The History major consists of nine four-credit courses plus a History Capstone for a total of 38 credits. Students will have to take one 100-level history course, four 200-level courses, three 300-level courses, the Tutorial in Historical Research (HIS 415), and the two-credit Capstone in History (HIS 480). The major is designed to help students evolve from basic foundations through to advanced research and application of historical knowledge and analysis. The 100-level courses emphasize historical methodologies (use of primary and secondary sources, modes of analysis, historiography, historical writing); the 200-level courses apply those basic skills in broad chronological and geographic surveys with narrower topical or thematic courses; the 300-level classes build on the skills learned at the 100-level to emphasize advanced reading and research methodologies, complex historiographies and approaches to history, and the design of advanced research projects; and the 400-level courses focus on actually "doing history"-that is, the completion of advanced research, writing, and presentation of history. Please see the course catalog for more information on course offerings and expectations. Students who have declared a history major before the fall of 2016 can decide if they will follow these new requirement, or the old ones listed below; students who declare a history major from fall 2016 onward will meet the new requirements.

Honors will be awarded to students who have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and whose performance has been consistently outstanding during their studies at Goucher College. Writing proficiency in the major can be fulfilled by obtaining a minimum grade of B- in any 300-level seminar.

Majors will also be expected to gain geographic breadth by taking one course in each of our three major areas: the United States, Europe, and the non-Western world (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East).

History Major & Minor Checklist

Review the following checklists with your academic advisor to ensure that you are taking the necessary courses and credits to graduate. If you have any questions, please contact your advisor or visit the Academic Advising website for more information.

Possible courses include, but are not limited to:

American History

European History

Non-Western History

Electives that also count toward the History Major include:


All students must complete at least 36 credits within the major. Required courses include two 100-level courses and at least nine courses at the 200 and 300 levels, three of which must be at the 300 level.  Students are permitted to transfer up to six credits toward the major (including one online course) from outside institutions.  Generally these will be 100- or 200-level courses.  The department will accept up to twelve credits from year-long (two semester) study-abroad programs, which might also count towards one 300-level course.  For semester-long study-abroad programs, the department accepts six transfer credits as requirements for the major.In order to graduate as history majors, seniors, during their final year, must submit a portfolio of selected work in history or write a senior thesis under the supervision of faculty from the History department. (A senior thesis also satisfies one 300-level course requirement.)  The portfolio will carry one academic credit. The portfolio or the senior thesis will constitute one measure for awarding departmental honors. Honors will be awarded to students who have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major and whose performance has been consistently outstanding during their studies at Goucher College.Writing proficiency in the major can be fulfilled by obtaining a minimum grade of B- in any 300-level seminar.Majors must elect at least one course in each of three areas of history-American, European, and non-western (including Latin American, African, Asian, and Middle Eastern).

Concentration in Prelaw Studies

Students interested in pursuing a legal career are encouraged to complete the prelaw concentration in conjunction with the requirements of the major. The prelaw concentration is an 18- to 21-credit program designed to broaden a student's academic experience in preparation for law school. The prelaw concentration requires students to take courses outside of their major to expose them to methodologies and critical approaches not inherent to their own discipline but necessary for academic success in law school. A complete description of the prelaw concentration can be found under prelaw studies.

Concentration in Secondary Education with Certification in History or Social Studies

Majors in history are eligible to receive certification in secondary education in history or social studies. For details, see the description under the education program.