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The History Department offers a wide variety of chronological, geographical, and thematic courses that enhance individuals’ understanding of themselves and the contemporary world by expanding their experience to include the experiences of other peoples, both past and present. These courses range from ancient times to the present, cover most geographical regions of the world, and allow topical specialties ranging from women’s or environmental history to the history of technology or sports.

Learning Goals for Undergraduates in History:  Students graduating with a BA in history will have learned to research, analyze, synthesize, and communicate accurate information about the past and its meaning.  Specifically, students will acquire the skills to:

  • Discover and sift through information and distinguish between fact and myth, the serious and unserious
  • Evaluate written or material evidence; closely examine evidence within a historical context; understand change over time
  • Organize events and ideas chronologically and explain historical trends
  • Recognize and apply concepts and principles in the discipline of history
  • communicate, both verbally and orally, in an effective manner

History graduates find employment in a wide range of occupations. Traditionally they have gone into education careers in primary and secondary schools and, with appropriate graduate-level training, in colleges and universities. More recently, increasing numbers of history graduates find their way into private, nonprofit as well as public organizations and agencies, such as museums, archives and libraries, research and service institutions, legislative bodies, and planning agencies. Others find career opportunities in the private sector, including publishing, journalism, broadcasting, and law firms; in fact, history is an ideal pre-law major.

The Department of History offers lower-level baccalaureate courses (HTY 103-HTY 280), upper-level baccalaureate courses (HTY 301-HTY 499), and graduate-level courses (HTY 501-HTY 699). Senior history majors may take 500-level graduate courses. Other students may take graduate level courses by permission. In addition to the BA in history and International Affairs in history, the Department offers the MA degree in history, with specialties in most areas. The Ph.D. degree is offered in United States history and Canadian-American history. Further information on these degrees may be found in the Graduate School catalog.

Majors must complete at least twelve three-hour courses in history, including:

A. At least two courses (at least one must be upper level) from each of the following groups:

  1. United States history
  2. European history
  3. The history of areas outside the United States and Europe or worldwide in focus (including at least one course outside Canada).

B. At least eight upper-level history courses, distributed as follows:

  1. A primary concentration of four courses from a single geographical, chronological, or topical area.
  2. One senior seminar (HTY 498), normally taken during the student’s final undergraduate year
  3. Three upper-level elective history courses from any area.

In addition, History majors must complete an outside field requirement that may be satisfied by one of the following:

  1. Demonstrated proficiency (“C” or better) in a foreign language at the intermediate level, by either examination or through course work.
  2. Completion of a minor in another discipline requiring at least four courses above the survey level. These courses may not have been presented to satisfy the General Education Requirements.
  3. Completion of an approved Interdisciplinary Curriculum requiring at least four courses beyond the survey level. These courses may not have been presented to satisfy the General Education Requirements. The History Department reserves the right to devise and approve additional, but comparable, “interdisciplinary curricula” other than those listed in this catalog.
  4. Completion of a second major.

Students who transfer from other institutions must take a minimum of six courses within the department.

All students must earn at least a “C” in all courses applied to the major. University requirements place a limit of forty-eight (48) hours of degree credit within the major to count toward the bachelor’s degree, thus a maximum of sixteen (16) history courses may be applied toward the 120 total credits required for graduation. History majors should be careful to limit the number of courses taken below the 300-level as the minimum of eight upper-level (300-400) courses required for the major leaves a maximum of eight (8) 100-200 level courses to count toward graduation.


A minor in History shall consist of at least 18 credit hours, of which at least 12 must be upper-level baccalaureate courses (HTY 301-HTY 499). The 18 credits should include courses that cover more than one continent and more than one century. Students must achieve a grade of “C” or better in all courses to be applied to the History minor.

For additional information about the undergraduate program in history, contact the Department of History, 5774 Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469-5774. Telephone: 207-581-1907/1908.