Maxwell School

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Requirements

Why Major in History?

The undergraduate program, which leads to an B.A. in history, provides rigorous training in research, analysis, and writing. Because students of history learn to evaluate evidence, write well, and think clearly, the history major is excellent training for almost any career, including law, business, international affairs and journalism. Whether or not your plans include further education after Syracuse, majoring in history is a practical choice.

Major Requirements

To complete a history major, students must take 10 courses (30 credits) in history:   

  • Of these 10 courses, at least 7 courses (21 credits) must be upper division (numbered 300 or higher).  

  • Majors are required to take one of our lower-division, two-course foundation sequences; these courses may count toward the concentration:

    HST 101-102
    HST 111-112
    HST 121-122
    HST 210-211-212 (any two of this series of three make a sequence) 

  • Advanced Placement (AP) Credit:

    Course/Exam
    U.S. History
    European History
    World History

    Score
    4-5
    4-5
     4-5 

    Credit
    6
    6
     6 

  •  International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit:

             History Examination = 6 credits lower division

    Students may count a maximum of 9 lower division AP/IB credits toward a History major, as stipulated by the rule of no more than 9 lower division credits of the 30 required for a major.

  • At least 5 courses (15 credits) have to be taken at Syracuse University. Students with AP credits are still required to take 5 courses here at Syracuse University.

  • All majors must take a section of HST 401, the senior seminar, or its HST 490 equivalent at Syracuse University.  It is not required that the 401 be in the area of concentration, but it is encouraged.  Students can petition to take an independent study in lieu of the 401 requirement. Students completing the Distinction Thesis in History are not required to take HST 401.  

In addition, distribution requirements apply, depending on your class year: 

  • Students who matriculated in Fall 2000 or later must take at least 1 course (3 credits) in each of the three distribution areas: American (U.S.), European (Ancient Greece and Rome, Europe, Medieval, Renaissance), Global (Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Asia); e.g. an American concentrator must take at least 1 European and 1 Global course.  These can be lower or upper level.

  • Students who matriculated in Fall 2000 or later must choose a concentration in one of the three areas (American, European, Global) by taking at least 5 courses (15 credits) in a single area.  Up to 2 courses (6 credits) of a lower-division survey, and 1 course (3 credits) of HST 401 may be counted toward this goal.  

Minor Requirements

To complete a history minor, students must take 6 courses (18 credits) in history, including:

  • 2 courses (6 credits) in lower-division and 2 courses (6 credits) in upper-division (300 or higher), all in a single general area of history (American, European, or Global).

  • 1 course (3 credits) in upper-division (300 or higher), outside of the general area of concentration.

  • At least 5 courses (15 credits) have to be taken at Syracuse University. Students with AP credits are still required to take 5 courses here at Syracuse University.  
  • HST 401 (3 credits) - the Senior Seminar, or its HST 490 equivalent at Syracuse University.  It is not required that the 401 be in the area of concentration.

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Department of History | Maxwell School | Syracuse University | 145 Eggers Hall | Syracuse, NY 13244-1020 | 315.443.2210 | Fax: 315.443.5876 | history@maxwell.syr.edu