History Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

Upon completion of the History major, students will be able to demonstrate:

1. A broad and deep store of knowledge of human history, ancient to present, as well as:

  • knowledge of chronology, place, and significance;
  • mastery of the various theories, methodologies, and interpretations current in the history profession;
  • historical empathy;
  • understanding the role of the past in shaping current events and the richness of the past as a source for meeting contemporary challenges.

2. The ability to conduct and present both orally and in writing quality research that:

  • poses a significant historical question;
  • identifies, evaluates, contextualizes, and utilizes a wide variety of relevant primary and secondary sources;
  • articulates a clear thesis statement;
  • argues effectively by employing and properly citing evidence in support of a thesis;
  • explains the historical significance of the research.

3. The capacity to be teachers, and/or attend graduate school, and/or embark upon history-related careers.

I. Complete the following History courses (18 cr):

Code Course Credits

HIS 1125

The Ancient World

This course explores continuity, change, connections and comparisons within and between societies that developed in different regions of the world before the rise of Islam in the 7th century. We examine the historical texts and contexts in which humans communicated, complained, dreamed, prayed and made meaning of their lives in worlds that were very different from, and yet surprisingly similar to, our own.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester


HIS 1135

Global History

This course introduces students to the discipline of history in general and to the field of global history in particular. It examines the roots and expansion of globalization - broadly defined as the growing interconnectedness of our world - from the rise of Islam to the 21st century.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester


HIS 1215

Survey of Early U.S. History

The European colonization of the Americas and the subsequent emergence of the United States held tremendous consequences for the peoples of the modern world. Colonial regimes set in motion a chain of events that destroyed unique Native American cultures, and the demands of merchants and planters in the Americas fueled the African slave trade, one of the largest forced migrations in human history. At the same time, political elites and ordinary people participated in a transatlantic Age of Revolutions that introduced to the world new ways of organizing government and thinking about human rights. Students in this introductory survey course will study these foundations of national life in the United States. The topics to be considered include Native American cultures and colonialism; slavery and its destruction; the role of race and gender relations in American life; and the emergence of liberalism and nationalism in the modern world.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester


HIS 1225

Survey of Modern U.S. History

The emergence of the United States as a global power represents one of the most significant developments in recent world history. This introductory survey course will trace America's growing engagement with the world over the course of the long twentieth century. At the same time, the course will consider the development domestically of a modern centralized state that has increasingly concerned itself with the rights and well-being of individual citizens. Topics will include industrialization and its critics, imperialism, the two World Wars, the development of a social safety net, movements for civil rights and social justice for women and minorities, and the origins of America's engagement with the Middle East.

Fulfills the World Views Frame of Reference.

Every semester


HIS 4601

History Research Seminar

This course is required of all students majoring in History or Social Studies. It is the first in a sequence of two required courses leading to the History Thesis (see HIS 4602). The goal of the course is to teach students how to approach history from the point of view of a historian, reading texts for historiographical, theoretical and methodological significance. In this class, students learn how to conduct quality research and to develop bibliographic and citation skills. They apply these skills when they identify, locate and analyze secondary and primary sources that lead to a substantial research proposal that will form the basis of the History Thesis.

Prerequisite: Majoring in History or Social Studies; junior or senior status.



HIS 4602

History Thesis Seminar

This capstone seminar is required of all students majoring in History or Social Studies. Building on the research proposal developed in HIS 4601, students will continue to locate, evaluate and interpret the significance of primary and secondary sources pertaining to a particular historical research project. This course is conducted as a seminar, with emphasis placed on working together with the professor and all class members to prepare a culminating project for public presentation to the campus community, and submitted in written form as a History Thesis.

Prerequisite: HIS 4601



II. Complete 18 credits of History (HIS) electives, of which as least 9 credits must be in regions other than the United States or Europe (18 cr)

Note: at least 9 credits of History courses must be at the 3000 level.

III. Complete 9 credits in the Social Sciences (9 cr):

  • Economics: 3 cr
  • Geography: 3 cr
  • Political Science: 3 cr

(Total credits required for the major: 45)


Students who plan to be secondary Social Studies teachers should take ECO 3080 - Foundations of Economics for Secondary Educators .

It is strongly recommended that History majors also complete either an academic minor, or 12 credits in another academic discipline chosen in consultation with the advisor, or education licensure requirements; and demonstrate the ability to read a foreign language.

Students with either second majors, or wishing to be licensed to teach in elementary or secondary schools, must have an advisor from both sponsoring departments.

All courses taken to fulfill the History major requirements may also be used to fulfill the general education and academic minor requirements.

Motivated students should consider taking the program in Honors History.

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.

Law Degree (CU/VLS 3+2)

This major participates in the 3+2 program with Vermont Law School, in which highly-focused students can earn a Bachelor's degree in just three years at CU and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in just two years at VLS.

For details, see the Law Degree page.