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College of Arts & Sciences

Here are important details for B.S. Degree in History.

The B.S. in History differs from the History B.A because students are generally not required to earn foreign language credit. Instead, they are asked to complete additional credit hours in a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Please refer to the following chart for an easy understanding.

B.S. HIST Degree Plan

  1. Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from the College of Arts and Sciences requires a total of 120 semester hours successfully completed and distributed according to the requirements identified in the university catalog.
  2. The university Residency requirement is 36 semester hours of upper level (300-400) courses successfully completed in residency at Texas A&M. 
  3. History majors must complete 18 hours of history (100-400) in residence at Texas A&M University; 15 of these hours must be at the 300-400 level. 
  4. History majors must maintain an overall GPR of 2.0 as well as a 2.0 GPR in their major to be in good academic standing with the university. No grade below C will count toward either the major or minor requirements.

As part of their 120 semester hours, history majors must complete 33 hours of history courses.

  1. There are 18 hours of required History courses describe below. 

  2. 15 Hours of Additional HIST courses need to fulfill the following requirements: 

  • at least 12 hours of history at the 300 or 400 level.

  • at least 3 hours of pre-modern history at the 200-400 level.

  • at least 3 hours each from three of five lists (U.S.; Europe; Latin America/Caribbean; Africa/Asia/Middle East; Thematic). 

Please note: a single course may be used to fulfill more than one of the above requirements for additional HIST courses. See HIST Elective Course List at history course list

18 Hours of Required HIST courses:

Additional Requirements for the B.S. Degree

Please note, that a B.S. in History requires the completion of at least 12 hours in a science elective field and at least 6 hours beyond the core requirements in both Literature and Language, Philosophy, and Culture. 

Student are expected to complete the following: 

  • Science Elective – 12 hours, or four semesters of elective courses.  

  • Communication – ENGL 104 + 3 Hours from ENGL 203, 210 or COMM 203, 205 or 243

  • Literature– 6 hours from Literature courses in ENGL.

  • Mathematics and Logical Reasoning – 6 hours. At least 3 hours must be in MATH from; 3 hours may be selected from PHIL 240.

  • Physical Biological Science – 9 hours from

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours from

  • Political Science – 6 hours of POLS 206 & POLS 207

  • Language, Philosophy, Culture – 9 hours. At least 3 hours of which must be creative arts, from the Core Curriculum List.

  • Electives – At Least 25 hours.

  • International & Cultural Diversity course requirement – 6 hours – chosen from the prescribed University ICD list (International and Cultural Diversity Catalog List). Courses that fulfill other core or major requirements can duplicate in this category.

Basic information on different types of courses:

The Department of History offers courses at different levels. Here are basic distinctions. 
  1. Survey Courses: These classes provide a broad overview of a particular time period and serve as a foundation for a more focused study at the upper division level. In the survey courses you will learn to identify and assess causes and effects of historical change, categorize information, summarize the main points of an historical work, identify its thesis and discern whether the author substantiates the thesis. You will become familiar with the manner in which historians use sources as evidence. Twelve of the 33 required hours are in the lower division or survey level of classes. They are comprised of HIST 101 or 103, HIST 102 or 104, HIST 105 and HIST 106.

  2. Upper Division Courses: These courses focus on a time period, topic or country in greater depth than the survey courses. You have an opportunity to concentrate in an area of your particular interest. Skills introduced to you in the survey classes will be augmented as you think analytically, read critically, and write decisively. Many of these courses encourage spirited classroom discussions with your professors and fellow students.

  3. The Historian’s Craft (HIST 280): This course is one of two writing-intensive courses required for undergraduate history majors (the other is HIST 481). Every semester, the department offers multiple sections of the class, each focused on a special topic and limited to 15 history majors.  In the course, students will have the opportunity to participate in small group discussion and to learn and practice critical reading, thinking and writing skills.

  4. Senior Seminar (HIST 481): This writing-intensive, required course is the capstone experience for undergraduate history majors. Students thinking about continuing their education in history graduate school should be able to make an informed decision after this course. The class is limited to 15 students and deals with the literature of an issue, an event, a period or a person in history. In the course students will have the chance to participate in group discussions and to write an article length paper (usually 15-20 pages) based on primary and secondary source material.

  5. Directed Study (HIST 485): A one semester class that can be taken for one to three hours of credit. The professor needs to agree to lead an individual study program wherein a particular aspect of a period, a person, or a problem is examined.

  6. Special Topics Courses (HIST 489): On occasion, the History Department, frequently in conjunction with other departments, offers special course offerings called “topic courses.” These courses are new courses that our faculty members are in the process of designing. If the “special topic” is arranged in conjunction with another department, it is cross-listed with that department and may be credited either as history or as an elective.

  7. Honors Independent Study (HIST 497): Students in the University Fellows Honors Program or the honors curriculum may enroll in this section to fulfill individual requirements. The class consists of individualized instruction or research under the guidance of a faculty member. Undergraduate Fellows register for HIST 497 during each semester of their fellowship.