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History, B.A.

Informed, engaged, creative: Students of history at SLU learn the values and skills foundational to a wide range of careers. Open the door to your future by studying the past. History majors go on to become leaders in fields including law, public policy, education, business, medicine, and technology. They work in higher education and government, for non-profits and NGOs, and as entrepreneurs and marketing associates.

With 21 full-time faculty members, 70 undergraduate majors and minors, and nearly 1,000 undergraduates in our courses every semester, SLU's Department of History offers small classes, one-on-one mentoring, and opportunities to engage in internships and individualized research.

The department’s award-winning teachers are deeply committed to helping students grow as thinkers and, in the best of the Jesuit educational model, as human beings.

A major or minor in history will sharpen your minds and open your eyes—so that when you’re finally ready to embark on the experience that will make you you, you’ll have the confidence of being able to say—“I know who I am because I know my history.”

Additional program highlights include:

  • Students in our courses are guided by professors who are outstanding writers and engaging speakers and leading experts in their fields. Our faculty members have written for The New York Times and the Washington Post, and been interviewed on NPR and St. Louis Public Radio. 
  • The history undergraduate program hosts vibrant extracurricular events which help students network, hone their skills, and share their passions for history.
  • The department’s stellar internship program allows students to pursue their particular interests while deepening skills and professional connections. Through internships, SLU's history majors and minors have diversified elementary school curricula, shaped museum exhibitions, created podcasts, and even researched historic foodways for an award-winning St. Louis restaurant.   

Curriculum Overview

History majors at SLU are educated in basic intellectual and communication skills that are valued in business, journalism, public service and law, among other fields. In recent years, undergraduates have augmented studies in history with education, political science, foreign language or business administration — combinations that have proven attractive in medicine, business and government service.

Saint Louis University history students learn to interpret a variety of sources, develop the skills to find relevant information and evidence, and articulate an argument. They practice clear and forceful writing.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

SLU's Department of History offers a variety of internships with museums and other historical organizations, most of which are eligible for course credit. Internship opportunities in the St. Louis area include:

  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
  • Campbell House Museum
  • Discovery Expedition of St. Charles
  • Eugene Field House and Toy Museum
  • Holocaust Museum
  • Jefferson Barracks
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Achieves
  • Landmarks Association of St. Louis
  • Lincoln Home and National Historic Site
  • Midwest Jesuit Achieves
  • Missouri History Museum
  • National Archives Records Center
  • Saint Louis University Art Museum
  • Scott Joplin House
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Careers

  • History majors have gone on to fulfilling careers in law, public policy, education, business, medicine, and technology. They work in secondary education and government, for non-profits and NGOs, and as entrepreneurs.
  • History majors and minors learn to excel in writing, oral presentation, and research; these skills can be applied in a broad range of fields from law, to education, to medicine and business.
  • Students interested in the sciences often discover that having a major or minor in History diversifies their academic training and makes their applications to graduate and medical schools even more competitive. 
  • History majors learn to communicate effectively, reason creatively, and understand the human impact and issues connected to a career. People with these skills become leaders in their fields.

As one recent graduate said, “There are so many potential jobs to do when you are talented at writing, speaking and researching. History majors build all those skills on a daily basis!”      

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to call to mind and explain significant historical facts in appropriate contexts.
  2. Graduates will be able to critically evaluate and analyze primary sources to produce reasoned historical interpretations.
  3. Graduates will be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of historical narratives and interpretations.
  4. Graduates will be able to produce correct, cogent and effectively structured statements on historical topics.
  5. Graduates will be able to produce research in which they interpret primary sources in order to propose informed, original solutions to historical problems.
  6. Graduates will be able to articulate meaningful relationships between contemporary issues and historical facts, interpretations and skills.

 History students must complete a minimum of 36 credits for the major.

College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
HIST 1110Origins of the Modern World to 15003
HIST 1120Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present)3
HIST 2800Historian's Craft: Methods Proseminar3
European History
Select one course with the European History attribute. Examples of such courses, which are commonly taught, are: 3
HIST 3020
The Roman Empire
HIST 3030
The Byzantine World: Faith and Power in a Thousand-Year Empire
HIST 3040
From Barbarians to Crusaders: Europe in the Early Middle Ages
HIST 3050
From Cathedrals to Printing Presses: Europe in the Late Middle Ages
HIST 3090
The Age of Renaissance
HIST 3100
The Reformation Era
HIST 3120
French Revolution and Napoleon, 1789-1815
HIST 3140
Twentieth Century Europe: Era of World Wars, 1914-1945
HIST 3250
World in Conflict Since 1945
HIST 3280
Russia to 1905
HIST 3290
Russia Since 1905
HIST 3320
Early Modern History of Spain:1469-1818
HIST 3760
Medieval Spain
Pre-1865 U.S. History
Select one course with the Pre-1865 U.S. History attribute. Examples of such courses, which are commonly taught, are: 3
HIST 1600
History of the United States of America to 1865
HIST 3480
U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
HIST 3580
American Slavery
HIST 3640
History of the American West
HIST 3660
History of Nature in America
HIST 3700
U.S. Constitutional History
Post-1865 U.S. History
Select once course with the Post-1865 U.S. History attribute. Examples of such courses, which are commonly taught, are: 3
HIST 1610
History of the United States Since 1865
HIST 3250
World in Conflict Since 1945
HIST 3480
U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
HIST 3500
Progressive Era to the Jazz Age, 1890-1920
HIST 3600
U.S. History in Film
HIST 3640
History of the American West
HIST 3660
History of Nature in America
HIST 3700
U.S. Constitutional History
World History (Asian, African, Middle Eastern, or Latin American)
Select one course with the World History attribute. Examples of such courses, which are commonly taught, are: 3
HIST 1710
China and Japan Since 1600
HIST 2730
Crossroads of the World: The Middle East and North Africa Through History
HIST 3030
The Byzantine World: Faith and Power in a Thousand-Year Empire
HIST 3170
Colonial Latin America
HIST 3220
The Jesuits in Asia
HIST 3250
World in Conflict Since 1945
HIST 3720
Cultural Encounters 1500-1700
History Electives
Choose 12 credits for courses above 1120 with the HIST subject code.12
Senior Seminar
HIST 4900Seminar in European History3
or HIST 4901 Sem: American History
or HIST 4902 Seminar in World History
General Electives18-27
Total Credits120

Senior Thesis

HIST 4991 History Senior Thesis (3 cr) will be conducted as an independent study/research course for writing an honors thesis. It is an opportunity for superior students who want to expand and revise a paper for a previous 3000 or 4000 level history course into an honors thesis. This option will give the student a chance to develop and demonstrate advanced research and writing skills. It will be excellent preparation for graduate or professional schools, some of which require applicants to submit a writing sample. This course runs for one semester. Students wishing to spend a year on their thesis may sign up one semester earlier for HIST 4990 History Senior Thesis Prep (3 cr).

Internships

The Department of History offers a variety of internships HIST 4910 Internship/History in Practice (1-6 cr); for example, in an archive, a museum, a historical site, or on specific projects.

Continuation Standards

  1. Grade of a "B-" or better in:
    • HIST 1110 Origins of the Modern World to 1500 (0,3 cr)
    • HIST 1120 Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present) (0,3 cr)
  2. A 2.00 minimum GPA for all history courses.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Events  
HIST 1110
or HIST 1120
Origins of the Modern World to 1500 1
or Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present)
3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits16
Spring
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Events  
HIST 1120
or HIST 1110
Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present) 1
or Origins of the Modern World to 1500
3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
Participation in Second-Year Mentoring Events  
HIST 1710 China and Japan Since 1600 3
HIST 2800 Historian's Craft: Methods Proseminar (Required of all majors) 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits15
Spring
Participation in Second-Year Mentoring Events  
HIST 1600 History of the United States of America to 1865 3 3
HIST 3090 The Age of Renaissance 4 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
HIST 3480 U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877 5 3
HIST 3250 World in Conflict Since 1945 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
A&S Core Course 3
 Credits15
Spring
HIST 4910 Internship/History in Practice (Elective) 3
A&S Core Course (if needed) or Elective 3
A&S Core Course (if needed) or Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
HIST 3250 World in Conflict Since 1945 (Elective (also fulfills U.S. Distribution Requirement)) 3
HIST 3020 The Roman Empire (Elective (also fulfills Europe Distribution Requirement)) 3
A&S Core Course (if needed) or Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
HIST 4900
or HIST 4901
or HIST 4902
Seminar in European History (Required of all majors)
or Sem: American History
or Seminar in World History
3
A&S Core Course (if needed) 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
A&S Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits121
1

One, but not both, of these courses may be fulfilled by AP credit.

2

Fulfills World Distribution Requirement (for a full list of courses that meet this requirement, see the list below). 

3

Fulfills U.S. pre-1865 Distribution Requirement (for a full list of courses that meet this requirement, see the list below). 

4

Fulfills Europe Distribution Requirement (for a full list of courses that meet this requirement, see the list below). 

5

Fulfills U.S. post-1865 Distribution Requirement (for a full list of courses that meet this requirement, see list below). 

Program Notes

The history major requires successful completion of courses above 1120 in the following areas: pre-1865 U.S. history, post-1865 U.S. history, European history and World history. At least one course must be a 4000-level seminar. Please refer to the list of seminars for majors.

Senior thesis (3 or 6 credits, counting toward electives) and internship options available.

European History (3 Credits)

Courses with the European history attribute. All are 3 credit courses. Examples of commonly taught courses are:

HIST 3000
Ancient Greece
HIST 3020
The Roman Empire
HIST 3030
The Byzantine World: Faith and Power in a Thousand-Year Empire
HIST 3040
From Barbarians to Crusaders: Europe in the Early Middle Ages
HIST 3050
From Cathedrals to Printing Presses: Europe in the Late Middle Ages
HIST 3090
The Age of Renaissance
HIST 3100
The Reformation Era
HIST 3120
French Revolution and Napoleon, 1789-1815
HIST 3140
Twentieth Century Europe: Era of World Wars, 1914-1945
HIST 3250
World in Conflict Since 1945
HIST 3280
Russia to 1905
HIST 3290
Russia Since 1905
HIST 3320
Early Modern History of Spain:1469-1818
HIST 3720
Cultural Encounters 1500-1700
HIST 3760
Medieval Spain

Pre-1865 U.S. History (3 credits)

Courses with the Pre-1865 U.S. history attribute. All are 3 credit courses. Examples of commonly taught courses are:

HIST 1600
History of the United States of America to 1865
HIST 3480
U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
HIST 3580
American Slavery
HIST 3640
History of the American West
HIST 3660
History of Nature in America
HIST 3700
U.S. Constitutional History

Post-1865 U.S. History (3 Credits)

Courses with the Post-1865 U.S. history attribute. Examples of commonly taught courses are:

HIST 1610
History of the United States Since 1865
HIST 3250
World in Conflict Since 1945
HIST 3480
U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
HIST 3500
Progressive Era to the Jazz Age, 1890-1920
HIST 3600
U.S. History in Film
HIST 3640
History of the American West
HIST 3660
History of Nature in America
HIST 3700
U.S. Constitutional History

World History (3 Credits)

Asian, African, Middle Eastern, or Latin American

Courses with the World history attribute. All are 3 credit courses. Examples of commonly taught courses are:

HIST 1700China and Japan To 16003
HIST 1710China and Japan Since 16003
HIST 2730Crossroads of the World: The Middle East and North Africa Through History3
HIST 3030The Byzantine World: Faith and Power in a Thousand-Year Empire3
HIST 3170Colonial Latin America3
HIST 3220The Jesuits in Asia3
HIST 3240Africa since 18843
HIST 3250World in Conflict Since 19453

Senior Research Seminars (3 Credits)

HIST 4900Seminar in European History3
HIST 4901Sem: American History3
HIST 4902Seminar in World History3

Internship (3 credits - may be taken twice)

HIST 4910Internship/History in Practice3-6

Senior Thesis (3-6 credits)

HIST 4990History Senior Thesis Prep (optional)3
HIST 4991History Senior Thesis3

Students can complete all or part of the history major at SLU’s campus in Madrid. 

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