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 careers 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. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements, all requirements for an approved minor and other sufficient credits for a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

More InformationHours
Major Courses
HY 430UG Research Seminar 13
Majors must take 15 hours in the following introductory surveys; must consist of one sequence, and include at least 3 hours of American Civ and 3 hours of Western Civ: 215
Western Civ To 1648
Western Civ Since 1648
History of American Civilization to 1865
America Civilization Since 1865
Honors West Civ To 1648
Honors West Civ Sc 1648
Honors American Civilization to 1865
Honors American Civilization Since 1865
Comparative World Civ
Colonial Latin America
Modern Latin America Since 1808
Asian Civilization to 1400
Modern Asia since 1400
History of Science to 1687
History of Science Since 1687
Credit Hours Subtotal: 18
Field Requirement
Select three hours from each field9
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Select nine hours of HY electives9
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
Total Hours36

A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required to receive credit for HY 430 UG Research Seminar. Students who complete a history honors thesis are exempt from this requirement.


For students who elect to complete the Western Civilization sequence, HY 101 Western Civ To 1648 or HY 105 Honors West Civ To 1648 is the preferred course option. Note that HY 110 Comparative World Civ may be substituted for HY 101 Western Civ To 1648 or HY 105 Honors West Civ To 1648.


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 200 Special Studies in HyHY 300 Special Studies in History, HY 301 Independent Study, HY 395 History Colloquium, 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 this requirement.

Field 1: United States History

HY 225Hy Alabama To 18653
HY 226Hy Alabama From 18653
HY 295Us Naval History3
HY 312American South Before 18653
HY 313American South Since 18653
HY 314Coming Of The Civil War3
HY 315The Civil War3
HY 316Life & Legend Abraham Lincoln3
HY 318U S Since 19453
HY 31919th Century Black History3
HY 32020th Century Black History3
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 330Civil Rights Movement3
HY 341Hy US - Vietnam War3
HY 408Colonial Us to 17633
HY 409Amer Rev/New Nation3
HY 411Comp. Slavery & Emancipation3
HY 413Mexican War Thru Civil War3
HY 416Us Fr Recons To Wwar I3
HY 417US from WWI to WWII3
HY 424American Thought Before 18603
HY 425American Thought since 18603
HY 428Women In America3
HY 429Spanish Frontier in N. America3
HY 432Gender and Native Americans: Beyond Pocohontas3
HY 480Survey of Military History3

Field 2: European History

HY 235Christ Church To 15003
HY 236Christ Church Sc 15003
HY 247England To 16883
HY 321Religion in Modern Europe3
HY 349History of France 1760-present3
HY 357World War I3
HY 358World War II3
HY 361Russia to 18943
HY 362Russia-Soviet Union since 18943
HY 365European Consumer Society3
HY 385History Of Greece3
HY 386History Of Rome3
HY 390Survey of Irish History3
HY 442The Middle Ages3
HY 443Renaissance3
HY 444Reform & Counter-Reformation3
HY 446Age of Reason 1715-893
HY 448Women in Europe since 17503
HY 451Early Modern Germany3
HY 481War/Dipl. in Med & Mod. Europe3
HY 482War & Religion in the West3
HY 490England under Tudors3
HY 491England under Stuarts3
HY 493Britain in the 18th Century3
HY 494Britain in the Victorian Age3

Field 3: African, Asian or Latin American History

HY 377Mexico since 18103
HY 384Ancient Egypt Near East3
HY 402Modern Japan since 15503
HY 403Chinese Civ. to 16003
HY 404Modern China since 16003
HY 471Age Exploration & Conquest3
HY 474Relation US Latin Amer3
HY 475Caribbean Basin 1492 - Present3
HY 476HY Religion in Latin America3

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 15 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 nine hours of honors work, including HY 399 History Honors Colloquium, a six-hour thesis (HY 498 Honors Thesis I and HY 499 Honors Thesis II) to be completed under the direction of a tenured or tenure-track member of the department. HY 399 History Honors Colloquium is usually taken in the junior year; HY 498 Honors Thesis I and HY 499 Honors Thesis II are typically completed in the senior year. Students who complete a History Honors thesis (HY 498 Honors Thesis I/HY 499 Honors Thesis II) are exempt from HY 430 UG Research Seminar requirement. 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.

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