History (THIST)

As a student of History, you will study the past and learn to research and write your own histories. You will learn cause and effect reasoning and gain skills essential in all fields of research and all of the professions.

History majors learn how to gather information from primary and secondary sources, cull and analyze that information, identifying its most significant aspects, reach conclusions, and produce well-written narratives and oral presentations relating the contents and results of their work.

The History major provides a solid foundation in American and world history along with the opportunity to dig deeper in U.S. History, European History, Asian History, Global History or even a self-designed History option.

History explores the past so we can better understand the present. Students will learn how to analyze primary and secondary sources to identify significant themes and trends, reach conclusions, and produce effective written and oral materials related to a particular subject(s). There are five options in the major: United States History, European History, Asian History, Global History and Self-Designed.

United States History Option: Through the critical analysis of primary and secondary sources students will gain an understanding of the complex factors significant in the development of the United States, including race, class, gender, colonization, immigration, industrialization, westward expansion and the rise of movements, such as Progressivism and Reaganism.

European History Option: Covering ancient and modern European history with emphases in British, German, and Mediterranean history and themes that problematize traditional readings of “the rise of the West,” students gain a deeper understanding about European history and the interregional interactions that shaped it through critical thinking and source analysis.

Asian History Option: The Asian history option includes courses from premodern to modern East Asia, with focuses on China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as examination of Pacific and Mediterranean world-systems. This option considers social, cultural, political, economic and intellectual developments within a historical framework.

Global History Option: Students gain understanding of interconnectedness of human histories and processes of globalization by studying world ancient and modern history, and classes that include U.S., European, and Asian options, as well as electives from other regions and cultures through critical analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Self-Designed History Option: For students who wish to pursue a topical approach to History (e.g. art and architecture, economic, environmental, ethnic, gender, labor, military, public, religious, etc.) and for students who currently choose to study Ancient, Latin American or African History.

History Honors

Students majoring in History also have the option of graduating with honors. This route is especially recommended for students expecting to enter graduate school. To learn more, talk to your academic advisor.

Phi Alpha Theta (PAT)

UW Tacoma is the home of the Alpha Zeta Gamma chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), the National History Honor Society. Phi Alpha Theta national requirements state that students must have completed 18 quarter hours (12 semester hours) of college-level history courses (including those taken at other institutions) in which they earned a GPA of 3.1 or better, and carry a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

The Phi Alpha Theta honors society induction ceremony is held spring quarter at UW Tacoma. Members wear crimson stoles with their academic regalia at commencement. All UW Tacoma students are welcome at PAT meetings and service projects. Contact your academic advisor for more information. 

THIST Degree Requirements

For History, you need to complete 60 credits to meet the degree requirements. You must earn a total of 180 quarter credits, or 225 quarter credits for a double degree, in order to earn a bachelor of arts degree in your chosen major.

For questions about the History major, contact advisors Heather Hucks or Suzanne McCusker.

THIST Course Lists

Core Courses

Required 30 credits (each course 5 credits unless otherwise noted)

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History Options and Courses

The BA in History requires 60 credits. These will include Core courses and courses in one of five selected History options. 45 upper-division credits and 45 credits of School of IAS courses are required for graduation from School of IAS.

Required option courses are 30 credits, of which 25 credits must be upper-division courses.

History Options:

United States History Option (List A)

United States History Option requires 30 credits from List A. 25 credits must be upper-division courses.

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Global History Option

Global History option majors are strongly encouraged to study a foreign language and to engage in a study abroad program as part of their Global History education.

Global History option majors are also strongly encouraged to take THIST 202 Global Theories as an option course as it provides an introduction of the historiographical trends and research methods in global studies.

Global History Option requires 30 credits as described below. 25 credits must be upper-division courses.

List D: American Focus

List E: European Focus

List F: Asian Focus

List G: Global Focus

Self-Designed History Option (List H)

Self-Designed History Option: 30 credits from List H or history courses from UW Bothell or UW Seattle as approved by their History faculty advisor

This is for students who:

  • Choose to pursue a topical approach to History (e.g. art and architecture, economic, environmental, ethnic, military, gender, labor, religious, etc.)
  • Students who currently choose to study Ancient, Latin American or African History.

Students must have the advance approval and continual counsel of their History faculty advisor for all of their coursework. In addition to the required core courses, students need to take 30 credits from the history related elective courses (List H) or history courses from UW Bothell or UW Seattle (including distance learning courses) as approved by their History faculty advisor.

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To request changes to this page, please contact Kelly Kledzik at kellyk6@uw.edu.