Undergraduate Program

Our undergraduate majors are bound together by a common curiosity about who we are, how our world was shaped over time, and how the past informs our present lives. Being a history major is also a great preparation for a professional career in the fields of law, education, business, government and more.

Degrees and Programs of Study

Major in History

The history major consists of a step approach. Courses numbered 0800 through 1999 are introductory level; courses numbered 2000-2999 are intermediate level, and courses numbered 3000-4999 are advanced level. Courses with “9″ as a second digit are honors courses and are usually restricted to honors students.

The history major requires 12 courses (36 credits). Students must take two introductory level courses, of which one is selected from courses numbered 0800-1099 and one from courses numbered 1100-1999. Three courses (9 credits) are required at the 2000 level. Four courses are required at the 3000 level, of which one must be a writing intensive course (ending in -96, -97, or -98), which students should take during the junior year. The 3000-level writing course is a prerequisite for the required 4000-level capstone-writing seminar (ending in -96, -97, or -98). The 4000-level capstone class should be taken during the senior year. Finally, students may select two history courses (6 credits) at any level.

Within these broad requirements, students must complete a minimum of two courses in U.S. history, two courses in European history, and three courses in Asian, African, Latin American or Global/Comparative history. Two of the courses in any category or level must be predominantly pre-1900 in content.

Students should take four courses that represent an area of concentration based on some geographic or thematic intellectual rationale. The area of concentration should be defined in writing and approved by a departmental advisor ideally at the start of the junior year and no later than the start of the senior year.

Minor in History

A History minor is an ideal complement to other majors and programs at Temple, from medicine to journalism, from computer science to finance, from film to marketing. Students with a minor in history are required to take six (6) courses totaling eighteen (18) semester hours. Of the six courses, at least two (2) must be numbered 2000 or above and at least one course (1) must be numbered 3000 or above.

Honors in History

There are three ways to enhance your History degree by achieving honors within the major:

  1. Become a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national History honors society
  2. Become part of the History Honors Scholar program
  3. Complete the requirements for Distinction in Major

History Course Descriptions

  • Detailed course descriptions are located in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
  • Special Topics Course Descriptions are located in your Self-Service Banner on the TUPortal.


History courses impart a range of valuable skills while also providing a lively forum for the discussion of ideas. While some courses are lecture-based, most classes blend lectures with discussions and debates. Along the way, History students learn important skills such as how to read for argument, how to conduct research, and how to articulate an idea and support it with evidence. Perhaps equally importantly, History students learn how to think critically and to formulate their own thoughts on a given topic.

Awards and Scholarships

The History Department offers a number of awards to undergraduates who demonstrate excellence in their History courses. At the end of the spring term each academic year a handful of students are selected to receive recognition for their research and writing abilities.