To complete the Bachelor of Arts in History you must complete 39 semester hours of course work, including 12 semester hours from an introductory sequence; 6 semester hours of research methods; and 21 hours of electives in history.

In order to gain broad knowledge, you must include at least two courses in US history and at least two courses in non-US history among your electives and 300- and 400-level courses; one of the two non-US history electives must be a non-Western history course. No grade below C may be counted toward the history major.

Course Catalog

A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for History majors are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Program Requirements

All program requirements and courses are outlined in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog. The major requirements consist of introductory courses, research courses, and electives. You can also download the Undergraduate Program Handbook for a brief synopsis of the program.

Introductory Sequence Courses—select 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. Students may not take both HY 101 and HY 104.

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. Students may not take both HY 102 and HY 105.

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. Students may not take both HY 101 and HY 104.

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. Students may not take both HY 102 and HY 105.

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.

Research Courses (6 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.
A Note on the History Capstone: All History majors who began taking courses at UAB after July 2009 are required to take HY 497: The History Capstone. Questions about the capstone may be addressed in this History Capstone FAQ; you can also contact the department by email or at (205) 934-5634.

History Electives (21 credit hours):
  • Select seven History courses not listed above, including three at the 400-level and two at the 300-level or above.
  • You must take two of your electives in US history and two in non-US history; one of the two non-US history electives must be a non-Western history.
  • You may take no more than a total of 6 semester hours of the following independent studies courses: Directed Readings in History (HY 491/HY 492) or Internship in Public History (HY 482).
  • You must take 18 semester hours in 300- and 400-level courses at UAB.

Ready to Apply?

All the information you need to apply can be found on UAB's Undergraduate Admissions Hub.