VCU Bulletins

History, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts in History requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 36 of those credits in history. Students must complete HIST 300 Introduction to Historical Study with a minimum grade of C prior to enrolling in more than six credits of 300- or 400-level history courses.

The history curriculum exposes students to a multidimensional analysis of the human past. Knowledge gained through such analysis not only has the intrinsic appeal of any disciplined intellectual inquiry, but also constitutes an indispensable basis for active citizenship and for critical thinking about the society in which the student lives.

Historical training at the undergraduate level leads to personal and social awareness within the rich tradition of the liberal arts. It also provides students an ideal preparation for a wide range of careers and further professional study.

Students in the program can take advantage of a wide range of courses with thematic, topical, national or chronological emphases to fulfill requirements and electives. Students should consult with their advisers each semester to design a program that meets these requirements and suits their interests and career objectives.

Degree requirements for History, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

  1. The various types of sources historians employ in their research and work.
  2. The need for skepticism and informed judgment in historical studies, and of the role of biases and frames of reference in historical research.
  3. How and why historians often reach different conclusions with reference to issues of fact, causation, interpretation and significance.
  4. How to summarize, analyze and evaluate scholarly and/or popular works dealing with the historical past, and will also demonstrate such critical, analytical and evaluative skills both orally and in writing.
  5. The procedures of library research, awareness of the significance of varying methodologies of historical research (such as historical archaeology, oral history, quantitative methods) and will demonstrate the ability to understand and interpret historical evidence when presented in the form of documents, maps, graphs and statistical tables.
  6. The basic skills and aptitudes in the investigation of a historical topic/issue and in the presentation of his/her findings in a literate, documented, logically argued and coherently organized research paper.

Finally, students will demonstrate:

  1. An appreciation of the forces of change and continuity, or the appropriateness (or inappropriateness) of analogies between one set of historical experiences/circumstances and another, and of the extent to which historical experience and knowledge can (or should) serve as a guide for current action.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (0-6 credits)  
Foreign language through the 202 or 205 level (by course or placement testing) 0-6
Major requirements (36 credits)  
HIST 300 Introduction to Historical Study 3
HIST 490 Seminar in History or HIST 493 Internship (capstone) 3-4
Historical survey courses (100-level HIST) 12
Upper-level HIST (301-499, except 490 or 493) 18
Note: Major requires at least 6 credits from each of three areas (may be satisfied by 100-level and 300-level HIST courses chosen above): a) Europe, b) United States, and c) Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.  
Open electives (32-52 credits)  
Open electives (from the college, School of the Arts, School of Business and School of Education) 32-52
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]

Honors in history

To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or a 3.0 average for their junior year, with at least a 3.3 GPA in history courses. Students also must have completed an honors paper in history. See the department adviser or chair for information about the paper requirements. Official certification of the award will be presented to students upon their graduation.



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Last update: 5/30/2013

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