The History Major 2012-13
The history program at UC Santa Cruz is designed to bring about an understanding of the ideas, experiences, and events that have shaped this country and the world at large. The program's main emphases are in social and cultural history, with additional strengths in intellectual and political history.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A., Ph.D., Undergraduate Minor
- Talks, films, conferences, and workshops relevant to students of history are held all over campus throughout the year.
- Participation in the History Undergraduate Research Symposium, held annually in the spring
- Awards for undergraduate research and scholarship are available to eligible history students.
High School Preparation
High school students planning to major or minor in history at UC Santa Cruz need no special preparation other than the high school courses necessary for UC admission. Some background courses in history and a foreign language are helpful but not essential.
Transfer students will find it useful to complete courses that satisfy campus general education requirements before coming to UC Santa Cruz. Transfer students may apply up to three history courses taken elsewhere toward the history major or minor. History majors must take a minimum of five regularly scheduled history courses plus the comprehensive (exit) requirement from members of the UCSC History faculty. History minors must take a minimum of five regularly scheduled history courses from members of the UCSC History faculty. Subject to the limits indicated below, courses from the following categories may also be applied to the history major or minor:
- Transfer Courses (limit of 3)
- Education Abroad Program (limit of 3)
- Course Substitutions/Interdisciplinary course work (limit of 2)
- Independent and Field Studies (limit of 2)
- UCDC (limit of 2)
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.
Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
History Department chair and distinguished professor Gail Hershatter has been selected by her peers in the Academic Senate to deliver the Faculty Research Lecture, one of the highest honors a professor can receive. Professor Hershatter accepted the Faculty Research Lecture award at UC Santa Cruz's sixth annual Founders Celebration, where she was honored for her pioneering field research and oral history among Chinese women, and her major contributions to the history of women, labor, and sexuality.
Assistant professor of history Greg O'Malley has been awarded the 2012 Douglass Adair Memorial Award for his essay, “Beyond the Middle Passage: Slave Migration from the Caribbean to North America, 1619-1807” (William and Mary Quarterly, January 2009). This prize is given biennially to the best article to have appeared in the WMQ journal over the past six years, and is awarded by the WMQ editorial board. Greg is the 19th person to ever receive this award, and past recipients include Pulitzer Prize winners and other notable scholars.
Alan Christy, associate professor of history, has been selected to receive the 2012 John Dizikes Teaching Award in Humanities. Both students and colleagues alike offered high praise regarding Alan's teaching skills and the positive impact he has had on students over the years. The John Dizikes Award was established in 2002 to honor outstanding teaching efforts of humanities faculty at UCSC.
Recent history alumna Cynthia Thickpenny has been awarded the Marshall Scholarship, only the second undergraduate to do so in UCSC's history. The two-year award covers living expenses, tuition, and research travel expenses that come to about $36,000 per year. She plans to specialize in Early Medieval Scottish history--particularly the culture of the Picts, a Celtic people she says are one of the most understudied groups of the Middle Ages.
Recent faculty publications include Pablo Tac, Indigenous Scholar (University of California Press, 2011) Edited by Professor Lisbeth Haas; The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past (University of California Press, 2011) by Professor Gail Hershatter; The Insurgent Barricade (University of California Press, 2010), by Professor Mark Traugott; and A Flock Divided: Race, Religion, and Politics in Mexico, 1749-1857 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), by Associate Professor Matthew O’Hara.
- Foreign service
- Historic preservation
- Historical research
- International relations
- International trade
- Museum management
- Public administration
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
Requirements for the Major
A minimum of 12 courses is required for the major. The history major does not require an exam for entrance and does not limit the number of students accepted into the program. It is strongly advised that students complete at least one introductory history course before declaring the major.
At UC Santa Cruz, the history curriculum offers three broad, geographically defined regions of concentration:
- The Americas and Africa
- Asia and the Islamic World
Each history major selects one of the three regions of concentration listed above as their area of emphasis. In consultation with the history undergraduate program coordinator, the student plans a program of study that will also fulfill the following distribution of courses:
At least one lower-division survey course within their chosen region of concentration:
- Americas/Africa: History 10A, 10B, 11A, 11B, or 30
- Asia/Islamic World: History 40A, 40B, 41, or 43
- Europe: History 65A, 65B, 70A, or 70B
Transfer course work may or may not apply toward the survey course requirement; consult the History undergraduate program coordinator.
- four additional courses in the region of concentration, three of which must be upper-division
- two courses from each of the remaining two regions of concentration;
- two upper-division history electives based in any of the regions of concentration;
- one comprehensive exit requirement (see below) in the student’s chosen region of concentration.
Students may also choose to organize their course selections according to some general theme of special interest to them. Faculty and staff advisers will assist students who choose this option.
All students must complete either a research/readings seminar (one quarter: 190-series, 194-series, or 196-series), OR a senior thesis (two quarters: courses 195A and 195B) in their chosen region of concentration. Please consult the History Department web site for a more detailed description of these courses.
Among the 12 courses required for the major, at least three courses must meet chronological distribution requirements. One must be set before 600 A.D., and two must be set in periods prior to the year 1800 A.D. Also, no more than four of the minimum 12 courses may be lower division.
Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement
Students of every major must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. History students can fulfill the upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement by completing a comprehensive exit requirement in their chosen region of concentration. Students may complete an exit seminar (one quarter: 190 series, 194 series, or 196 series) or a thesis (two quarters: courses 195A and 195B). Please consult the department web site for a more detailed description of these courses.
Interdisciplinary Course Work
The History Department encourages its majors to take upper-division courses in disciplines related to history, including sociology, literature, community studies, American studies, politics, Latin American and Latino studies, and others. Students who wish to substitute one or two such appropriate upper-division courses for history electives must meet a faculty member from their chosen area of concentration and complete a course substitution form (available online at the History Department web site). These courses are subject to the limitations in the Transfer Preparation section and may or may not be applied toward a second major or minor from another department; consult with the undergraduate program coordinator for further details.
Proficiency in a foreign language is strongly recommended for all history students and is essential for those who plan to pursue graduate studies in history. Many Ph.D. programs in history require applicants to read one or two languages besides English. The UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) is appropriate for history majors as a means to both enhance language skills and take history courses elsewhere.
UC Education Abroad Program (EAP)
UC EAP offers students an opportunity to study abroad in 36 countries with over 250 program options. A variety of academic programs are available: language and culture programs facilitate language acquisition; "focus" programs allow students to concentrate on a plan of study applicable to their major. Over half of all EAP programs are in English, and there are traditional semester and year-long program options. Subject to the limitations in the Transfer Preparation section, up to three courses in history completed through EAP may be applied toward major requirements.
Requirements for the Minor
Students whose major area of interest is not history may nonetheless find that a minor in history makes an invaluable contribution to their studies. For the minor in history, eight history courses, four of which must be upper division, are required. There is no senior comprehensive requirement for the minor.
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University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064