Overview of the Major

All majors must take at least 12 courses, including CAS HI 200 and two seminars. Out of these 12 courses, majors must fulfill each of the four distributional requirements outlined below.

Students may declare a History major by using the College’s online declaration form.

Required Courses

All majors are required to take CAS HI 200: The Historian’s Craft, ideally in their sophomore year (students who declare the history major later than the second semester of their sophomore year must take HI 200 in their next semester of registration), and at least two seminars, or small discussion-oriented classes focused on more specialized topics, at the 400 or 500 level.

These three courses must be taken on the Charles River campus or through international programs administered directly by Boston University. MET courses do not fulfill the seminar requirement of the History major.

Distributional Requirement

At least one course is required in each of the following geographical areas: American History, European History, World/Regional History. In addition, at least one course of the required 12 must focus on Premodern History. See the department’s Course Areas page to determine which courses will count towards a given geographic or premodern requirement.

Course Level

No more than three history courses at the 100 level may be taken for credit toward the major.

Grade Requirement

A grade of C or higher is required for all courses counted toward the concentration.

Honors Program

Senior History majors possessing the requisite minimum grade point average (3.0 in all courses and at 3.5 in all History courses) can choose to complete the History Department’s Honors Program by applying to enroll in HI 401/402, a two-semester seminar that will guide students through the research and writing of a 45-50 page Honors thesis.

Please click here for more information regarding the Honors Program, further requirements, and the Honors Application.

Double Majoring in History and Other Disciplines

Students interested in double majoring are encouraged to consider choosing History as one of their concentrations. In the past, History has worked especially closely with students concentrating in Art History, American and New England Studies, English, International Relations, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion.

Please note that a student may use no more than five principal or required courses from a given concentration towards another concentration.

History Credit from Outside the History Department

Transfer Credit

Of the 12 courses required for the major, at least seven must be taken at Boston University: the core methodology course (CAS HI 200), the two seminars (any CAS HI 400- or 500-level course), and four additional courses at the 200-level or above.

Click here for more information regarding the transfer credit process.

Core Curriculum

CAS CC 101 and CAS CC 102 together count for CAS HI 101 (with a grade of C or higher). CAS CC 201 and CAS CC 202 together count for CAS HI 102 (with a grade of C or higher).

College of General Studies

Students who complete the following College of General Studies courses with a grade of C or higher will receive HI credit towards the major.

  • SS 102 is equivalent to HI 102
  • SS 103 is equivalent to HI 101
  • SS 104 is equivalent to HI 102
  • SS 201 is equivalent to HI 176
  • SS 202 is equivalent to HI 2XX

Metropolitan College

No more than four MET HI courses may be counted toward a History major. In order to count a MET course toward a specific distributional requirement, a Departmental Petition must be submitted along with the course syllabus to the department for consideration. MET courses do not fulfill the seminar requirement of the History major.

Advanced Placement

Students who received a score of 4 or 5 on the European History Examination and the American History Examination will receive credit for HI 098 and HI 099, respectively. These courses cannot count towards the History concentration and are to be used as general credits towards graduation. No credit is given for the World History Examination.