Academic Catalog 2024-2025


College of Arts and Humanities  
Department of History

Program Description

History as an academic and professional discipline continually looks for the best ways to help us understand times, people, and places very different from our own. It also provides tools to identify and analyze the processes of historical development that have shaped the world we live in today. One cannot understand the present without carefully studying the past.

The CSUDH History Department offers three degree programs: a 45-unit History Bachelor of Arts, a 63-unit Bachelor of Arts History/Social Science Education Option, and a 15-unit History minor. Students in both major degree programs complete two lower-division, pre-requisite courses in world history before attaining upper-division status. These courses introduce students to the patterns of change and continuity that shaped ancient, classical, post-classical and modern societies as they learn how historians find and evaluate evidence. Upper-division courses study specific eras and topics in greater depth. Students in both major programs complete a sequence of disciplinary methods courses (HIS 300 Theory and Practice of History, HIS 400 Proseminar in History, and HIS 490 Senior Seminar in History), in which they learn the skills necessary to engage in independent historical inquiry. HIS 400 and HIS 490 students are cohorted for completion of a two-semester research project. The 45-unit Bachelor of Arts degree program is designed to allow students maximum flexibility to tailor their course of study to their interests and needs; the 63-unit History Education Option is recommended for students interested in teaching history and social science in grades 7-12. Education Option majors complete an additional four lower-division and three upper-division requisite courses outside of History to fulfill California Teaching Commission requirements for subject-matter competency in History/Social Sciences. Completion of the Education Option degree with a GPA of 2.85 or better, a "C" or better in all courses, satisfies the California Teacher Credentialing Commission’s subject matter competency requirement, enabling graduates to enter post-baccalaureate teacher credential programs without completing the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) exam in social science. To earn a minor in History, students complete fifteen units by taking five upper-division electives.

Academic Advisement

To facilitate student attainment of academic and career goals, the History Department requires all majors to meet with a faculty advisor each semester prior to class registration. Faculty advisors provide students with information about departmental requirements, course availability, coursework expectations, internship and scholarship opportunities, and career options. Students are also strongly encouraged to consult with an advisor before applying for graduation. Faculty mentors also help students prepare for graduate work in history, education, and other related fields.

Student Life

The Department hosts two student organizations: the CSUDH History Club, a student organization open to all CSUDH students, and local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society for history majors. The CSUDH Tau Epsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.

The Department sponsors two annual scholarship programs for history majors: the Jack T. Kilfoil Scholarship, and the Pamela D. Emerson Environmental and Social Justice Scholarship. Each academic year, students also have two opportunities to publish their work in The Toro Historical Review, the undergraduate journal of the CSUDH History Department.