• CSUN History Department

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) (18-24 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.