College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
John Roach Center for the Liberal Arts (JRC) 413, (651) 962-5730
Ahmadi, Cavert, Hausmann, Li, McCutchen, Nagy, Schrunk, Williard, Zimmerman (Chair)

History Department Web Site

The Department of History offers a wide variety of courses dealing with the principal periods and topics of American, European, and World history, as well as selected non-European/non-U.S. fields such as East Asia, Latin America, the Atlantic World, and the Middle East.

Courses in the Department of History teach students to investigate how the past produced the ever-changing present, rather than merely presenting a fixed chronicle of prior events. Students practice analyzing evidence from the past in context and using it to explain the sources of our world's possibilities and challenges. As a result, students learn that historical power relations, social conflicts, and intercultural exchanges created the diversity of the contemporary world. By promoting critical thinking, intellectual resourcefulness, interdisciplinary engagement, and intercultural awareness, historical study prepares students to be active and informed citizens of their communities in the world.

Courses at the 100 level introduce students to historical reasoning. The Department’s 100-level courses satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement in Historical Analysis.

The criteria for these courses are as follows:
  1. Each course is comprehensive rather than narrow in its subject matter. It engages a wide variety of themes, and surveys how they change over time within a broad regional and chronological sweep, in order to understand people and societies separated from us by space and time.
  2. Each course introduces basic methods of historical inquiry and analysis, including how to evaluate and interpret primary sources, and helps students to develop their skills in analytical writing.
  3. By investigating the development of structures of power, privilege, and identity— such as race and ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, and class—each course illuminates the historical origins of contemporary society and culture. The course thus lays a foundation for the 200-level core-flagged course in Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice.
  4. Each course uses interdisciplinary tools to raise awareness of the historical importance of human diversity and intercultural exchange.
  5. Each course increases students’ knowledge of the history of the modern world and its origins by placing the history of specific regions into global historical context.

The History Department also offers a history major and a minor. Students may pursue the history major by itself or paired with another major or minor to prepare for careers in education, business, law, communications, government, and library, museum, or archival work. The history major also prepares students for graduate work in History or in other history-related academic disciplines. Interested students may also select individual history courses as electives that complement and enhance another major. History pairs especially well with majors or minors in Political Science, International Studies, Education, Justice and Society Studies, Art History, English, Modern and Classical Languages, American Culture and Difference, Journalism, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Museum Studies, Family Studies, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Legal Skills. Students who pursue liberal arts majors like History are also eligible for the Liberal Arts in Business program.

The history major consists of a combination of 100-, 200-, and 300-level courses and a 400-level capstone seminar. Because the 100-level courses are survey courses, they provide our majors and minors with a broad base of knowledge in a relatively long period of history and in a large geographic area. Students also learn basic critical thinking skills and close reading of primary source materials and secondary texts.

Likewise, the 200-level courses are survey courses, but they are somewhat more narrowly defined and require more in-depth reading and writing assignments than the 100-level courses. Basic critical thinking skills and close reading of primary source materials and secondary texts are reinforced at this level, and students begin to acquire more skills in historical research, evaluating historical evidence, and crafting arguments in support of or against particular interpretations of historical events.

The 300-level history courses focus on a specific historical period or event or particular methodological approaches to doing history. In terms of skill development, these courses ask students not only to employ evidence in support of historical interpretations but also to think critically about the relationship between varying types of evidence, to engage in prevalent debates within fields of historical scholarship, and to evaluate historical questions themselves for their utility and manageability.

In the 400-level capstone seminar, students employ the knowledge they have acquired throughout their course of studies and the skills necessary to the discipline of History to research, write, and present a significant research project of their own. The 400-level capstone seminar is required for the history major but is optional for the history minor.

History Honor Society

A campus chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history, was established at St. Thomas in 1950. Candidates must have completed at least four courses in history and maintained a GPA of at least 3.1 in their history courses and a GPA of 3.0 overall to qualify. 

Major in History

Forty-four credits (11 courses) complete the major, no more than eight credits (2 courses) of which may be at the 100-level and at least sixteen credits (4 courses) of which must be numbered HIST 300 or above.

Transfer students: At least twenty-four (24) of the total credits needed for the history major must be taken at the University of St. Thomas or in a St. Thomas approved study abroad program. 200- and 300-level transfer courses require the approval of the department chair in order to be counted toward the major. The capstone seminar must be taken at St. Thomas.

1. Select 8 credits from two of the following areas:

Four credits (1 course) of World History:
  • HIST 111 Origins of the Modern World to 1550 (4 credits)
  • HIST 112 The History of the Modern World since 1550 (4 credits)
  • HIST 115 The World Since 1900 (4 credits)
Four credits (1 course) of Regional History: 
  • HIST 113 Early America in Global Perspective (4 credits)
  • HIST 114 The Modern U.S. in Global Perspective (4 credits)
  • HIST 117 Latin America in Global Perspective (4 credits) 
  • HIST 118 The Middle East and North Africa in Global Perspective (4 credits) 
  • HIST 119 East Asian Civilizations in Global Perspective (4 credits)

No more than two 100-level History courses may be applied to the major.

2. Select at least four credits from the following courses that have a methodological focus:

  • HIST 207 Slavery in the Americas (4 credits) 
  • HIST 211 Women and Families in the Americas (4 credits) 
  • HIST 216 African-American History (4 credits) 
  • HIST 228 Environmental History (4 credits)
  • HIST 231 Empires and Nations of the Middle East (4 credits)
  • HIST 263 United States Military History (4 credits) 
  • HIST 266 Topics in Minnesota History (4 credits) 

3. Select at least four credits from each of the following areas: 

Ancient and Medieval World:
  • HIST 203 Ancient Egypt and the Near East (4 credits)
  • HIST 205 The Ancient Greek World (4 credits)
  • HIST 208 History of the Roman World (4 credits)
  • HIST 209 Historical Archaeology (4 credits)
  • HIST 310 The Making of Europe: Middle Ages to 1000 (4 credits)
  • HIST 311 The Dawn of a New Era: Europe from 1000 to 1450 (4 credits)
Europe since 1450:
  • HIST 222 Early Modern Europe, 1450-1750 (4 credits)
  • HIST 223 Survey of Irish History: Celtic Ireland to 1972 (4 credits)
  • HIST 225 The Making of Modern Europe, 1750 to 1914 (4 credits)
  • HIST 226 Modern Europe since 1914 (4 credits)
  • HIST 227 Global History of Genocide 1900- (4 credits)
  • HIST 291 Topics in European History (4 credits) 
  • HIST 322 Tudor and Stuart Britain, 1485-1714 (4 credits)
  • HIST 333 East-Central Europe: From Monarchy to the European Union (4 credits)
  • HIST 335 Nazi Germany and the Holocaust (4 credits)
  • HIST 336 History of the Soviet Union (4 credits)
  • HIST 337 History of the First World War (4 credits)
  • HIST 394 Topics in European History (4 credit)
American History:
  • HIST 262 American Colonial History (4 credits)
  • HIST 264 History of Medicine and Health Care (4 credits)
  • HIST 292 Topics in U.S. History (4 credits)
  • HIST 340: The Long Emancipation (4 credits)
  • HIST 353 History of the American Revolution (4 credits)
  • HIST 355 The Civil War Era (4 credits)
  • HIST 358 Twentieth-Century United States (4 credits)
  • HIST 365 U.S. Constitutional History (4 credits)
  • HIST 396 Topics in History of the Americas (4 credits)
History of Africa, Asia, Latin America, or the Middle East:
  • HIST 240 Foundations of Chinese Civilization (4 credits)
  • HIST 241 The History of Modern China (4 credits)
  • HIST 244 Modern East Asia (4 credits)
  • HIST 293 Topics in History of Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East (4 credits) 
  • HIST 303 History of Modern Brazil (4 credits) 
  • HIST 309 History of Urban Latin America (4 credits)
  • HIST 349 History of the Ottoman Empire (1300-1922) (4 credits)
  • HIST 375 Non-State Actors in the Islamic World (4 credits)
  • HIST 395: Topics in History of Africa, Asia, Latin America, or the Middle East (4 credits)

At least twelve credits (3 courses) must be numbered HIST 300-399 or above.  A student may choose to take a second capstone seminar to complete four credits (1 course) of this requirement, but this should only be done in consultation with his/her major advisor. 

4. Plus:

  • HIST 466 Capstone Seminar in History (4 credits)


Minor in History

  • Twenty credits (5 courses) in history
    • no more than eight credits of which may be at the HIST 100-level
    • and at least four credits of which must be numbered HIST 300 or above.
    • Selection of the specific courses to fulfill the requirements should be done in consultation with a member of the department faculty.

Transfer students: At least twelve credits (3 courses) of the total needed for the history minor must be taken at the University of St. Thomas or in a St. Thomas approved study abroad program. 200- and 300-level transfer courses require the approval of the department chair in order to be counted toward the minor.


Certificate in the Study of War and Society

College of Arts and Sciences, Interdisciplinary Program

Scholars across disciplines have devised unique methods to study the causes of war and the consequences of violence on societies. This curriculum invites undergraduates from diverse backgrounds to rigorously study issues surrounding human conflict and global security. Students who earn this certificate may apply it toward graduate studies, government careers, teaching, non-profit work, and many other professions. The curriculum is grounded in the social sciences and humanities, inviting interdisciplinary learning to fully appreciate the consequences of conflict on subjects like technology, medicine, ethics, culture, activism, and public policy.

Students must take a total of three courses (12 credits) from the following to earn the certificate. No more than two courses (8 credits) are allowed from one academic discipline.

  • HIST 263: U.S. Military History
  • HIST 355: Civil War Era*
  • HIST 263: U.S. Military History
  • HIST 335: Nazi Germany and the Holocaust*
  • HIST 337 First World War 
  • HIST 353: American Revolution*
  • HIST 375 Non-state Actors in the Islamic World*
  • POLS 328: International Security**
  • POLS 320: American Foreign Policy**

*Prerequisite of one 100-level history course
**Prerequisite of POLS 225 World Politics

ROTC cadets may count up to four (4) credits of Aerospace Studies coursework, drawn from the following:

  • AERO 421: National Security & Leadership Responsibility I
  • AERO 422: National Security & Leadership Responsibility II

Military veterans and reservists may also receive four (4) credits of academic credit toward this certificate for prior military education. This will be done in consultation with the Director of the Veterans Resource Center.

Teacher Licensure

Co-major in Social Studies (5-12) and a Co-major in Secondary Education

See Education

History Undergraduate Courses

Course Number Title Credits
HIST  111 Origins: Mod World to 1550 4
HIST  112 Hist Mod World Since 1550 4
HIST  113 Early Am/Global Perspective 4
HIST  114 Mod Us/Global Perspective 4
HIST  115 The World Since 1900 4
HIST  117 Latin Am/Global Perspective 4
HIST  118 Middle East and North Africa 4
HIST  119 East Asian Civilizations 4
HIST  203 Ancient Egypt and Near East 4
HIST  205 The Ancient Greek World 4
HIST  207 Slavery in the Americas 4
HIST  208 History of the Roman World 4
HIST  209 Historical Archeology 4
HIST  211 Women/Families in the Americas 4
HIST  216 African-American History 4
HIST  222 Early Modern Europe: 1450-1750 4
HIST  223 Irish Hist Survey: Celtic-1972 4
HIST  225 Making of Mod Europe 1750-1914 4
HIST  226 Modern Europe since 1914 4
HIST  227 Global History Genocide 1900- 4
HIST  228 Environmental History 4
HIST  231 Empires & Nations Middle East 4
HIST  240 Found. of Chinese Civilization 4
HIST  241 History of Modern China 4
HIST  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
HIST  244 Modern East Asia 4
HIST  262 American Colonial History 4
HIST  263 United States Military History 4
HIST  264 Hist of Medicine & Health Care 4
HIST  266 Topics in Minnesota History 4
HIST  269 Research 2 OR 4
HIST  291 Topics: European History 4
HIST  292 Topics: U.S. History 4
HIST  293 Topics: Africa, Asia, LA, ME 4
HIST  295 Topics 2
HIST  297 Topics 4
HIST  298 Topics 4
HIST  303 The History of Modern Brazil 4
HIST  309 History of Urban Latin America 4
HIST  310 Europe: Middle Ages to 1000 4
HIST  311 Europe from 1000 to 1450 4
HIST  322 Tudor and Stuart Britain 4
HIST  333 East-Centr Eur Monarchy to EU 4
HIST  335 Nazi Germany and the Holocaust 4
HIST  336 History of the Soviet Union 4
HIST  337 History of the First World War 4
HIST  340 The Long Emancipation 4
HIST  349 History of Ottoman Empire 4
HIST  353 Hist of American Revolution 4
HIST  355 Civil War Era 4
HIST  358 20th Century U.S. 4
HIST  365 U.S. Constitutional History 4
HIST  375 Non-State Actors Islamic World 4
HIST  389 Research 2 OR 4
HIST  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
HIST  394 Topics in European History 0 TO 4
HIST  395 Topics:Africa/Asia/Lat/MidEast 0 TO 4
HIST  396 Topics History of the Americas 0 TO 4
HIST  398 History Internships 4
HIST  400 History Signature Work 2
HIST  466 Capstone Seminar in History 4
HIST  489 Topics 4
HIST  490 Topics 4
HIST  491 Research 2 OR 4
HIST  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4
HIST  498 Individual Study 4