units of electives to fulfill the upper-division unit requirements to earn the Bachelor of Arts in History. Students can select from the following strongly recommended and recommended electives OR choose from any upper-division course in the College of Letters and Sciences. Three elective courses must be in the History program (HIS). To ensure adequate preparation for the California State Examination for Teachers (CSET), students who wish to become middle-school and high-school history teachers in California should take all of their electives from the strongly recommended list.