Students who major in history explore the people, institutions, and cultures of those who came before us. The study of the past is deeply connected to the present, and it gives students powerful tools for understanding and engaging a wide range of modern issues, debates, and questions. Moreover, studying history teaches valuable practical skills—critical, argumentation, writing, and more—that lead to success in a variety of career fields. 

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). Students can declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the Student tab of myBama.

Special Opportunities

The Department of History offers a range of opportunities for undergraduate research, including a capstone research seminar. We offer a seminar and internships in public history, a student leadership program (the Peer Mentors), a study-abroad program (UA at Oxford), and a range of scholarships. The department also sponsors a History Club that is open to all students, as well as a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honorary society.

Students earning the bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a major in history must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements.  Students can take a selection of the following courses in order to fulfill the requirements for the history major.  In addition, students must fulfill all general education requirements, as well as requirements for an approved minor and other sufficient credits for a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

Code and Title Hours
Major Courses
Majors must take 12 hours in the following introductory surveys; must consist of one sequence, and include at least 3 hours from HY 101-108 and 3 hours from HY 111-118:12
Western Civ To 1648
Western Civ Since 1648
American Civilization to 1865
Am Civ Since 1865
Honors West Civ To 1648
Honors West Civ Sc 1648
Honors Am Civ to 1865
Honors Am Civ Sc 1865
Colonial Latin America
Modern Latin Am Since 1808
Asian Civilization to 1400
Modern Asia since 1400
Science/Medicine to 1800
Science/Medicine Since 1800
World History to 1500
World History Since 1500
Credit Hours Subtotal: 12
Field Requirement
Select three hours from each field (see below)9
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Students must take 9 hours of electives. Electives can come from any of the Geographic Field-specific courses (listed below) as well as courses that have no geographic specialization, like HY201 (Legal History Experiential Learning), HY 302 (History Mentoring) and HY 394 (The Historian's Craft).9
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
HY 430UG Research Seminar 13
Total Hours33


A minimum of 3 hours from each of the following fields must be completed for a total of 9 hours.

Depending on the content, HY 300 Special Studies in History, HY 301 Independent Study, HY 394 The Historian's Craft, HY 399 History Honors ColloquiumHY 400 Special Studies in History, HY 430 UG Research Seminar, HY 498 Honors Thesis I, and HY 499 Honors Thesis II can also fulfill these requirements. Students should contact the History Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies to confirm ahead of time how these courses will be counted on a case-by-case basis.

Field 1: United States History

Code and Title Hours
HY 201Legal History Field Experience1
HY 225Hy Alabama To 18653
HY 226Hy Alabama From 18653
HY 295Us Naval History3
HY 306Topics in American History3
HY 308Colonial America3
HY 309Great Cases - US Legal History3
HY 311Antebellum America3
HY 313American South Since 18653
HY 314Coming Of The Civil War3
HY 315The Civil War3
HY 316Life & Legend Abraham Lincoln3
HY 317America at War 1916-20163
HY 318U S Since 19453
HY 31919th Century Black History3
HY 32020th Century Black History3
HY 322US / Age of Franklin Roosevelt3
HY 323Us Constitut Hy to 18773
HY 324Us Constitut Hy sc 18773
HY 325Us-World Power to 18983
HY 326Us-World Power sc 18983
HY 327Women in Early America3
HY 328War & Society since 18983
HY 329American Religious HY to 18703
HY 330Civil Rights Movement3
HY 331Religion and Civil Rights3
HY 332Native American History3
HY 333America in the Progressive Era: A Nation Comes of Age3
HY 334The Nineteenth Century City3
HY 335Handmade Nation: Knitting and History3
HY 336U.S. Disability History3
HY 337Foodways in American History3
HY 341Hy US - Vietnam War3
HY 342US from WWI to WWII3
HY 345Race and Science3
HY 351The First Amendment3
HY 352The Right to Privacy3
HY 395History Colloquium3
HY 406Topics in American History3
HY 408Colonial Us to 17633
HY 409Amer Rev/New Nation3
HY 411Comp. Slavery & Emancipation3
HY 414Morality-SocialChange-America3
HY 415Sinners & Saints in America3
HY 418Slavery, Freedom, & Authority3
HY 424American Thought Before 18603
HY 426Hist of Strategic Intelligence3
HY 429Spanish Frontier in N. America3
HY 439Foundations in Public History3
HY 440Public History Internship3
HY 441Oral History3
HY 460The Warren Court3
HY 461History of Slavery in Law3
HY 480Survey of Military History3

Field 2: European History

Code and Title Hours
HY 235Christ Church To 15003
HY 305Topics in European History3
HY 346Epidemics! A History of Medicine3
HY 349History of France 1760-present3
HY 355German History Sc 17403
HY 356Holocaust: History, Memory3
HY 357World War I3
HY 358World War II3
HY 361Russia to 18943
HY 362Russia-Soviet Union since 18943
HY 365European Consumer Society3
HY 366Modern Britain, 1700-20153
HY 367Honors Mod Britain, 1700-20153
HY 382Early Modern Britain3
HY 383Honors Early Modern Britain3
HY 385History Of Greece3
HY 386History Of Rome3
HY 388The Crusades3
HY 391Medieval Britain3
HY 392Honors Medieval Britain3
HY 405Topics in European History3
HY 442The Middle Ages3
HY 443Renaissance3
HY 483Thirty Years' War3
HY 444Reform & Counter-Reformation3
HY 446Age of Reason 1715-893
HY 448Women in Europe since 17503
HY 455The Darwinian Revolution3
HY 457The Russian Revolution3
HY 462French Legal History3
HY 481War/Dipl. in Med & Mod. Europe3
HY 482War & Religion in the West3
HY 490England under Tudors3
HY 491England under Stuarts3
HY 494Britain in the Victorian Age3
HY 495Honors Britain Victorian Age3

Field 3: African, Asian or Latin American History

Code and Title Hours
HY 307Special World Topics3
HY 338Contemporary China 1921-20003
HY 348The History of Games3
HY 368Caribbean History Since 14923
HY 370A history of the Atlantic World, 1400-18003
HY 371History of Brazil3
HY 372Hist Brazil though Film3
HY 373Enviro History of Americas3
HY 374The History of Pirates3
HY 377Mexico since 18103
HY 378Drugs, Booze, and Mexican Society3
HY 379History of Modern Argentina3
HY 384Ancient Egypt Near East3
HY 404Modern China since 16003
HY 429Spanish Frontier in N. America3
HY 473Indians, Nuns, & Rogues3
HY 474Relation US Latin Amer3
HY 475Caribbean Basin 1492 - Present3
HY 477Imperial Spain's "Golden Age"3

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 semester hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.

Ancillary Courses

The history major does not require ancillary courses. However, it is recommended that students, especially those considering graduate work in history, study at least one foreign language.

Required Minor

This major requires the completion of a minor.

Additional Major Requirements

Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University, College, major and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an adviser in the major department for academic planning and to be approved for registration each semester. College advisers are also available for additional assistance with minor, college and University requirements.


History 200-, 300- and 400-level courses are open to all students of sophomore standing or higher.

Honors Program

The history honors program is open to history majors who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, a 3.3 GPA or above in History, and at least 12 hours of HY courses completed. The program requires six hours of honors work: HY 430 UG Research Seminar followed by HY 499 Honors Thesis II OR  HY 498 Honors Thesis I followed by  HY 499 Honors Thesis II. Both options must be completed under the direction of a tenured or tenure-track member of the department.  Students who complete a History Honors thesis by taking the combination of HY 498 and HY 499  are exempt from having to take the  HY 430 UG Research Seminar .  Students wishing to complete an Honors thesis must secure approval from their faculty honors advisor before embarking on this process. In order to graduate with honors in history, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, a 3.3 GPA or above in history, and satisfactory completion of a thesis judged to merit an honors designation.

Public History Concentration 


  1. Students must complete a total of 12 credit hours from an approved course list (included below).

  2. Students must be History majors to pursue a concentration in public history. 

Students do not have to take HY 439 or HY 440 prior to taking other courses in the concentration, but the courses are required to complete the concentration.  All students must take 6 hours in electives for the Public History concentration. The list below represents the types of course electives offered in any given semester that would count toward the Public History concentration. A students’ choice of electives must be approved by the concentration director; the student and concentration director will work to identify the course electives that best support student interest and career goals. 

Code and Title Hours
Required Courses
HY 440Public History Internship3
HY 439Foundations in Public History3
Elective Courses6
At least 3 hours must come from a different field of study
Government & Nonprofit Accounting
African American Art
Landscapes of the South
Intro to Archaeology
Field Archaeology
Southeastern Archaeology
Historical Archaeology
Anthropology and Museums
2D Design
Cultural Geography
National Parks
Intro Geographic Info Systems
Antebellum America
Religion and Civil Rights
Special Studies in History (Southern Memory - Lynching in Alabama)
Oral History
Environmental Studies
Social Issues & Ethics
Environmental Policy
Public Leadership
Total Hours12

Legal History Concentration


  1. students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours from the approved courses list (see below), 3 credit hours of which must come from the required foundational course HY 309 Great Cases - US Legal History
  2. students must also complete a 1 credit hour experiential learning course HY 201 Legal History Field Experience designed to breed a culture of engagement between students and the many legal-themed organizations operating on campus and in the surrounding area
  3. students must be History majors to receive credit for the concentration

Note: The concentration is designed to “fit inside” the existing major – completed courses will also count towards students’ completion of the larger History major. With proper planning and advisement the concentration will not require students to take courses beyond the standard 120 credit model nor inhibit students from completing their degrees on time. All students will be required to meet with the concentration’s director at least once for guidance on how best to navigate the concentration efficiently.

Required Foundational Course Hours
Required Foundational Courses
HY 309Great Cases - US Legal History3
HY 201Legal History Field Experience1
Elective Courses 8
Us Constitut Hy to 1877
Us Constitut Hy sc 1877
The First Amendment
The Right to Privacy
Native American History
The Warren Court
History of Slavery in Law
French Legal History
England under Stuarts
Total Hours12

Regarding Prerequisites: Students do not have to take HY 309 or HY 201 prior to taking other courses in the concentration, but the courses are required to complete the concentration. No other prerequisites are required.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Majoring in history prepares students for fulfilling careers in diverse fields. Though many of our graduates decide to pursue lives of scholarship and teaching, others go into law, public history and museum studies, public policy, journalism, publishing or business. A recent survey suggests that nearly 90% of our 2016 graduates are employed soon after graduation — a rate commensurate with that of the College of Arts and Sciences as a whole. Whatever your chosen field, the communication, writing, researching and critical thinking skills acquired as a history major will be in high demand in the modern workforce.

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

People holding degrees in history from the University of Alabama teach in schools and colleges around the country. They have served in government at all levels, from the Tuscaloosa city council to the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the Alabama Supreme Court. They are museum curators and directors, newspaper and television journalists, national real-estate brokers, attorneys and business men and women with MBAs, some of whom have become CEOs of major corporations. If you can think of a career, history can help get you there and make you a great success.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center