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Bachelor of Arts in History

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Home » Programs » Bachelor of Arts in History

Explore the Past to Understand the World Today

If you’re curious to learn how the past has shaped the world in which we live, National University’s bachelor’s degree in history will challenge you to explore different worlds, times, places, and cultures. You’ll absorb the fascinating work of historians as you examine court documents, diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts; conduct research; write; teach; evaluate; and make recommendations.

Available online or on-site, NU’s curriculum is a future-focused course of study designed to help you build a solid foundation of knowledge that can be applied to a broad range of career fields. You’ll focus on research-intensive cultural knowledge and develop writing and critical thinking skills to advance your career, pursue a new role, or prepare for a graduate degree.

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Why Earn Your Bachelor’s in History Degree with National University?

There are many reasons our students find fulfilling careers with their BAs in History.

Dedicated Faculty: Students learn from a student-focused, dedicated and accomplished faculty of actively engaged scholarly researchers, published authors, and thought-leaders in their respective focus areas with all holders of at least a master’s degree or Ph.D. in history.

Curriculum: Additionally, National University’s in-depth and interesting curriculum in U.S. and world history covers a variety of specialties and applications, featuring a capstone experience where students can develop their own portfolio-worthy research project. This can equip students with specialized and marketable skills that can be applied to any career interest.

Availability: The ability to earn your degree on your own schedule enhances the accessibility of the program and its resources to busy adult learners.

Course Details

Preparation for the Major

  • 5 courses; 22.5 quarter units

PrerequisiteENG 102

An advanced course in writing that emphasizes discipline-specific research strategies, formulating research niches, and framing persuasive arguments in the disciplines.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Survey of American history from pre-colonial times through Reconstruction. Explores economic, political, social and cultural factors that shaped the origins of the nation, including the Revolution, the Constitution and the Civil War. Special attention is paid to issues of race, class, gender and ethnicity. Includes study of the Constitution.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Survey of American history from Reconstruction to the present. Explores economic, political, social, and cultural factors that shaped the development of the nation, including industrialization, America’s emergence as a world power and the challenges of the late 20th century. Pays special attention to issues of race, class, gender and ethnicity.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Discusses how distinctive cultures, economies and societies of the world developed from prehistoric times to the European conquest of the Americas (ca. 1500 C.E.). Explores issues of gender, class, personal identity, war, religion, urban life, and ecology pertaining to the history of civilizations in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Discusses how the cultures, economies, and societies of the world developed since 1500 C.E. Explores issues of class and class conflict, personal and cultural identity, race, work, industrial development, colonialism, ecology, and political and economic life pertaining to the history of civilizations in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe.

*Maybe used to satisfy general education requirements

Required for the Major

  • 10 courses; 45 quarter units

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 233

Examines ancient world history from 10,000 B.C.E. to 500 B.C.E., including Neolithic revolution; rise of settled agriculture; complex societies and organized states in North Africa, Southwest Asia, South and East Asia, Mesoamerica, and South America; rise and decline of great powers in those areas; formation of Aegean civilization in Greece.

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 233

Examines religious, political and philosophical innovations of classical period (500 B.C.E. to 500 C. E.) in Mediterranean region, China, and India; rise and fall of Greek, Roman, Han, Mauryan and Gupta empires; rise of important regional states like Meroë, Angkor, Teotihuacán, and Maya city-states in Mesoamerica.

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 233

Examines expansion and collapse of Byzantium; nomadic invasions of Europe and development of feudalism; rise of militant Christianity; diffusion of militant Islam; spread of Indian classical culture; Chinese reunification, commercial revolution, and cultural revival; Japanese feudalism; development of African states; civilizations of Mesoamerica; settlement of Polynesians throughout Pacific.

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 234

Examines colonial expansion of Europe; Islamic empires of Asia; regional powers in Eurasia; revolutions in the Atlantic world; the Industrial Revolution; the new imperialism; revolutions in Eurasia and Latin America after 1900; global wars and their consequences; national liberation and decolonization; the Cold War; post-Cold War realignments.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Investigates the important methodologies and theories of history that buttress contemporary historical scholarship. Includes introduction to historiography; examines transformation of the historical profession over last 150 years and philosophical foundations of historical practice today; explores writings of historian, their historical assumptions, and theoretical framework of their interpretations.

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 220A

Examines the various peoples and the economic, environmental, cultural, and political forces that shaped American development from the period before Europeans settled through the American Revolution. It evaluates key ecological changes after 1500 and the shaping of North American colonial society by mercantilism, merchant capitalism, and the slave trade.

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 220A

Examines development of American society from the early national period through the Civil War (1783-1865), including framing of Constitution, westward expansion, economic development, slavery, sectional conflict, as well as an evaluation of the social, political, and military problems faced by the contending sides in the Civil War.

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 220B

Examines transformation of America and expansion of American influence after the Civil War through World War I. Includes reconstruction; demographic and economic expansion; industrialization and its consequences for labor and social relations; mass immigration; growth of American imperialism; socialist, populist, and progressive movements; and World War I and Wilsonianism.

PrerequisiteENG 102; HIS 220B

Examines social, economic, cultural, and political contours of modern America from 1920 to the present, including Great Depression, social dimensions of World War II, affluence and anxieties of 1950s, political and social movements of 1960s, and challenges of structuring a new global political economy in the 1970s and after.

PrerequisiteENG 240 or equivalent; HIS 400 and and completion of 31.5 quarter units of core courses in the major

This seminar is the capstone course for the history major. The objective of the capstone course is to produce a paper that is exemplified by extensive research, critical thought, and intellectual engagement. The project should excite students and deepen their historical understanding. As a “senior project,” it will combine primary sources with secondary interpretations in an original and interesting way.

Upper Division Electives

  • 6 courses; 27 quarter units

Students must complete a minimum of 27 quarter units of electives to fulfill the upper-division unit requirements to earn the Bachelor of Arts in History. Students can select from the following strongly recommended and recommended electives OR choose from any upper-division course in the College of Letters and Sciences. Three elective courses must be in the History subject (HIS). To ensure adequate preparation for the California State Examination for Teachers

PrerequisiteENG 102

Places contemporary cultural, economic and technological issues in a global and historical perspective. Examines the ways that capitalism, culture, and technology have interacted over the past 500 years to shape the places, peoples and societies that have come into existence in the modern world.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines race, gender, ethnicity and class in 20th century American society. Introduces students to methods for studying the changing nature of our society and explores ways in which our increasingly urbanized and technological culture affects all aspects of professional and unskilled work. May involve work in oral history.

PrerequisiteENG 102

This is a broad survey of California’s history that began 12,000 years ago when indigenous peoples first arrived in the region and that continues through the post-World War II period when the state emerged to become one of the world’s largest economies with a richly diverse population of 39 million people. Spanning California’s human history up through the present, the course covers pre-colonial Native California, Spanish colonization, the Mexican period, and the Anglo-American conquest, and it addresses a range of topics in California history, including: colonization and race relations, climate change and the environment, the garrison state and the high-tech economy, and class conflict and governance.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are surveyed in their philosophical, historical, art historical, and literary contexts. Important aspects of the philosophy and sociology of religion are addressed, and parallels in the study of myths, rituals, conversion experiences, and rites of passage are compared. Recent and contemporary religious trends are also addressed.

Examination of relationships between geographical features of the earth and human societies. Includes the study of map construction, mapping tools, geographical data, and the influence of geomorphological features on the development and spatial distribution of political systems, languages, and religions.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines how international cinema represents various aspects of societies and cultures outside the U.S. Representative films of Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Oceania, and Canada may be studied.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines the relationships between humans and the natural environment over the last 500 years. Topics include conceptions of nature, the use of resources in different societies, the consequences of various forms of economic organization (particularly capitalism) on the environment, and the impact of technological change on the world’s ecology.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines changes associated with globalization since World War II, including changes in technology, urbanization, finance, markets, lending, the internationalization of production, the organization of work, and power relations among nations and world cultures. Investigates both theories of and popular responses to the new global economy.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Human migration is the story of individual lives enmeshed in larger historical issues of identity, culture, work, social institutions and various forms of coercion. Explores how work and migration have intersected in the last 500 years to shape the world in which we live today.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Investigates roots of present-day events in Modern Middle East since 1600 CE. Surveys history of the region, pre-modern empires, European colonization, and renaissance of Middle East culture in the 18th and 19th century, movement toward independent states, and emergence of Pan-Arabism and Islamist ideologies of the 20th century.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduction to Latin American history and culture focusing on diversity of Latin American societies and their multicultural heritage. Topics include colonialism and indigenous societies, growth of plantation and mining economies, enslavement of Africans, struggle for independence, distribution of political power, recurrence of popular rebellion, and artistic and cultural life.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Overview of contemporary Asian history and culture focusing on the diversity of Asian societies. Includes distribution of political power, ideological and structural stratification between East and West, impact of “Orientalism” in global context, impact of imperialism, effects of sexual and religious stratification, and discussion of political and religious differences.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Survey of major themes, issues, and personalities in African history since 1500. Topics include: kingdoms and empires, population movements, spread of Islam, slave trade era, abolition of slave trade, European imperialism, impact of colonialism, religious and cultural movements, nationalism and pan-Africanism, ethnicity and identity in modern Africa.

Individual study under direction of instructor. Requires prior approval of appropriate academic department.

PrerequisiteENG 102

A survey of American music from the Colonial period to the present. Emphasizes political, social and economic developments as related to the evolution of American music, including popular, religious and art music in a broad array of styles.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces students to the concept and origins of popular culture and to social theories used by academics to analyze its impact on self and culture in modern consumer societies. Topics include mass media, TV, the internet, video games, sports, leisure, fashion, celebrity, shopping, advertising, and youth culture.

PrerequisiteENG 102

An expansive overview of the history of world consciousness through various civilizations, exploring the interconnectedness of art, culture, politics, religion, economies, and the social environment in which they emerge. Draws on the contributions of people from different fields of creativity, the world’s outstanding thinkers, and the interconnectedness of their works.

PrerequisiteENG 102

This course examines the film industry’s role in shaping popular consciousness and politics in the United States. It explores how films both reinforce and disrupt the dominant value systems and social institutions of their times, including how they serve as a vehicle for shaping public understanding of such things as the nation’s history, its social and political systems, and its different races, classes, genders, and religions. The course focuses methodologically on helping students to cultivate critical skill sets in visual literacy, historical and sociological analysis, and the application of media theory to the examination of film across different periods and genres.

PrerequisiteENG 240

Examines the sociological and historical experiences of sex, sexuality, and gender in the USA, focusing on their intersectionality with race, class, and other social variables. Analyzes dominant representations of gender roles and stereotypes in public culture as well as LGBTQ and other representations that challenge prevailing power structures.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in History, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as listed below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level and a minimum 69 units of the University General Education requirements. The following courses are degree requirements. In absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy the total units required for the degree. Students should refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

If the foreign language requirement is not completed in General Education, the equivalent must be completed as preparation for the History major either by testing or by satisfactorily passing two courses in one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. Other languages are acceptable upon approval of the director of the program.

Interested in producing multimedia materials and documentaries. Historians may work as researchers in museums and local historical organizations that deal with cultural resources management and historic preservation and make valuable contributions to government and private think tanks. Graduates with a Bachelor of Arts History degree often become educators themselves, as well as enjoy rewarding careers as information managers such as archivists, records managers, and librarians. The field of law also attracts many history graduates. With your BA in History from NU, you’ll be equipped with the qualifications to pursue positions* in:

  • Art History
  • United States History
  • World History
  • Social Studies
  • Social History Records

Students who earn a BA in History can also apply that knowledge to the following fields:

  • Educational Services
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Public Administration
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
  • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services

The top 5 positions BA in History graduates pursue are as follows:

  • High School History Teachers
  • Social Studies Teachers
  • Assistant Professors of History
  • Architectural Historians
  • History Teachers

*SOURCE: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ns-F_eX7U6OM_8915nvUN3mgF-x_Su9b/edit#heading=h.gjdgxs

Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s Bachelor of Arts in History, you’ll understand how to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. and world history.
  • Analyze a variety of primary sources.
  • Analyze secondary sources for their argument and use of supporting evidence.
  • Discuss current concerns, new theories, new evidence, and issues that shape the history of historical interpretation.
  • Conduct historical research and support with appropriate primary and secondary source materials.

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BA in History Degree FAQs

A degree in history can provide you with a sound foundation for a broad range of career fields, including education, business, and law.

History courses offer research, writing, and analytical skills necessary for many fulfilling careers. Graduates with a degree in history often become educators themselves and teach in elementary schools, secondary schools, or in postsecondary institutions.

Beyond teaching, historians also work as researchers in museums and local historical organizations that deal with cultural resources management and historic preservation and make valuable contributions to government and private think tanks. A history degree is excellent preparation for journalists, ad writers, editors and anyone interested in producing multimedia materials and documentaries. Historians have rewarding careers as information managers such as archivists, records managers, and librarians. 

SOURCE: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/field-of-degree/history/history-field-of-degree.htm

No, but you can lay the groundwork for the essential knowledge and skills you’ll need to get into law school. NU’s BA in History can provide you with a strong intellectual foundation for lawyers and paralegals, litigation support, legislative staff work, and nonprofit foundations. 

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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

*Positions may require additional experience, training, and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Depending on where you reside, many positions may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met. We encourage you to also review program-specific requirements. Any data provided on this page is for informational purposes only and does not guarantee that completion of any degree program will achieve the underlying occupation or commensurate salary.