Program Information

The program in History is designed to provide a firm foundation in the histories of Western civilization, American society and culture, and East Asian and African cultures. The department is especially strong in social, cultural and intellectual history and emphasizes an understanding of the nature of historical inquiry, an exposure to the variety of historical interpretations and an ability to think historically, as this contributes to an understanding of human experience, personal self-awareness and global citizenship.

The breadth of history and its interrelatedness with other disciplines make the study of history a significant part of a liberal arts education. The ability to gather evidence that pertains to a problem, to analyze this material critically, and to present an interpretive argument about it cogently and succinctly is also valuable background for most professional careers. Willamette history majors gravitate to graduate study in the discipline, in law and in education, as well as to government service, business and the church. It is noteworthy that recent history majors have done very well in gaining admission to graduate schools in history and to graduate programs in law, business administration and theology.

Requirements for the History Major (9 Credits)

  • One credit in American History (1)
  • One credit in European History (1)
  • One credit in East Asian or Latin American History or African History (1)
  • Five additional credits in History (5)
  • HIST 499W Senior Tutorial or
  • HUM 497W Humanities Senior Seminar (1) [Crosslisted with CLHI 497W]

The major consists of 9 credits, including not more than five lower-division credits of which a maximum of three may be at the 100 level. Remaining credits must be at the 300 and 400 levels. One credit is required in each of the three areas of American, European, and East Asian or Latin American or African history. Students, by the end of the sophomore year and in consultation with a department advisor, will choose an area of concentration (e.g., a thematic, periodic or geographic focus, an intellectual, social or comparative emphasis) consisting of a minimum of three credits at the 200 level and above, plus the Senior Experience (HIST 499W or HUM 497W). The department encourages all majors to study a language related to their area of emphasis.

HUM 497W and CLHI 497W may not fulfill the requirement for the Senior Experience if it has already been used to do so in another major.

Requirements for the History Minor (5 Credits)

No more than 2 of these credits may be at the 100 level.

Students must take courses in at least 2 of the following 3 areas

  • European history
  • American history
  • East Asian or Latin American or African history

Students must select a 3-credit area of concentration in one of the following

  • European history
  • American history
  • East Asian or African history