The History Honors Program is designed for outstanding history majors at UAB. It helps prepare you for graduate work in the field or for post-graduate training in other areas such as law, theology, and medicine. If accepted, you will have access to advanced classes, enjoy one-on-one interaction with faculty, and will write an honor’s thesis based on original research. Faculty-led independent research for the senior thesis provides you with experience in applying historical methods and analytical writing techniques.

Members of the program are invited to join Pi Alpha Theta, the national history honors organization. Members of the Chi Omicron Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta publish the Vulcan Historical Review annually.


You must complete at least 60 semester hours with a minimum 3.0 overall GPA and a minimum 3.5 GPA in history courses. At least 24 semester hours in the history major (including HY 300: Historian's Craft ) must be completed prior to acceptance in the program.

Interested students must apply for the program, submitting a prospectus with bibliography. The application must include the signature of a History Department faculty member who has agreed to direct your honor's thesis. If accepted into the program, you and your thesis director will choose two additional faculty members to make up the thesis committee. This committee will determine whether your completed thesis qualifies for honors.

Course Catalog

A complete list of honors requirements and courses are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.


The History Honors Program requires 42 total semester hours in history (as compared to 39 for the traditional history major) and maintenance of an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.5 GPA in history courses through graduation. Requirements can also be viewed in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Select from four of the following (12 credit hours):

This course examines the diverse cultures which are included in what is commonly referred to as the West. Students develop an understanding of the evolution of religious, political, social, military, and economic structures and relationships in Europe and the Middle East up to 1600. Students develop an appreciation of how individuals have influenced and been influenced by time and place.
This course examines developments in the Western World since 1600. Since for most of this period European culture dominated the world, the course will also examine interactions between the West and non-European cultures. The course focuses on political, economic, social, and cultural developments and stresses change and continuity over time as well as the various ideas and debates which have marked the modern West.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the development of major world civilizations from pre-history to the early modern era (ca. 1600 CE). The principal characteristics of these civilizations—such as political development, social structure, gender relations, religious beliefs, and philosophies—will be examined. The ultimate goal is for students to see the world around them with an increased understanding and appreciation for the societies, traditions, and ideas that existed in the past and in many cases still exist and influence us today.
This course will examine many significant world historical developments from the beginning of the early modern era (approximately 1600 CE) to the present. These historical developments include: intellectual movements, political revolutions and nationalism, industrialization, cultural changes, and the relationship between Western and non-Western societies. The ultimate goal of this course is for students to perceive the world around them with an increased understanding and appreciation for the diverse societies, traditions, and ideas that existed in the past—and in many cases still exist and influence us today.
This course provides an introduction to some of the main political, social, cultural, and economic developments in American history from the era of exploration and colonial settlement through the end of the Civil War. Central themes of the course will include the cross-cultural encounters (and clashes) in the Americas between various European and native peoples; the spectacular growth of European settlements in North America; the creation (always contested) of an American national identity; the emergence of a market economy and the question of American ideas of success and happiness.
This course assists students in gaining a sophisticated understanding of the development of modern America—its politics, economics, and social fabric together with how these have helped shape its foreign involvement. In the process, this course helps students understand the big idea of "change over time" and how all people face the choice of using change to help themselves and others—or not do this with resultant consequences. Finally, this course offers lessons out of our past about civic engagement, cultural diversity, and emerging globalism—values for productive citizenship on the contemporary scene.

Required Classes (9 credit hours):

This course examines the values, methodology, and materials of historical analysis. During the semester students will develop their writing skills, study the quantitative aspects of historical scholarship, and examine the ethical and civic responsibilities historians bear towards the profession and the larger community. Writing is a significant component of this course. The department recommends that this course be taken after completion of the lower-division survey requirement and before taking upper-division courses.
This course requires history majors to demonstrate their competency by successfully completing a research project. Prerequisites: HY 300 [Min Grade: C] This course may not be transferred from another institution and must be taken at UAB.
Independent research project for honors students in history, directed by faculty advisor. Course taken twice to produce thesis for Honors in History.

Electives (21 credit hours—these courses may not be transferred from another institution and must be taken at UAB):

  • Select three courses at the 300 or 400 level
  • Select two courses at the 300 level or above
  • Select two electives

Honors students may take one or two graduate seminars in history for undergraduate credit with permission of the Director of the History Undergraduate Program. This credit may not be used for graduate credit.


For additional information on the History Honors Program, contact the Department of History at (205) 934-5634 or the Undergraduate Program Officer at (205) 996-5464.