Students of history do not just memorize the past. They ask questions about the past in order to solve problems of the present.

History is an original liberal arts field and is designed to prepare students for any type of profession that emphasizes critical analysis, reading of dense texts, creative problem-solving, and oral and written communication. History majors collect and analyze evidence to construct arguments, propose new interpretations, formulate conclusions, test hypotheses, and communicate new ideas.

There is no typical job for a history major. Our graduates can be found in all types of companies and in all types of roles, as well as graduate programs in history and other related humanities and social science fields. A student's career choices after college is often guided by how they applied their coursework to real world applications during college. Internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer experiences will help a student network during college and shape their career choices after graduation. The possibilities are numerous, and all students are encouraged to gain practical experience that complements the major.

At UWM, undergraduates can work on research projects such as the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee. The opportunity to participate in research as an undergraduate is a distinct advantage for UWM students. At most large, research universities, research opportunities for undergraduates are limited; there are fewer of them and they often are reserved for juniors or seniors. At UWM, you can get involved as early as freshman year. Students work directly with faculty and graduate students on their current research projects, and sometimes find themselves published in a peer-reviewed journal right alongside the faculty member. Participating in undergraduate research is an excellent way to enhance your resume for graduate school or employment.

Students intending to major in history are encouraged to enroll in several 100- and 200-level courses. Students may combine a major in history with many of the certificate programs or with another departmental major.

History is also available at UWM as on online major - all of the classes for the major can be competed online if desired, or students can mix-and-match assorted online and traditional-format classes.

Requirements

Course of Study – Bachelor of Arts Degree

Complete 120 credits including 90 credits in the College of Letters & Science and with 36 of the 90 credits in L&S upper-level (numbered above 300) courses. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major. Students are also required to complete University-wide General Education Requirements and the specific L&S requirements listed below.

To complete a major, students must satisfy all the requirements of the major as stated in this catalog. Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the requirements outlined in any catalog issued since the time they entered. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements.

University General Education Requirements (GER)

Oral and Written Communication
Part A
Achieve a grade of C or better in the following course:
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research (or equivalent)
Part B
Course designated as OWC-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Quantitative Literacy
Part A
Earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course, or achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department)
Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
Contemporary Applications of Mathematics
Introduction to College Algebra
Algebraic Literacy II
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 1
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
College Algebra
Or equivalent course
Part B
Course designated as QL-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Select 6 credits6
Social Sciences
Select 6 credits6
Natural Sciences
Select 6 credits (at least two courses including one lab)6
UWM Foreign Language Requirement
Complete Foreign Language Requirement through:
Two years (high school) of a single foreign language
Two semesters (college) of a single foreign language
Or equivalent
UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement
One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement

College of Letters & Science Requirements

I. English Composition Requirement

Students must satisfy the English Composition Requirement with one of the following options:

1) Completing ENGLISH 102 with a grade of C or higher; or

2) by placing beyond ENGLISH 102 on the English Placement Test (EPT) (or other assessment as determined by the English Department); or

3) transferring a course of at least 2.5 equivalent credits from another institution that is equivalent to English 102, or a UWM higher-level expository writing course, with a grade of C or higher.

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part A. The College of Letters & Science does not have a specific requirement for a writing course beyond English 102, but students must complete the university-wide requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part B listed above.

II. Mathematics and Formal Reasoning

To satisfy the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must satisfy the following two requirements:

1. Achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department) or earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course:

MATH 102Mathematical Literacy for College Students II3
MATH 103Contemporary Applications of Mathematics3
MATH 105Introduction to College Algebra3
MATH 108Algebraic Literacy II3
MATH 111Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 13
or PHILOS 111 Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
MATH 116College Algebra3
MATH 175Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I3

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part A, listed above.

2. Complete one course (at least 3 credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in Mathematics, PHILOS 211, or Letters and Science statistics courses:

Complete one of the following:
3 or more credits in any 200-level or above Math course
Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies
Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences
Biostatistics
Economic Statistics
Quantitative Analysis in Geography
The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
Elementary Statistical Analysis
Elementary Logic
Political Data Analysis
Survey Research
Psychological Statistics
Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology

Note: This requirement is NOT the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part B. To complete the BA, students must take one of the L&S approved courses. Not all of the courses listed here will satisfy the QL-B requirement.

III. Foreign Language Requirement 

Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.

Completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER, but not vice versa.

Completed in one of the following ways:0-18
Successful completion of the 4th semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language)
Successful completion of the 3rd semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) PLUS the 2nd semester of college work or equivalent in another language other than English (including American Sign Language)

IV. International Requirement 

See Approved Courses for the L&S International Requirement for course options.  

Completed in one of the following ways:9
Complete 3 courses (min. 9 cr) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation or American Sign Language) at the 3rd semester level and above
Complete 3 non-language courses (min. 9 credits) with an international content chosen from at least 2 curricular areas.
Complete 9 credits in combination of the two options above.

V. Breadth Requirement

Along with completing the University General Education Requirements of 3 credits in the Arts (A); 6 credits in the Humanities (HU), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS/NS+); and a course with the Cultural Diversity (CD/+) designation, L&S students must complete the Breadth requirement.

Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single subject area. *12
Social Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Social Science Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Natural Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation, including at least one laboratory or field course; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Cultural Diversity
Complete 3 credits in a course with Cultural Diversity (CD) designation. **3

 VI. The Major

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.  Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments.  Contact your major department for information on whether those credits will count as part of the major GPA.  The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.

Research Requirement

Within their majors, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S faculty.  A list of courses satisfying the research requirement in each major can be found here.

VII. The Minor

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the minor attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

History Major Requirements

History majors must maintain a 2.0 GPA in all history credits attempted at UWM and a 2.0 GPA in all history credits attempted at all institutions attended, collectively. No more than 6 of the 36 credits applied to the major may be earned in independent study courses (HIST 199 or HIST 699). Note that in all courses taken in the major on a credit/no credit basis (whether applied to the major or not), regular letter grades are recorded on your transcript and are used in the calculation of your GPA. History majors must enroll in and complete least 18 credits in courses numbered 300 or above, of which 15 must be taken in residence at UWM.

Note: Specific courses may count toward the fulfillment of more than one requirement. For example, HIST 101 counts toward the fulfillment of both requirement #1 and requirement #4.

History majors are required to take 36 credits of coursework distributed as follows:

1. Select at least 6 credits in European history 16
2. Select at least 6 credits in U.S. history 16
3. Select at least 9 credits in non-Western or global history 19
4. Select at least 3 credits in a course dealing with the period before 1500 13
5. Electives6
6. Select at least one course in historical methods from the following:3
Seminar on Historical Method: Theory and Approach
Seminar on Historical Method: Research Techniques
Methods and Theory in the Historical Study of Religion:
The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
Maps as Historical Sources
7. Complete HIST 600
HIST 600Seminar in History: 23
Total Credits36

Students should pay particular attention to requirement #6. Students will not be permitted to enroll in HIST 600 until after they have taken and passed one of the courses in historical methods listed under #6. This sequence may not be reversed and students cannot take both courses in the same semester. Prospective majors should fulfill the methods requirement at an early stage of their progress in the curriculum, in no case later than the next-to-last semester before they plan to graduate.

Senior Thesis Option

Students choosing this two-semester sequence (HIST 681/HIST 682) write a substantial research paper on a topic of their choice in consultation with a faculty thesis advisor. The prerequisite for HIST 681 is at least one of the following courses: HIST 293HIST 294HIST 594HIST 595, or HIST 596. Students also must receive approval from the faculty thesis advisor and department chair prior to enrolling. With the consent of the faculty thesis advisor and the department chair, history majors with a GPA of 3.333 (B+) or higher in all history credits attempted, including transfer work, may take the thesis sequence in lieu of Hist 600 to satisfy (in part) major requirements and the L&S research requirement. Access and print out the senior thesis proposal form (PDF).

Independent Study

Independent study is not a substitute for courses regularly available in the curriculum. Students who wish to enroll in independent study (HIST 199 for freshmen and sophomores; HIST 699 for juniors and seniors) must have a minimum GPA of 2.500 in credits attempted at UWM. It is recommended that students work only with faculty members from whom they previously have taken regular classes. Students may not enroll in HIST 199 or HIST 699 for work already completed. When enrolling in HIST 199 or HIST 699, students shall select the section number of the faculty member who will supervise their work.

After consultation with the supervising faculty member, students must print out and complete an independent study form (PDF). This form contains the description of the independent study proposal, and it should be completed during the first two weeks of the semester. The supervising faculty member must approve the proposal and return the signed form to the department office for endorsement by the department chair as well as by the Dean. A student should not take more than three credits of independent study in one semester from the same faculty member. History majors may take no more than 6 of the required 36 credits in History in independent study, and a maximum of 3 credits of independent study may count toward the minor.

Ancient and Medieval History (Pre-1500) Requirements

The following courses satisfy the pre-1500 requirement of the History major:

HIST 101Western Civilization: Ancient World to 15003
HIST 131World History to 15003
HIST 175East Asian Civilization to 16003
HIST 201The Ancient World: The Near East and Greece3
HIST 202The Ancient World: The Roman Republic and Empire3
HIST 203The History of Medieval Europe: The Early Middle Ages3
HIST 204The History of Medieval Europe: The High Middle Ages3
HIST 235English History to 16883
HIST 274Ancient Egyptian Civilization3
HIST 280Islamic Civilization: The Formative Period, ca. 500-12583
HIST 303A History of Greek Civilization: The Greek City-State3
HIST 304A History of Greek Civilization: The Age of Alexander the Great3
HIST 307A History of Rome: The Republic3
HIST 308A History of Rome: The Empire3
HIST 318Medieval Civilization: The High Middle Ages3
HIST 319The Era of the Crusades3
HIST 320History of Medieval Warfare3
HIST 376History of Ancient China, Earliest Times to 220 A.D.3
HIST 394History of Japan to 16003

The following variable topic courses satisfy the pre-1500 requirement of the History major if the specific topic deals preponderantly with the era prior to 1500:

HIST 192First-Year Seminar:3
HIST 193First-Year Seminar:3
HIST 199Independent Study1-3
HIST 200Historical Roots of Contemporary Issues:3
HIST 270Topics in American History:3
HIST 290Topics in Global History:3
HIST 296UROP Apprenticeship1-3
HIST 297Study Abroad:1-12
HIST 299Ad Hoc:1-6
HIST 370Topics in the History of Religious Thought:3
HIST 371Topics in European History:3
HIST 372Topics in Global History:3
HIST 373Topics in Gender and History:3
HIST 398Honors Seminar:3
HIST 399Honors Seminar:3
HIST 400Topics in Latin American and Caribbean History:3
HIST 401Topics in Middle Eastern History:3
HIST 402Topics in Asian History:3
HIST 497Study Abroad:1-12
HIST 499Ad Hoc:1-6
HIST 594Methods and Theory in the Historical Study of Religion:3
HIST 600Seminar in History:3
HIST 681Senior Thesis I3
HIST 682Senior Thesis II3
HIST 699Independent Reading:1-6

Because individual student topics in Hist 600 can vary, that course, with the instructor's approval, may count toward the pre-1500 requirement for certain students, as determined by the predominant focus of their individual work in the course. 

Cross-Listed Courses

PORTUGS 360, with the topic “History of Brazil,” may be used to fulfill requirements of the undergraduate major or minor in history. It counts as a non-Western/global history course.

Categorization of Courses by Geographic Area

The following lists indicate the geographic areas towards which courses count in the fulfillment of the major and minor requirements. (Note that some courses do not satisfy any of the geographic area distribution requirements and that for variable-topic courses, the geographic area is determined by the specific topic).

European History

HIST 101Western Civilization: Ancient World to 15003
HIST 102Western Civilization: 1500 to the Present3
HIST 201The Ancient World: The Near East and Greece3
HIST 202The Ancient World: The Roman Republic and Empire3
HIST 203The History of Medieval Europe: The Early Middle Ages3
HIST 204The History of Medieval Europe: The High Middle Ages3
HIST 206Europe and the Modern World: 1815 to the Present3
HIST 235English History to 16883
HIST 236Britain Since 1688: Rise and Decline of a Great Power3
HIST 239Poland and its Neighbors, 1795-19143
HIST 241Women and Gender in Europe: 1350 to 17503
HIST 242Women and Gender in Europe: 1750 to the Present3
HIST 248The First World War3
HIST 249The Second World War in Europe3
HIST 303A History of Greek Civilization: The Greek City-State3
HIST 304A History of Greek Civilization: The Age of Alexander the Great3
HIST 307A History of Rome: The Republic3
HIST 308A History of Rome: The Empire3
HIST 318Medieval Civilization: The High Middle Ages3
HIST 319The Era of the Crusades3
HIST 320History of Medieval Warfare3
HIST 329The Roman Catholic Church, 1500 to the Present3
HIST 330The Papacy in History3
HIST 341Imperial Russia3
HIST 343Russia Since 19173
HIST 346Poland and Its Neighbors, 1914-19453
HIST 348Poland and Its Neighbors, 1945 to the Present3
HIST 355Modern and Contemporary France3
HIST 358The Jews of Modern Europe: History and Culture3
HIST 363Germany: Hitler and the Nazi Dictatorship3
HIST 364The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism & the Fate of Jewish People in Europe, 1933-453
HIST 371Topics in European History:3
HIST 375Contemporary European History, 1945 to the Present3

U.S. History

HIST 150Multicultural America3
HIST 151American History: 1607 to 18773
HIST 152American History: 1877 to the Present3
HIST 215History of Capitalism3
HIST 229History of Race, Science, and Medicine in the United States3
HIST 243History of Women in American Society3
HIST 262North American Indian History to 18873
HIST 263North American Indian History Since 18873
HIST 267The History of Latinos in the United States3
HIST 268History of the American West3
HIST 269Asian Americans in Historical Perspective3
HIST 270Topics in American History:3
HIST 271The 1960s in the United States: A Cultural History3
HIST 404Topics in American History:3
HIST 405The Age of the American Revolution, 1750-17893
HIST 409Causes of the Civil War, 1828-18613
HIST 410Civil War and Reconstruction: The United States, 1861-18773
HIST 418America in Prosperity, Depression and War, 1921-19453
HIST 419America Since 19453
HIST 432North American Environmental History3
HIST 434The United States as a World Power in the 20th Century3
HIST 435Ethnic America: To 18803
HIST 436Immigrant America Since 18803
HIST 440History of the American Working Classes3
HIST 442Beer and Brewing in America3
HIST 445African Americans from Slavery to Freedom3
HIST 446African Americans Since the Civil War3
HIST 448Baseball in American History3
HIST 449Popular Culture in America, 1800 to the Present3
HIST 450Growth of Metropolitan Milwaukee3
HIST 451History of Wisconsin3
HIST 452History of Religion in American Life to 18703
HIST 453History of Religion in American Life Since 18703
HIST 460The History of Poverty in America3
HIST 463History of the American City3
HIST 468The American Feminist Movement3
HIST 473History of Wisconsin Indians3
HIST 474Topics in North American Indian History:3
HIST 475American Indian History, Law, and Government3
HIST 597Fields and Methods in Public History3

Non-Western or Global History

HIST 131World History to 15003
HIST 132World History Since 15003
HIST 141Global History of the Family, Gender, and Sexuality3
HIST 175East Asian Civilization to 16003
HIST 176East Asian Civilization Since 16003
HIST 180Latin American Society and Culture3
HIST 210The Twentieth Century: A Global History3
HIST 274Ancient Egyptian Civilization3
HIST 280Islamic Civilization: The Formative Period, ca. 500-12583
HIST 282The Modern Middle East in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries3
HIST 284Buddhism Across Asia3
HIST 286The Korean War3
HIST 287The Vietnam War3
HIST 290Topics in Global History:3
HIST 295Historical Encounters:3
HIST 372Topics in Global History:3
HIST 376History of Ancient China, Earliest Times to 220 A.D.3
HIST 377Modern China3
HIST 378Revolution in China3
HIST 379Introduction to Jewish History3
HIST 380Buddhism: A Cultural History3
HIST 386Africa: The Age of Empires to 18803
HIST 387Africa: Imperialism and Independence Since 18803
HIST 392The History of Southern Africa3
HIST 393History of Mexico3
HIST 394History of Japan to 16003
HIST 395History of Japan Since 16003
HIST 400Topics in Latin American and Caribbean History:3
HIST 401Topics in Middle Eastern History:3
HIST 402Topics in Asian History:3
HIST 596Maps as Historical Sources3
HIST 396Decolonization, Revolution, and Independence in African History3

Geographic Area Determined by Specific Topic

HIST 192First-Year Seminar:3
HIST 193First-Year Seminar:3
HIST 199Independent Study1-3
HIST 200Historical Roots of Contemporary Issues:3
HIST 296UROP Apprenticeship1-3
HIST 297Study Abroad:1-12
HIST 299Ad Hoc:1-6
HIST 370Topics in the History of Religious Thought:3
HIST 373Topics in Gender and History:3
HIST 398Honors Seminar:3
HIST 399Honors Seminar:3
HIST 497Study Abroad:1-12
HIST 499Ad Hoc:1-6
HIST 594Methods and Theory in the Historical Study of Religion:3
HIST 600Seminar in History:3
HIST 681Senior Thesis I3
HIST 682Senior Thesis II3
HIST 699Independent Reading:1-6

The geographic area of concentration in sections of Hist 600, where the area is not obvious in the title, by default is designated in accordance with the primary teaching and research interests of the instructor. In such cases, and with the instructor's approval, Hist 600 can count toward different areas for different students, as determined by the predominant focus of their individual work in the course. Note that a variable topic course cannot be considered "Non-Western or Global" unless at least a substantial part of the course's focus includes the study of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latin American history.

No Geographic Area

HIST 289Internship in History, Lower Division1-6
HIST 293Seminar on Historical Method: Theory and Approach3
HIST 294Seminar on Historical Method: Research Techniques3
HIST 296UROP Apprenticeship1-3
HIST 489Internship in History, Upper Division1-6
HIST 595The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data3

Letters & Science Advising

The College of Letters and Science provides general academic advising for all students with a major in the College, particularly as it relates to campus' general education requirements and the College's degree requirements. We also provide specialized advising for pre-professional students (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, etc.) regardless if their major is in Letters and Science or not. Prospective students, including high school students and students seeking to transfer to a program in Letters and Science may also receive advising from our admissions counselors. 

Upon admission, students are assigned an advisor in the College advising office. Academic advising is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Appointments outside of these times may be available and phone appointments are available for online students. The advising office is located on the first floor of Holton Hall. Current students should call (414) 229-4654 to schedule an appointment or use the Navigate website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor; online scheduling is only available if you already have a Letters & Science advisor assigned to you. Prospective students should call (414) 229-7711 or email let-sci@uwm.edu.

When students declare a major, they will receive an additional faculty advisor located within the major department who will assist with requirements for that major. Students should read the "Declaration of Major" information on the website of the major that they are interested in. In some cases, the student will need to choose a faculty advisor as part of the declaration process.

All students are cautioned to consult their Letters & Science academic advisor AND their major advisor prior to each registration period to ensure they understand all requirements. Do not rely on pre-printed sample plans, as they are intended to be samples only and may not be right for your particular situation.

History Academic Advising

For academic advice, as well as for information on how to declare a major or minor in history, visit the undergraduate program web page of the Department of History at uwm.edu/history/undergraduate/.

Honors in the College of Letters and Science

Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.