Requirements for the History Major
The field of concentration track offers breadth and depth. Lower-division surveys introduce students to multiple regions and periods while upper-division electives enable students to concentrate their studies on a particular region or theme.
History majors must complete 15 hours of lower-division surveys in a variety of geographic and chronological areas; they are expected to complete this coursework before selecting either the traditional major or the geographic and thematic major. 12 of those hours will include a US History Survey (either HIST1492 or HIST1493, required of all OU students) and any one course from any three of the four following areas: Ancient/Medieval; Near/Far Eastern; European; or Latin American/African. The final required survey is HIST 2573, discussed below. To view all courses offered to fulfill survey requirements, check our Course Listings. (LINK to complete course listings)
Seminars for the Major
All History majors must complete the following seminar sequence:
The History Sleuth emphasizes how historians (like detectives) search for clues to the past and piece them together. Since this course teaches students how to perform historical research, it is recommended that students take the course in the first year as a major.
The Junior Colloquium is a small seminar that immerses students in research and writing, preparing them for the senior capstone. For this reason, it is recommended that students take the course in their second year as a history major. Students are welcome to enroll in more than one colloquium; additional colloquia count as 3000-level courses for the major. The three different sections offered every semester cover a wide variety of geographic and thematic topics.
The Senior Capstone is the senior-level research paper the university requires of all CAS majors to graduate and the culmination of the major. History majors, having taken HIST2573 and HIST3573, will find themselves well prepared to undertake and write a significant research paper. The three different sections offered every semester also cover a wide variety of geographic and thematic fields.
Upper-Division Coursework: Area of Concentration Major
Students are expected to complete 21 hours of coursework overall. To have a concentration in a specific field, you will be required to take at least 15 upper-division credit hours within that field, consisting of 3000- and 4000-level courses. There is no difference between 3000 and 4000-level courses in terms of expectations, assignments, or level of difficulty, with the exception of the capstone.
Students also take the colloquium (HIST3573) and the capstone (HIST4973); both courses may be used for the completion of a field (15 hours total), but it is not required to have them in your field. (We will encourage you to take them in your field whenever possible, but we realize that scheduling difficulties sometimes occur.) Students may use up to two 2000-level courses to complete the 21 hours required for the major. However, but they cannot use those courses to also fulfill survey requirements, nor can they use them to complete the field of concentration.
Electives and Upper-Division Coursework: Traditional Major
Majors following the traditional track are expected to take 21 hours of major elective courses; 6 of these hours may be taken at the 2000 level; but at least 15 major elective hours must be at the 3000 and 4000 level, including a Junior Colloquium (HIST3573) and a Senior Capstone (HIST4973). A 2000-level course that has been used to fulfill a survey requirement cannot be used toward the 21 elective hours. There is no difference between 3000- and 4000-level courses in terms of expectations, assignments, or level of difficulty, with the exception of the capstone.
The capstone can be in any area. The remaining 18 hours of major elective courses (including the colloquium) must be divided between three geographic categories as follows: 6 hours US, 6 hours African/Asian/Latin American/Russian/Near East, and 6 hours European.