The history department fosters a learning experience that stands apart from newer modes of instruction at large universities. Amid the shift to larger classes, televised lectures and machine-gradable exams, history faculty have chosen to follow a more traditional path. The department’s emphasis on small classes, analytical reading, lively debate, and interpretative writing offers committed students unique rewards. It also comes with high expectations.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

Undergraduate students in the Department of History have a number of ways of enhancing their experience: from completing a senior thesis in conjunction with the Honors Program, or by participating in a study abroad program. The graduate program is home to a number of fields: African History, European History, Latin American History, and United States History.


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The history major focuses on the development of three related skill sets critical to professional success in today’s complex world:


History is a writing-intensive discipline. Although assignments vary by course, students will be taught a set of critical skills and research techniques that will help them gather and analyze sources and then marshal the evidence in the presentation of coherent historical arguments.

Critical Analysis

In the typical upper-division course, students read an average of 75 to 125 pages each week. Students will be expected to synthesize the material effectively and come to class prepared to discuss the readings.

Oral Communication

Rather than merely recounting facts from readings and lectures, students will develop their own interpretations of historical events and ideas and discuss them with their peers and professor. They will be expected to contribute actively in the classroom and will on occasion lead discussions and give short reports.

Coursework for the Major

Required Coursework

All history majors must complete a minimum of 36 credits in history with minimum grades of C. Majors must take a minimum of 21 credits of history at UF. History majors may enroll in a maximum of three history courses per semester.

Requirements include:

  • HIS 3942, a methodological introduction to the study of history, should be taken in the first year in the major and it must be taken no later than Semester 5.
  • AMH 4930 / AFH 4930 / ASH 4930 / EUH 4930 / HIS 4930 / LAH 4930 / WOH 4930 is the capstone course of the major and normally taken in the senior year, although students who plan to write an honors thesis are encouraged to take the course as juniors. In this seminar, students produce a substantial research paper based on primary source research. Enrollment in the research seminar is restricted to majors. The History Research Seminar must be taken at UF.
  • 30 additional credits of history courses:
    • at least 21 of the 30 credits must be at the 3000/4000 level
    • At least 9 credits (three courses) in American history (AMH) and European history (EUH), with at least one course in AMH, one course in EUH, and one course in AMH or EUH
    • At least 9 credits (three courses) in AFH, ASH, LAH, or WOH, with a maximum of two courses under any one prefix.
    • The history research seminar may count toward the regional distribution, depending on the prefix of the course taken (AFH, AMH, ASH, EUH, LAH, or WOH).

Prior to graduating, history majors complete an online exit survey.

Only exam (AICE, AP, CLEP, or IB) credits with course equivalencies for UF courses count toward the requirements for the major and then only at the 2000 level. AMH 0301, EUH 0301, and WOH 0301 do not count toward the major.

Recommended Coursework

Majors are encouraged, but not required, to take a total of nine credits at the introductory 2000 level, including one course in American history (AMH), one course in European history (EUH), and one course in African, Asian, Latin American, or World history (AFH, ASH, LAH, WOH courses).

Combination Degree Program

Majors who are interested in advanced training are encouraged to consider the 4/1 combination degree program.
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Majors are encouraged to consider advanced research opportunities in history. The department places special emphasis on participation in the history honors program.
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The History major exposes students to key issues in the history of the United States, Europe and areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Students will develop the critical interpretative skills needed to assess both primary and secondary sources in the complex task of thinking about the past. Students will master a set of research skills that help them develop their own historical arguments. Significant emphasis is laid on effective written communication reflected in the cogency of arguments and use of evidence.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Complete the distribution requirements of the major (6 credits in AMH, 6 credits EUH, 6 credits in AFH, ASH or LAH) with minimum grades of C, as graded by department rubric.
  • Complete HIS 3942 and HIS 4930 with minimum grades of C, as graded by department rubric.
  • Complete 35 credits in history, including at least 26 at the 3000/4000 level, and all with minimum grades of C, as graded by department rubric.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes | SLOs


  1. Acquire and apply basic research skills learned through use of print and electronic resources of the library and web.

Critical Thinking

  1. Critically assess and interpret primary and secondary sources.
  2. Identify a historical research topic related to the focus of the research seminar, develop knowledge of the topic through research, and create historical arguments using evidence effectively with clear purpose.


  1. Produce an effectively written analytical research paper based in research of primary sources, framed within the secondary literature and offering a coherent historical argument supported by evidence.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4
AFH, ASH, LAH 3000-4000 level (6 credits) R R R R
AMH 3000-4000 level (6 credits) R R R R
AFH, AMH, ASH, EUH, HIS, LAH, WOH 3000-4000 level (15 credits) R R R R
AFH 4930, AMH 4930, ASH 4930, EUH 4930, HIS 4930, LAH 4930: Senior Seminar A A A A
EUH 3000-4000 level (6 credits) R R R R
HIS 3942 History Practicum I, A I, A I I

Assessment Types

  • Skills-set exam
  • Capstone statement for final project