Majoring and Minoring

For complete information about majoring and minoring, see the online catalog.

The major requires 40 semester credits (10 courses) distributed as follows:

  • HIST 300 (Historical Materials):​ A methods course that trains students how to find historical sources—such as letters, journals, images, census records, and maps—and then to interpret them. Students learn historical editing and conduct an oral history.
  • HIST 400 (Reading Colloquium):​ ​Students read historical writing in a particular field and come to grips with the ways history is written and interpreted. Past topics have included Empire and Independence in the Modern World; Disasters in History; The Other Europe: History and Historiography of Eastern Europe; and Americans in the World.
  • HIST 450 (Research Seminar): S​enior research seminar that requires students to write an original thesis based on intensive research.
  • At least one course in each of three areas (the Americas, Europe, Asia): O​ptions include​ J​apan at War; Race and Ethnicity in the United States; From Stumptown to Portlandia: The History of Portland; and Eastern Europe: Borderlands and Bloodlands.
  • At least one pre-modern course: ​Options include Ancient Greece; Early East Asian History; India in the Age of Empire; and Colonial Latin American History. 
  • Two courses at the 300 level beyond Historical Materials: ​Options include​ C​ rime and Punishment in the United States; Modern Cuba; Popular Culture and Everyday Life in Japanese History; History of Islam in Europe; and Humanism in Renaissance Europe.
  • One elective from the entire history curriculum at any level.


The minor requires a minimum of 24 semester credits (six courses), which must include:

  • HIST 300 Historical Materials
  • HIST 400 Reading Colloquium or HIST 450 History Seminar
  • At least one course at the 300 level, excluding HIST 300 Historical Materials
  • Two additional history courses, each one from a different geographical field: Asian history, European history, or history of the Americas. Courses from other departments do not apply.