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    Dec 03, 2023  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
American University Catalog 2023-2024

History (BA)

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Offered by the Department of History , College of Arts and Sciences .

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires departmental approval.

University Requirements

AU Core Requirements

For additional information, see AU Core Curriculum .

Major Requirements

  • 39 credit hours with grades of C or better, including at least 18 credit hours at or above 300-level
    • At least 20 of the 39 credit hours for the major must be taken in residence at American University
    • The department recommends that before enrolling in a course at or above 300-level, students should complete a suitable introductory course or attain equivalent knowledge

Advanced Placement

Prospective history majors may qualify for a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 advanced placement (AP) credits toward the major for the following exams: American history, European history, and world history, provided the student earns a grade of 4 or 5 on the AP examination. Students cannot receive AP credit towards the major if they also take the comparable survey courses in either American history (HIST-205  and HIST-206 ) or European history (HIST-110 ). A satisfactory International Baccalaureate (IB) examination may count toward fulfilling a specific course requirement for the major. Entering students with academic credit for IB examinations in history courses should consult with the department. A total of 6 AP and IB credits can be counted toward the history major.

Course Requirements

Required (3 credit hours)

Ancient or Medieval History (3 credit hours)

Complete 3 credit hours in ancient or medieval history (any area of the world, focusing on premodern era) from the following, or other approved courses:

United States History (6 credit hours)

Capstone (3-6 credit hours)

Complete one of the following options:

History Electives (9-12 credit hours)

  • 9-12 credit hours from additional courses to make a total of 39 credit hours in history (which may include JWST-205 Ancient and Medieval Jewish Civilization (3) ). At least 20 of the 39 credit hours must be taken at American University; at least 18 of the 39 must be at or above 300-level

Combined History (BA) and History (MA)

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor’s/master’s programs. See Admission to a Combined Bachelor’s / Master’s Program  and Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees  for more information.

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for combined bachelor’s/master’s programs:

  • Students in this program are not required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Students will be admitted formally to MA status only if they have completed all requirements for the History (BA) with at least an overall 3.20 grade point average and a 3.50 grade point average in history courses.
  • Undergraduate students pursuing the History (MA)  (history concentration: 30 credit hours) may apply up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework in history to satisfy the requirements of both degrees. Undergraduate students pursuing the History (MA)  (public history concentration: 36 credit hours) may apply up to 12 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework in history to satisfy the requirements of both degrees.

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