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""Students decide to become History majors for many different reasons. Maybe you are curious about the Revolutionary War because of Hamilton. Or maybe you grew up in Alabama and want to know more about the state or Birmingham. Perhaps you saw a TV show about how aliens built the pyramids (they didn’t, btw), or you find gladiators or Nazis fascinating. Or, maybe you just want skills that employers are looking for. In the History department, we teach all these things and so much more. 

One of the best things about a major in History is that the degree is flexible and can be tailored to your interests. Once you’ve finished two introductory sequences (U.S. history and either World History or Western Civ.), the majority of your classes are going to be courses that you want to take and fit into your schedule. Only two other courses are mandatory—HY 300, which teaches historical research and writing skills, and HY 497 (the capstone) where you work with a professor on a project of your choosing.

Program Requirements

All program requirements and courses are outlined in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog. You can also look at a proposed four-year program of study for History majors. You can download the pdfUndergraduate Program Handbook for a brief synopsis of the program.

The Capstone

How does the History Capstone work? Here's an overview:

  • Who has to take it?

    All History majors are required to take HY 497: The History Capstone.

  • When do I take it?

    The Capstone course has to be part of your last 30 hours of course work. Please note that the Capstone is NOT offered in the summer.

  • How does it work?

    The Capstone is a major research project or presentation that is the culmination of your work as a history major. Your research is done under the supervision of a member of the History Department faculty. You should ask a professor in the field of study that interests you if he or she is willing to direct your Capstone. In order to make sure that you are able to work with the instructor of your choice, you should plan ahead. Some semesters an instructor may not be available, and each instructor can only work with a limited number of projects.

  • What will my project be?

    You and the instructor will decide what sort of research project/presentation you will do. He or she will also monitor your progress during the semester. Please note that it does NOT have to be a formal research paper. The History Department also houses the Media Studies program. Interested students may get assistance from that program on how to prepare a visual presentation of their research.

    Examples of Capstone projects completed by our students:

    • "'I am Cain and Abel': The Cinema of Andrezej Wajda and the Practice of Preference Falsification"
    • "Kami Animal Spirits of Shinto and Chinese Influence"
    • "Resurrection in the Ancient World and Early Christianity"
    • "Establishing Islam after the Death of Mohammad"
    • "The Black Prince: Hero or Villain"
    • "Syphilis in Early Modern England"
    • "The Evolution of Early Kabuki Theater"
    • "How Von Braun 'Sold' or Pitched the Space Projects"
    • "Vergangenheitsbewältigung: Women and the Third Reich"
    • "The Evolution of the English Navy”
  • How do I register?

    Once you have permission from the instructor who will direct your project, send that permission with your name and student I.D. (B00 number) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Within 48 hours you should get an e-mail telling you that you can register for HY 497.

  • Still confused?

    You can direct questions to the undergraduate program director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the History Department at (205) 934-5634.

Ready to Apply?

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