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Understand the Past. Inform the Future.

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate history students smiling

Major Requirements


To complete a history major, students must take at least 30 credit hours, including:

  • One lower-division, two-course foundation sequence (6 credits)
  • Five courses (15 credits) in one geographic concentration (United States, European or global)
  • One course in each of the two other concentrations (6 credits)
  • Practicum in History and the Senior Seminar (HST 301 and HST 401, 6 credits)
  • Majors must complete two courses (at least one at upper level) in each major chronological period of history (pre-modern and modern)

Please see the Course Catalog for a complete list of requirements.

Minor Requirements


To complete a history minor, students must take six courses (18 credits) in history, including: 

  • Two lower-division courses (6 credits) and two upper-division (300 or higher) courses (6 credits), all in a single general area of history (U.S., European or global concentration).
  • At least one course (3 credits) outside of the general area of concentration.
  • At least one course (3 credits) in each chronological period (pre-modern, modern).
  • Four of the six courses must be upper level (300+).
  • At least five courses (15 credits) have to be taken at Syracuse University. Students with AP credits are still required to take five courses at Syracuse University.
  • Minors are NOT required to take seminars, but they may take HST 301 or 401 if they would like.

Geographical Concentration


As a history major, you will take at least five courses in a geographic concentration of your choosing, including:

  • United States history
  • European history
  • Global history

You will complete at least one course from each of the other two areas of concentration. Majors should aim to take the lower-division survey and HST 401 in their areas of concentration. No more than two lower-division (6 credits) may be counted toward the concentration.

Practicum in History (HST 301) and Senior Seminar (HST 401)


HST 301 is a seminar that introduces history majors to the methods and objectives of historical study, and to the skills needed to conduct independent historical research. It should be taken early in a major’s course of study.

Majors should complete the required senior seminar (HST 401) in their area of concentration. They may petition to take an independent study (HST 490) instead of 401 or complete a distinction thesis.

Both courses are also available to those pursuing a minor in history.

History Foundation Coursework Sequence

You will be introduced to the history major by choosing a two-course pairing focus on different aspects of world history. 

American History to 1865 (HST 101, fall) American History Since 1865 (HST 102, spring)


This sequence focuses on the complex history of the United States—from the founding of the United States and its institutions through modern day challenges. Topics include: the Revolution, growth and sectionalism, challenges to the union, reconstruction, industrialization, emergence as a world power, economic and social problems, reforms, global war and responsibilities.

Early Modern Europe, 1350-1815 (HST 111, Fall) Modern Europe: Napoleon to the Present (HST 112, Spring)


European history is brought to life through this course sequence. You will learn about major characteristics of European political, social and cultural life from the Middle Ages to the advent of democratic revolutions. It also focuses on European lives and experiences in the age of industrialization, urbanization and mass politics.

Global History to 1750 (HST 121, fall) Global History 1750 to Present (HST 122, spring)


You will learn more about the development of global society. Topics include the exchanges, connections and interactions between Africa, Asia and the Pacific, India, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. You will also gain a deeper understanding of the relations between these regions, the Americas and Europe.

The Ancient World (HST 210, fall) Medieval and Renaissance Europe (HST 211, spring)


This sequence focuses on the Ancient Mediterranean and emphasizes the major political, cultural, religious and social developments of the Near East, Classical Greece, Hellenistic Civilization, Roman Republic and Roman Empire.

Student flipping through a book in a library

Go further: explore neighboring minors


The history major is often paired with a minor program aligned with a student's geographic or periodical interests such as Middle Eastern studies, women's and gender studies, classical civilization, and medieval and Renaissance studies. But, with more than 100 minors to choose from, your opportunities are boundless!

Looking to get more involved within the History Department?

Career Resources


Maxwell students have access to many career tools and resources, including Syracuse University’s exclusive online job and internship portal, alumni directories, networking treks and skill-building resources needed to apply for jobs or graduate school. As you start thinking about your post-graduation goals, career advisors are available—in person, via drop-in virtual appointment, and via text—to help translate your academic work into professional opportunities. You will quickly discover the many ways a liberal arts education can open new pathways to your future. 

Maxwell students in the career office
History Department
145 Eggers Hall