Legal History

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 courses, 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 our 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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CONTACT

Email | 352.392.0271 (tel) | 352.392.6927 (fax)

P.O. Box 117320
25 KEENE-FLINT HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7320
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 Curriculum

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

Writing

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.
More Info

Research

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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Legal History

The History Department also offers a specialization in Legal History. The specialization is open to majors (non-majors may obtain a certificate in Legal History). To successfully complete the specialization in Legal History, students are required to complete 9 credit hours.

One course must be selected from Group A and one course must be selected from the courses listed in Group B. The third course may be selected from either Group A or B. Students must pass each course taken for the certificate with a grade of C or higher.

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for entry to each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Students are advised to take HIS 3942 in their first year as a history major, and it must be taken no later than Semester 5.

Semester 1

  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 2

  • Complete 1 history course at the 2000 level or above
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semesters 3-4

  • Complete 1 history course at the 3000 level or above with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA (this course may be a course from Group A or B if it is passed with a 2.0 GPA or above)
  • 2.5 GPA in critical-tracking history courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semesters 5-6

  • Complete 1 history course at the 3000 level or above with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA (this course may be a course from Group A or B if it is passed with a 2.0 GPA or above)
  • 2.5 GPA in critical-tracking history courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semesters 7-8

  • By the end of semester 8, students seeking the Legal History Specialization must have completed 3 courses toward the specialization (either from the approved list or with the approval of the undergraduate coordinator) as follows: 1 from Group A, 1 from Group B, and 1 from either Group A or B with a 2.0 GPA or higher
  • 2.5 GPA in critical-tracking history courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H, or S).

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
HIS 3942 History Practicum (Critical Tracking; recommended in the first year) 3
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
State Core Gen Ed Mathematics 3
Foreign language 3-5
 Credits15-17
Semester Two
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
History course (Critical Tracking; 2000 level or above) 3
Science laboratory (Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences) 1
State Core Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences 3
Foreign language 3-5
 Credits13-15
Semester Three
Quest 2 (Gen Ed Biological or Physical Sciences; area not taken in semester two) 3
History course (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Humanities; 2000 level or above) 3
Gen Ed Physical Sciences 3
Electives or foreign language if 4-3-3 option 6
 Credits15
Semester Four
AMH 3551 Constitutional History of the United States to 1877 (Critical Tracking; Category A) 3
State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 1 3
Gen Ed Mathematics 3
Electives 6
 Credits15
Semester Five
Group A or Group B elective (Critical Tracking) 3
History course (3000 level or above) 3
Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Semester Six
Group A or Group B elective (Critical Tracking) 3
History course (3000 level or above; Critical Tracking) 3
Gen Ed Biological Sciences 3
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
 Credits15
Semester Seven
Select one: 3
History Research Seminar: US (Critical Tracking)
History Research Seminar: Africa (Critical Tracking)
History Research Seminar: Asia (Critical Tracking)
History Research Seminar: Europe (Critical Tracking)
History Research Seminar (Critical Tracking)
History Research Seminar: Latin America (Critical Tracking)
History Research Seminar: World History (Critical Tracking)
HIS 4970 Senior Thesis (if honors candidate) 2
History course (3000 level or above; Critical Tracking) 3
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
Elective 3
 Credits17
Semester Eight
HIS 4970 Senior Thesis (if honors candidate) 2
Group A or Group B elective (Critical Tracking) 3
History course (3000 level or above) 3
Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
Elective 1
 Credits15
 Total Credits120
1

If AMH 2020 not taken in Semester two or three. 


LEGAL HISTORY ELECTIVES

Group A

AMH 3551Constitutional History of the United States to 18773
AMH 3552Constitutional History of the United States Since 18773
AMH 3558United States Legal History3
AMH 4319Crime and Punishment in American History3
AMH 4550Origins of the U.S. Constitution3

Group B

EUH/LAH 3931Special Topics in European History (Inquisitions)3
EUH 3931Special Topics in European History (The Holocaust in the Courtroom )3
LAH 3931Special Topics in Latin American History (Crime and Criminality in the Americas )3
WOH 3205History of Human Rights3

In addition to the above courses, the undergraduate coordinator may authorize other legal history courses for the specialization.

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)

Content

  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.

Communication

  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