To graduate with a major in History, students must complete 33 credits (or 11 x 3-credit courses) of History classes.
One of these courses must be the required core course for the major, Perspectives on History (50:509:299), which History majors should take as soon as they can. Perspectives will teach history majors the following skills: 1. how to analyze primary sources; 2. how to read secondary sources in a critical manner; 3. how to cite sources properly; 4. how to write to the expectations of the discipline of history; 5. how to construct a historical argument; 6. how to evaluate the integrity, reliability, and usefulness of disparate sources; and 7. how to conduct independent research.
For the remaining 30 credits besides Perspectives, History majors must meet several requirements:
1. 18 of these credits must be from courses taken at Rutgers;
2. 18 of these credits must be from 300- or 400- level courses;
3. A maximum of 12 credits may be from 100- and 200- level courses, but no more than 6 credits can be counted from Western Civilization I and II (510:101 and 510:102) and Development of the United States I and II (512:201 and 512:202);
4. At least 3 credits must be from each of the three geographical areas: 510 (European), 512 (U.S.), and 516 (African, Asian, Latin American, and comparative history);
5. At least 5 courses must be taken in the student’s optional concentration, if the student has declared a concentration. If the student does not declare a concentration, or opts for the “General” concentration, this is not required.
6. No more than 9 credits will be accepted for the major from online courses, of which 6 credits may be at the 100-200 level, and 3 credits may be at the 300-400 level. (This policy will not apply to students who declared the History major before fall 2016.)
Grades lower than C do not count toward fulfillment of the History major requirement.
History internships and courses offered in the university’s Honors College may also count toward the major, with the department chair’s permission.
If students wish, they may take more than 33 credits of History courses. Students who would like to immerse themselves in reading and research should consider finding a faculty member to supervise their work in the department’s honors course in History (509:495), to be taken in addition to the 33 credits demanded of the major.
Those students seeking certification in teaching should be aware that a requirement is to take a course from a selection dealing with human and intercultural relations. Several history courses may be counted for this purpose and for the History major.
Students should feel free to drop in and visit us in our offices at 429 Cooper Street. The History Department chair is Dr. Lorrin Thomas, 856-225-2656, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator is Dr. Rick Demirjian, 856-225-6696, and the History Graduate Director is
Dr. Andrew Shankman, 856-225-6477. They will gladly answer questions about our classes, about majoring in History, and about transferring credit for History courses taken at other schools. Students are also welcome to consult with a faculty member of their choice for History advising.
History majors can download this worksheet to track their progress towards completing the requirements of the major.