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History

Department Overview

315 Smith

History undertakes the study of human affairs in a manner that seeks to understand change and development rather than the state of things at a given moment, taking into account societies in diverse parts of the world from the earliest times for which written records exist to the present.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
318 Smith, Box 353560
(206) 543-5691
histadv@uw.edu

The Department of History offers the following programs of study:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history
  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in the history and philosophy of science, offered jointly with the Department of Philosophy
  • Minors in history; history of empire and colonialism; history of race, gender, and power; history of religion and socieity; history of science; and history of war and society.

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: Courses that develop writing skills.

Department Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum college/university GPA of 2.00
  2. Completion of 10 credits of college history with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50
  3. Completion of 10 credits of composition/writing courses with a minimum grade of 2.0 for each course. The requirement may be met by a freshman English composition course or a "W" course.
  4. Students may apply to the major at any time in the quarter. Transfer students must be enrolled at the UW before applying.

Major Requirements

60 credits, to include:

  1. At least one 5-credit in four of the following six fields: Asia; Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; Middle East and Africa; United States and Canada; and Comparative and Trans-regional
  2. At least 10 credits in pre-modern history and 10 credits in modern history (as designated by the department)
  3. At least 30 upper-division history credits completed in residence at the UW
  4. 5 credits of HSTRY 388, to be completed no later than within two quarters of declaring the major
  5. 5 credits of undergraduate senior seminar (as designated by the department)
  6. Approved electives to reach 60 credits
  7. Beyond the required subjects, the student may or may not specialize, depending upon personal interests and career plans.
  8. A minimum 2.25 GPA for all history courses and minimum 2.0 grade in all history courses taken to fulfill requirements for the major.

Minor

Minor Requirements:

History: 30 credits of history, of which 20 must be upper-division, with a minimum 2.0 grade in each course applied toward the minor. Minimum 15 of the 20 upper-division credits must be completed in residence at the UW.

History or Empire and Colonialism: 30 credits from approved course list, of which 20 credits must be upper division, with a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses applied toward the minor. A minimum 15 of the 20 upper-division credits must be completed in residence at the UW Seattle campus. Up to 5 credits may overlap with other minors.

History of Race, Gender, and Power: 30 credits from approved course list, of which 20 credits must be upper division, with a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses applied toward the minor. Minimum 15 of the 20 upper-division credits must be completed in residence at the UW Seattle campus. Up to 5 credits may overlap with other minors.

History of Religion and Society: 30 credits from approved course list, of which 20 credits must be upper division, with a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses applied toward the minor. Minimum 15 of the 20 upper-division credits must be completed in residence at the UW Seattle campus. Up to 5 credits may overlap with other minors.

History of Science: 25 credits, including HSTCMP 311, HSTCMP 312, HSTRY 390, and HSTRY 493; plus one course from an approved list of elective courses. A minimum 2.0 grade is required in each course.

History of War and Society: 30 credits from approved course list, of which 20 credits must be upper division, with a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses applied toward the minor. Minimum 15 of the 20 upper-division credits must be completed in residence at the UW Seattle campus. Up to 5 credits may overlap with other minors.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The study of history enhances critical thinking and writing skills. It is a creative process in which students learn to use arguments and evidence to communicate a sound historical thesis. It is a liberal arts degree that encourages students to become well rounded, educated people. Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in many professions and businesses. In addition to teaching, research, and museum and archives work, recent graduates have pursued careers as political lobbyists, journalists, and law enforcement officers. Many history majors pursue, and are well prepared for, further education and professional programs such as medicine, law, library science, and museum curatorship.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The department funds a writing center for students enrolled in history courses. The department also has a small computer lab available for history majors.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Distinction (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: The department encourages students to participate in internships that include historical elements. Students work with a sponsoring organization and a history faculty member. See adviser for details.
  • Department Scholarships:
    • The Faye Wilson Scholarship is awarded to students emphasizing U.S. history and the Schwartz Fellowship to students pursuing historical study of a non-western civilization. The Freedman Remak Scholarship is awarded to non-resident history majors based on academic merit.
    • History majors may compete for two paper prizes: The Thomas Power Prize for papers written in a history course during the last year, and the York/Mason Award for history papers written on African Americans in the West.
    • The Millican Fund and the Willstadter Snow-Smith Award provide funding for travel in the course of historical research.
    • In addition, the department allows students to nominate their high school history teacher for the Pressly Prize, which honors excellence in education.
    • Scholarship and prize competitions run in February and March of each year. See adviser for details.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Phi Alpha Theta, a history honors society. See adviser for details.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
206C Smith, Box 353560
(206) 543-8291
histgrad@uw.edu

The Department of History offers graduate training leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in a large number of fields within the discipline. Students in the programs prepare for careers as college teachers who combine teaching with scholarship and professional writing. A few graduates enter government service, college administration, or publishing. The MA program is normally completed in five or six full-time academic quarters or their equivalent.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a strong undergraduate program in history, ordinarily as a history major
  2. Usually a minimum 3.50 (A-)GPA, particularly in history and related subjects, and especially in the final two years of work, and in graduate work if any graduate studies have been completed prior to application
  3. Ordinarily a score in the 80th percentile or higher on the verbal portion of the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  4. Evidence of genuine intellectual ability and interest beyond the routine performance of academic tasks
  5. Reading knowledge of at least one language in addition to English is required for all graduate degrees. It is not a requirement for admission to the graduate program, but qualified applicants with knowledge of at least one foreign language may be favored over those who lack such knowledge. Moreover, an applicant who proposes to work for a degree in Greek, Roman, European, Russian, Medieval, Modern European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Asian history is expected to have begun to acquire a working knowledge in the foreign languages essential to research in the field.

Degree Requirements

In addition to Graduate School requirements, 36 credits minimum, as follows:

  1. Submission of proposed course of study: Two-field MA form or proposed course of study, as appropriate. This requirement must be met no later than the end of the second quarter of graduate study.
  2. Official establishment of the MA committee and submission of the request for establishing a master's Supervisory Committee form. This requirement must be met no later than the end of the third quarter of graduate study.
  3. Successful completion of all language requirements. This requirement must be satisfied no later than the quarter immediately preceding the quarter in which the student expects to complete the master's degree.
  4. Demonstrate by written examination mastery of a substantial body of historical knowledge. Students are expected to construct their fields of study in consultation with their supervising faculty.
  5. Satisfactory completion of a graduate seminar which entails the preparation of a research seminar paper; or the satisfactory completion of an MA thesis. Most seminars are two- or three-quarter classes.
  6. Official submission of an application for the degree
  7. All Graduate School requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a strong master's program in history, or a closely related field
  2. Usually a minimum 3.50 (A-) GPA, particularly in history and related subjects
  3. Ordinarily a score in the 80th percentile or higher on the verbal portion of the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  4. Evidence of genuine intellectual ability and interest beyond the routine performance of academic tasks
  5. Reading knowledge of at least one language in addition to English is required for all graduate degrees. It is not a requirement for admission to the graduate program, but qualified applicants with knowledge of at least one foreign language may be favored over those who lack such knowledge. Moreover, an applicant who proposes to work for a degree in Greek, Roman, European, Russian, Medieval, Modern European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Asian history is expected to have begun to acquire a working knowledge in the foreign languages essential to research in the field.

Degree Requirements

In addition to Graduate School Requirements, 90 credits minimum, as follows:

  1. Submission of the proposed course of study form. This requirement should be met no later than the end of the second quarter after entrance to the PhD program. For students promoting into the PhD program from the MA program, this form must be completed no later than the end of the first quarter of doctoral study.
  2. Official establishment of the doctoral Supervisory Committee and submission of the request for establishing a doctoral Supervisory Committee form. This requirement must be met no later than the end of the third quarter after entrance to the PhD program. For students promoting into the PhD program from the MA program, this form must be completed no later than the end of the first quarter of doctoral study.
  3. Language requirements must be satisfied no later than the quarter immediately preceding the quarter in which the student expects to take the PhD general examination.
  4. Satisfactory performance in the PhD general examination, which consists of four written examinations in four fields and an oral examination. Fields must be distributed among at least two divisions, such that at least one of these four fields lies clearly outside the student's primary division of concentration. Students are expected to construct their fields of study in consultation with their supervising faculty. PhD students concentrating in the U.S. history division are required to offer at least one of the following three chronological fields: Early America, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century. A grade of "honors" or "high pass" in a departmental field examination for the MA degree may exempt the student from the PhD examination in that field at the discretion of the faculty member administering the PhD examination.
  5. Satisfactory completion of a seminar paper while enrolled as a PhD student. This paper must be completed before the student takes the PhD general examination. Students who have not completed a graduate seminar in this department for their MA are ordinarily expected to enroll in such a seminar as part of their coursework for the PhD, and to write their research paper in the context of this seminar.
  6. Official establishment of the doctoral reading committee
  7. Preparation of an acceptable doctoral dissertation
  8. Satisfactory performance in a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation

Financial Aid

Entering graduate students are considered for any departmental fellowships and other funding for which they are eligible. Students with, or who expect to receive, the MA degree by the time they begin their studies may apply for teaching assistantships and may, with continued satisfactory scholarly progress, hold a TAappointment for a total of nine quarters, provided adequate funds are available.