History

Academic Degrees

Academic Degrees

The Department of History offers four academic degrees, as well as guidance through the Social Science Subject Matter (teaching credential) Program.

B.A. in History

For many undergraduates CSUN is a confusing institution. Requirements for graduation are numerous and very complex. In order to complete your degree as quickly as possible, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the requirements. The most important document -- although it is itself confusing at times -- is the University Catalog. The material in this section is intended to clarify many of the issues undergraduate history majors have questions about.

It is your responsibility to become thoroughly familiar with the department’s requirements in the major, the university’s requirements in general education, and the state’s requirements in history, institutions and government as specified in the current university catalogue. Consult with the Undergraduate Coordinator or another faculty member if you have any questions.

In addition to the history courses listed and described in the university catalogue, the Department of History regularly offers special topics courses (numbered 196, 296, 396, and 496). You are encouraged to make suggestions about possible special topics courses to your professors or to the chair of the department.

The special topics courses are regular lecture courses in areas not specifically covered by existing courses. Such special topics courses may be applied to the requirements for the major and should be considered as regular history courses.

 

General Core Requirements (15 units)

These courses are designed to give you a breadth of understanding of some of the primary fields of history.

World History I or Western Civilization I: One course from 110, 150, or 303 (3 units)

World History II or Western Civilization II: One course from 111, 151, 302, or 304 (3 units)

U.S. History I: History 270 (3 units)

U.S. History II: One course from 271 or 371 (3 units)

Other Regions: One course from 145, 161, 185, 191, 192 (3 units)

Research Core (9 units)

The below listed courses will introduce you to the basic tools and techniques of history research and writing:

History 301: The Historians Craft (3 units) An introductory course in historical methods and interpretive inquiry. History 301 must be taken in the first 75 units of your college program, or — should you be a transfer from another major or another college or university — as soon thereafter as possible. This course is designed to help you appreciate history as an approach and a discipline, and to assist you to achieve a high level of skill in history’s methods. You will "learn how" rather than "learn what." The course will provide you with the necessary skills to profit fully from History 497 and other upper division history courses.

History 497: History Proseminar (3 units) A research seminar focusing on selected topics in history. A research paper is required. These "R" courses (restricted enrollment) are limited to 15 students per section. You should consult as early as possible with the instructors who will be offering the courses and secure the instructor's permission to enroll (this consultation might take place even as early as the end of the previous semester). You must complete History 497 with a grade of C or better prior to graduation. NOTE: We strongly suggest not taking History 497 concurrently with History 498.

History 498: History Tutorial (3 units): A reading and discussion seminar focusing on a specific field or topic in history. These "R" courses (restricted enrollment) are limited to 15 students per section. You should consult as early as possible with the instructors who will be offering the courses and secure the instructor's permission to enroll (this consultation might take place even as early as the end of the previous semester). The course must be completed with a grade of C or better. You may take an additional three units of 498 and apply them to History Electives. NOTE: We strongly suggest not taking History 498 concurrently with History 497.

Electives (24 units)

At least 15 of these 24 units must be at the 400 or 500 level.

"History Electives" (Upper Division) (12 units)

These electives may be chosen from any upper-division (300, 400 or 500 level) history lecture courses other than History 302, 303, 304 or 371. (The latter courses may apply only within the core curriculum.) You may also use these units earned in upper-division special topics courses in history, independent study (499 or 599) in history, or up to 3 additional units in History 498 to satisfy part of the "History Electives" requirement.

At least 3 of the units must be in Upper-Division European History; 3 units in Upper-Division US or Canadian history; and 3 units in Upper-Division African, Asian, Latin American or Middle Eastern history.

"Non-history Electives" (Upper-Division) (0-6 units)

As many as six units from disciplines closely and logically related to history may apply to this elective requirement. You should consult with your advisor before enrolling in courses you want to be counted as related electives. Courses used to fulfill minor requirements may also be used for related electives; but, by ruling of the Trustees, no Education courses can be used as related electives. Appropriate related electives, however, may satisfy CSUN General Education requirements. You may wish to select 6 units of upper division General Education coursework outside the History Department but in related areas that may be applied as electives in the major.

Credit/No Credit

No courses taken on a credit/no-credit basis can fulfill any requirements of the history major program with the following exception: Students who change their major from another field to history can apply a maximum of one 3-unit or 4-unit history course taken on a credit/no-credit basis toward fulfillment of a major requirement providing that the course was taken prior to the change to the major in history.

Teaching Credential Candidates

History majors at CSUN may qualify for the Social Science Credential. If you are considering the credential program, we strongly advise you to seek credential advisement early because, with careful planning it is possible for a history student to fulfill the requirements for the B.A. and for the above credential in a four-year program. If necessary, the student may complete the credential during the fifth year. For more information and specific requirements see the teaching credential page.

All credential candidates should familiarize themselves with the requirements of both the Department of History and the College of Education. Students will be approved by the Department for student teaching only if the prospective teacher has both sound academic preparation and meets the required minimum grade point averages. All credential students also must complete a fifth-year program of thirty post-baccalaureate semester units in order to obtain the clear credential, though it is not necessary to complete these thirty units immediately after receiving the B.A. Students should consult the credential advisors in the Department for advisement concerning the fifth-year programs.

MA in History

Overview

The M.A. program in History offers students advanced training in historical research, writing and teaching. Seminars are small in size, providing students with unparalleled opportunities to work directly with faculty. Students have the option of pursuing their degrees full- or part-time, and classes are available both during the day and in the evening.

The graduate program includes courses in historical methods and research, concentrated study in specific historical fields (e.g., United States History, Modern European History, Latin American History, California History, Ancient and World history), and professional development for careers in teaching, archival administration and public history. Graduates of the program have gone on to teach at high schools and community colleges, pursued careers in museums and archives, and gained admission to top-tier Ph.D. programs.

The History MA program consists of 30 units (ten classes) of coursework, followed by a Culminating Project course in which students revise, expand and deepen a research paper with the goal of turning it into a publishable article. Alternatively, at the invitation of a faculty member, students may elect to write a thesis.

Students seeking additional information about the program should contact the coordinator of Graduate Studies, Dr. Richard Horowitz, or make an appointment to meet with him by calling the History Office at (818) 677-3566.

The application deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year is MARCH 20, 2020.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission

  1. A baccalaureate Degree with a major or strong background in history, cumulative minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.3 in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter) hours. Students who do not meet these criteria must demonstrate sufficient preparation or interest in history, as determined by the Department's Graduate Coordinator. This can be achieved by showing a minimum GPA of 3.5 in at least three History courses at the 400- to 600-level (Upper Division or graduate), including HIST 601 (Theory and Historiography) or the equivalent and at least one course requiring a substantial research paper.

  2. Two letters of recommendation from faculty under whom the applicant worked as an undergraduate or graduate student.

  3. One- or two-page statement of purpose describing the applicant's academic background, career goals, historical interests and anticipated field of study.

  4. A writing sample, such as a research paper, not to exceed 25 pages in length.

  5. Acceptance by the History Department.

  6. Acceptance by the University. This is separate from acceptance by the History Department, and applicants MUST ALSO apply and be accepted to CSUN.

Documents in support of applications should be mailed to: Graduate Coordinator, Department of History, California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8250. Please note: official transcripts should not be sent to the History department office. Transcripts are only required by the University, and should be sent directly to Admissions and Records as instructed in the CalState Apply portal. Sending official transcripts to the department office may delay your admission by the University.

B. Requirements for the Degree

Courses: A minimum of 30 units of approved graduate work consisting of:

  1. HIST 601 to be taken during the first two semesters in the Program.

  2. Seven graduate-level history courses (21 units) to include at least two 600-level Research Seminars and three 500-level graduate colloquia.

  3. Two courses (6 units) at the 500- or 600-level in history or at the 500- or 600-level in related disciplines with approval of the graduate coordinator.

Students should meet with the graduate coordinator and faculty in their chosen areas of interest to develop a cohesive academic program.

C. Foreign Language Requirement

The History Department strongly recommends that all students learn a foreign language, especially those who are planning to pursue a Ph.D., but leaves to the discretion of the student's area advisor the determination of what, if any, level of competency is required in a given foreign language.

Grades

All courses taken to meet any requirements of the Program must be completed with a grade of "B" or higher.

Culminating Experience

In addition to the 30 required units of coursework M.A. students must successfully complete either a culminating project or an M.A. thesis.

Culminating Project: Students will enroll in HIST 698D, a course designed to establish students' mastery of the historian's craft. This culminating graduate course requires students to use an existing research paper that they produced in one of their two 600-level classes and spend the semester revising it. Students will be expected to transform the paper into a piece that could be submitted as a conference paper, a writing sample, and/or an article for publication. They will prepare a cogent 20-minute presentation of their work that may serve as a conference presentation, a mini-lecture for a class, or a brief job talk.

Thesis: Students may apply to complete an M.A. thesis. To be considered for the thesis option, students must work with a faculty advisor to develop a thesis proposal that demonstrates the viability of the thesis project and the student's ability to complete the requisite research and writing. Proposals must be submitted in the Fall semester and will be evaluated by a department graduate committee. If the committee approves the proposal, the student will enroll in HIST 698 and will form a three-person faculty thesis committee with the faculty advisor as chair to oversee completion of the work.

Minor in History

Program Description

The History minor is a flexible 24-unit program ideal for students with other majors who are interested in History and who want to learn skills in writing and critical thinking. It offers the opportunity to take courses in a wide range of geographical areas and chronological periods.

Program Requirements

The History minor consists of 24 units in History, no more than 12 of which may be in lower division. With an advisor, students develop a program to complement a major and fit their particular needs. Students will be able to choose a broad program that provides a background in several areas of history, or they will be able to specialize in U.S., European, African, Asian, Latin American, topical or comparative history.

Note: No courses taken on a credit/no-credit basis are acceptable for fulfilling requirements of the history minor program.

California Studies Minor

The minor in California Studies is an interdisciplinary program that includes courses from a variety of disciplines, including biology, ethnic studies, geography, geology, history, political science and urban studies. The minor is designed to enhance faculty and student interaction in an interdisciplinary setting and to assist both in exploring the connections among different perspectives on a major subject. Students will not only study California from a variety of perspectives in the classroom, but they will also have an opportunity to engage in significant field research and internship activities as part of the minor's requirements. Internships that may assist a student's future career will be encouraged with public agencies, local archive and research collections, and private sector firms. The minor program also will encourage and support students who wish to participate in regional conferences on California Studies. Students should consult with the coordinator or faculty on the Program Committee to review requirements, courses that are available each semester, and internship and employment opportunities.

Teaching Credential/ The Social Science Subject Matter Program

The Social Science Subject Matter Program (SSSMP) is available to current and former CSUN students who are interested in pursuing a credential to teach social studies at the high school level in the California public school system. This program offers students an alternative to passing the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET), and it consists of a sequence of fifteen courses, many of which overlap with the history major and general education requirements. Once a student has successfully completed the program, he or she will have demonstrated subject matter competency in the social sciences. To learn more about the program requirements and how best to complete them, please call the history department office (818-677-3566) and ask to schedule an appointment with the SSSMP adviser, Dr. Patricia Juarez-Dappe. A detailed listing of courses and requirements is available for download (.pdf).

Second Bachelor of Arts Degree

The second Bachelor of Arts degree is available to all students. It is especially attractive to students with a Social Science credential from CSUN or equivalent preparation from some other institution. Students admitted to the program must, at their first registration, obtain an evaluation of all earlier work in History and fulfill the University guidelines that apply to those pursuing a second B.A. in history