Requirements for a History Major (without Secondary Certification)
Students majoring in history are required to complete at least 39 credit hours, including a course in writing history (HST 200 - Writing History), any three 200-level foundation courses, six 300-level electives, two junior seminars, and the Capstone.
Requirements for a History Major (with Secondary Teaching Certification)
Students majoring in history with secondary teaching certification are required to complete at least 39 credit hours, including a course in writing history (HST 200 - Writing History), two World history courses (HST 203 - World History to 1500 A.D. and HST 204 - World History since 1500) and two American history courses (HST 205 - American History to 1877 and HST 206 - American History since 1877), and the Capstone. Students pursuing teacher certification must also take SST 310 and six 300-level electives in history. Only 1 of the foundation courses can come from the 100-level.
The electives in history for all majors must include at least one 300-level course in United States history, one 300-level course in European history, and one 300-level course in non-Western history. All students must also take three additional 300-level history courses. An Internship (HST 490) may be substituted for a 300-level elective. Each student will select those courses in consultation with his or her major advisor. Majors must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 in courses in the department and must receive a grade of C or better in HST 200 and 495. Majors seeking teacher certification must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in the major.
B.A. or B.S. Degree Requirements
Students planning to enter a program of graduate study in history should earn a B.A. degree. Candidates for the B.A. degree must demonstrate third-semester proﬁciency in a foreign language, either by completing successfully a 201-level language course or by passing a proﬁciency examination in the language chosen.
History and social studies majors will have the opportunity to complete a B.S. degree. The B.S. option is designed to give students training in scientific analysis that they can apply to their careers in teaching and historical research. A B.S. in history can be fulfilled by taking the following courses. Please note that STA 215 is a prerequisite for HST 290 (or ED 370 if student is majoring in group social studies or fulfilling requirements for a Secondary Certification).
Students who choose to earn a B.S. degree must complete the following cognate sequence:
Students who choose to earn a B.S. degree with Secondary Certification must complete the following cognate sequence:
History Foundation Courses
The following restrictions apply to the history foundation requirements:
- Students who take HST 101 may only count one of the following foundation courses toward the major: HST 203 or HST 204.
- Students who take HST 102 may only count one of the following foundation courses toward the major: HST 207 or HST 208.
- Students who take HST 103 may only count one of the following courses toward the major: HST 205 or HST 206.
Category 2: European History
Category 3: Nonwestern History
Depending on the topic studied, these courses may be used for any of the three categories. Consult with your advisor.
Junior Seminar in History
History majors (non-teaching certification) are required to take either two junior seminars OR one junior seminar plus completion of a senior thesis.
All history majors are required to take the Capstone:
Transfer students seeking a major in history must complete at least 12 credits in history at Grand Valley, including a minimum of two upper-level courses. Ordinarily, transfer students will complete the Capstone course (HST 495) at Grand Valley.
Suggested Order of Coursework for a History Major (without Secondary Teaching Certification)
- Four general education Foundations courses
- Any two 200-level history courses
- Three 300-level history elective courses
- One foreign language course (B.A. candidates)
- Three 300-level history courses
- One history junior seminar
- Four elective courses
- Two general education Issues courses
Suggested Order of Coursework for a History Major (with Secondary Teaching Certification)
Postgraduate students seeking teacher certiﬁcation with a major in history must present a history major that includes courses in American, European, and world history and must have obtained a major GPA of at least 3.0 in previous work. Postgraduate students whose degree in history was completed more than three years prior to Grand Valley admission must demonstrate currency by completing at least two upper-level history courses at Grand Valley; such students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in those courses. Students should also consult the chair or the assistant chair for an evaluation of their previous work and to discuss appropriate courses.
Additional Course Information
Courses at the 100-level are introductory courses designed to fulfill the general education requirement in historical perspectives. Courses at the 200-level are introductory courses designed to prepare students for advanced study in history; HST 203 and HSC 210 also fulfill the general education requirement in Historical Perspectives. Courses at the 300-level focus on particular regions, eras or themes; they are intended for history majors and minors, social studies majors, and other interested students. All 300- and 400-level courses have prerequisites; 600 level courses are intended for graduate students and very well-qualified seniors.
We strongly encourage students to serious contemplate taking advantage of the various semester and year-long study abroad opportunities offered by Grand Valley State University. History courses taken abroad may count toward the major or minor if granted prior permission by the Department of History chairperson.
Click here for the program description.