Requirements Prior to Fall 2011

Requirements for those who declared a history major prior to Fall Term 2011

Majors take a two-part survey sequence, and select eight additional history courses of at least three credits each. They must include a history colloquium and satisfy the geographic, chronological, and course level requirements. Beyond those, students are free to choose whichever courses they wish. Six approved cognate credits in another department or program are also required.

General Information

  • At least four of the eight courses must be taken in residence at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • Five of the eight courses must be upper-level (300 or 400).
  • None can be 100-level courses.
  • A maximum of three can be counted at the 200-level.
  • All courses applied to the major must have a course number in the History Department or be cross-listed with a department course.
  • Courses from domestic institutions and study-abroad programs may be used to satisfy these requirements with approval from a history advisor.
  • On-line courses are not accepted for major credit.

Introductory Prerequisites

  • Majors must complete both courses in one of the six possible introductory survey sequences. These survey courses can be taken at any time, and are not required prior to taking upper level history classes.
  • History 110 & 111 — Medieval and Modern Europe
  • History 200 & 201 — Ancient Greece and Rome
  • History 204 & 205 — East Asia
  • History 206 & 207 — South and Southeast Asia
  • History 246 & 247 — Africa
  • History 260 & 261 — United States

Geographic Distribution

  • One course in US History
  • One course in European History
  • Two courses in non-Western history (one of these two can be transregional or comparative)

Chronological Distribution

  • One course must focus on a time period prior to the year 1800
  • Courses used to satisfy the prerequisite cannot be used to satisfy the pre-1800 requirement

History Colloquium

  • Majors elect at least one section of History 396 or 397, small reading and writing intensive seminars. The colloquium counts as one of the five upper-level courses. History 396 also satisfies the college Upper-Level Writing Requirement.
  • Students in the History Honors Program must complete the entire honors sequence — History 398 and 399 — to satisfy the colloquium requirement.


  • Students can explore other fields of interest through their choice of cognate courses. They are meant to broaden a student's knowledge of history or deepen one's understanding of history from the perspective of another discipline. Courses from a second major may fulfill this requirement, depending on the field. Please discuss cognate courses with a history advisor when declaring the major.
  • Students elect 6 cognate credits, usually two classes. Many, but not all, upper-level courses in the social sciences or humanities are acceptable. If students take courses outside these areas, they should have a historical element.
  • Cognates must be numbered 300 or higher
  • All six credits must be elected in one department or program other than History.
  • Cognates must be approved by a faculty advisor.