The Undergraduate Major

At the crossroads of the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences, history is the study of human experience as it has unfolded over the ages. As an academic discipline, it presents a unique gateway both to the richness of our cultural heritage and to the immense variety of world civilizations.

The UC San Diego History major prepares students for a wide variety of rewarding careers. Thematic, pre-professional, and geographic Fields of Emphasis allow students to focus their study from broad range of interests. Undergraduate students interested in pursuing a graduate degree are well served by our Honors Program. Likewise, the department encourages its majors to further enrich their college experience through Study Abroad.

Major Requirements

All work in the major must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of 199 courses which are mandatory P/NP. At least eight of the twelve upper-division courses must be taken at UC San Diego. Petitions for exceptions to any of these requirements may be submitted to the Undergraduate Advisor for consideration by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Lower Division Requirement (3 courses)

Three lower-division History (HILD) courses, or Roosevelt Making of the Modern World (MMW), or Revelle Humanities (HUM). AP students entering with advanced placement credit in US History (score of 3 or better) may have two of the three lower division classes waived. Transfer students, after consulting with the History Undergraduate Advisor, may petition to substitute a two-semester or three-quarter survey from another school for the department's lower division requirement.

1. HILD or MMW or HUM
2. HILD or MMW or HUM
3. HILD or MMW or HUM

Upper Division (12 courses)

Twelve four-unit upper-division courses (numbered 100-190) which must include the following distribution of courses:

Field Emphasis* 

1. Upper Division Field Course
2. Upper Division Field Course
3. Upper Division Field Course

Non-Field Emphasis

4. Upper Division Non-Field Course
5. Upper Division Non-Field Course
6. Upper Division Non-Field Course


 7. Upper Division History Course 
 8. Upper Division History Course 
 9. Upper Division History Course 
10. Upper Division History Course 
11. Upper Division History Course 
12. Upper Division History Course 


At least 3 of the 12 upper-division courses must be focused on the period before 1800.

  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)
  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)
  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective (May also be a colloquium.)


At least 1 of 12 upper-division courses must be a colloquium (courses numbered between 160-190).

  • Upper Division Field, Non-Field Course, or Elective

*Fields of Emphasis


  • History of Africa (HIAF)
  • History of East Asia(HIEA)
  • History of Europe (HIEU)
  • History of the Middle East (HINE)
  • History of Latin America (HILA)
  • History of the United States (HIUS)


  • History of Science (HISC)
  • Gender and Sexuality 
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Migration  
  • War Revolution and Social Change


  • Business
  • Education
  • Global Relations
  • Law
  • Medicine
Special Studies Courses

Of the twelve upper-division courses required in the major, no more than two may be 199 credits. Special group (HITO 198) or independent (HITO 199) study courses are especially recommended for those students interested in the Honors Program and in graduate study.

Major Declaration

Prior to declaring the major we ask that students meet with the Undergraduate Student Affairs Advisor to make sure your on the right path. We also encourage students to discuss their academic interests and course plan with the Department of History's Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies or with another faculty member. Building a relationship by regularly meeting with a faculty advisor with will enrich your educational experience. 

Undergraduate Curriculum and Advising Committee

Dr. Weijing Lu (HIEA)
Dr. Denise Demetriou (HIEU)
Dr. Deboarh Hertz (HIEU)
Dr. Dana Velasco Murillo, Chair (HILA)
Dr. Hasan Kayali (HINE)
Dr. Jessica Graham (HIUS)
Dr. Claire Edington (HISC)

Double Major Declaration


  • Minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Junior Standing (90 units)
  • Fewer than 135 units completed 

Please note that double majors must graduate with no more than 240 total units.


  1. Meet with your college academic advisor to go over the process for submitting the Double Major Petition.
  2. Complete the paperwork by:
    1. Filling out Double Major Petition
    2. Filling out a Quarter by Quarter plan 
      1. Students may overlap up to 2 courses in each department to satisfy requirements in both majors by submitting a copy of the syllabus with the petition. (History allows overlaps from the following departments: Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Theater, and Urban Studies & Planning).
    3. Writing a brief Statement of Purpose
  3. Submit the Double Major Petition, Quarter Plan, Statement, and any additional documentation to each department's Undergraduate Advisor for approval.
    1. If you are overlapping non-history courses the petition will need to be approved by History's Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies.
  4. Submit the completed and signed petition to your College Academic Advising Office for final approval.