2014–15 Undergraduate Catalog
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History Major
General History Minor


Alexander Hall 410

History Department Faculty

History, the study of the vast record of human experience, serves as the collective memory of humankind. As memory defines selfhood and guides behavior, so history teaches about social identity and responsibility.

And just as oneís memory changes and matures, so does the collective understanding of the past change as new evidence is discovered and new perspectives are developed. Like a detective hunt, the discipline of history teaches students to seek facts, weigh interpretations, and draw conclusions. It requires wide reading, deep thinking, and clear communication.

Historical study at SPU seeks a balanced understanding of world cultures. The History program explores the roots and development of Western civilization in the ancient and medieval periods, traces the interaction between the West and the rest of the world, then probes more deeply into American, European, and non-Western history. Along the way, students are able to trace the impact of Christianity in both Western and non-Western settings. The program emphasizes humanityís common heritage and shared future, and challenges students to ask how a Christian worldview can help us understand the sweep of human events, the variety of human cultures, and the influence of heritage on identity.

A major in History, especially after advanced study, can lead to careers in teaching, in writing, in museums and archival work, and in a wide variety of other professions ranging from journalism, law and government, to the pastorate and missions. For students with uncertain career goals, History offers superb training in analytical thinking, effective communication, and placing events into broader context.

Students who major in History are encouraged to consider special programs, both on and off campus. Complementing History with a second major, such as Political Science is encouraged. Internships and other off-campus study opportunities add practical skills and rich experiences of lifelong value. Consider spending a quarter or semester in Western Europe, Russia, Costa Rica, Egypt, China, or Kenya. Or study public policy for a term in the American Studies Program in Washington, D.C. For details, consult the history faculty or visit Study Abroad.

Admission to the Major or Minor

To qualify for admission to the major or minor in History, a student must have a 2.5 minimum GPA.

Application to this program may be made through the History Major or Minor Application form (PDF). A student must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major or minor.

Requirements for the History Major

Requirements should reflect a balance among European, U.S., and non-Western studies. They may include, with advisorís approval, one course in a related field. Students are encouraged to propose some independent activity (HIS 4900 series). Additionally:

  • Students majoring in History should work closely with their advisor in selecting additional supporting courses tailored to their career goals.
  • Students planning graduate study should acquire a reading mastery of a foreign language.

Requirements for the History Minor

A minor in History is available for those who wish to enrich their college experience by examining the unfolding story of human cultures through time, and as a complement to related majors such as Political Science, Sociology, etc.


Prospective Teachers

Students seeking teaching credentials should include HIS 3600 History of the Pacific Northwest in their program. They should also consult with the School of Education early in their academic program.

Integrated Studies Major with a concentration in Social Sciences (for students seeking K-8 certification)

Students who are planning to obtain elementary school certification and are interested in history must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in social sciences.

Requirements for Integrated Studies: Social Sciences concentration

Requirements for Elementary Certification

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