HIST – History course descriptions


Lori Witt (chair), Mark Barloon, Timothy Olin

Statement of philosophy

One of the most important paths to understanding ourselves and our current world is through exploring the past. History tells us where we came from and who we are. It illuminates the people, forces and structures which have shaped us, both as global and national citizens and as individuals living and working in communities.

The history major is structured to provide students with a strong foundation in historical knowledge and interpretation, which are essential for informed citizenship in global, national and local communities, and for understanding ourselves. The required courses provide students with an opportunity to dig into the past, surveying the history of the world and doing their own historical research, reasoning, and writing. The major allows students to combine their historical interests with courses in other disciplines, enabling them to pursue careers of their choice or to undertake graduate study in history. For students desiring to teach at the junior high or high school level, a distinguishing feature of the Central History major is that it offers certification for students in both American History and World History, as well as American Government.

Study abroad opportunities

All history courses taken abroad can be used for the major. Study abroad is strongly encouraged for history majors.

Major Communication Skills

Evaluation of communication skills is based on each student’s performance in HIST 485 and 486. This two-course sequence requires extensive writing and reading in addition to the development of research skills, and the student must successfully complete each course to obtain departmental recommendation for graduation with a history major. Preliminary evaluations of communication skills are made when evaluating each student’s performance in the 100- level courses. Each student’s skills will be continually monitored through subsequent course work in the major.

History Major Requirements (38-42 credits)

  1. Complete one of the following courses:
    HIST 125 World History to 1500 (3)
    HIST 126 World History since 1500 (3)
    Note: The following courses may count with permission of the History program.  Those seeking teacher licensure should get EDUC department approval in advance.
    HIST 100T TE Western Civilization: Ancient to Early Modern (3-4)
    Or HIST 100T TE Western Civilization: Early Modern to Present (3-4)
    Or HIST 100AP AP European History (3) 
  1. Complete one of the following courses:
    HIST 130 United States to 1877 (3)
    HIST 131 United States since 1877 (3)
    HIST 132 Issues in American History (3) (topic varies) 
  1. Complete 8 credits of world history:
    HIST 210 History of Modern Europe (4)
    HIST 212 World War I and II (4)
    HIST 213 Russia and the USSR (4)
    HIST 215 The Balkans: Between East and West (4)
    HIST 216 Germany and Central Europe (4)
    HIST 217 Contemporary Europe (4)
    HIST 220 Middle Eastern Civilization (3)
    HIST 250 Latin American Civilization (4)
    HIST 280 Modern African Civilization (4)
    Students may count 1 of the following towards their History major. Students seeking Secondary Education endorsements should consult with their advisor.
    REL 252 The Reformation (3)
    REL 254 The Early Church (4) 
  1. Complete 8 credits of American History:
    HIST 230 Colonization and American Revolution: 1607-1787 (4)
    HIST 231 American Expansion and Civil War: 1787-1877 (4)
    HIST 232 America’s Rise to Power: 1877-1945 (4)
    HIST 233 The Fifties & Sixties: US History: 1945-1975 (4)
    HIST 234 Recent United States: 1975- Present (4)
    HIST 235 The Immigrant Experience (4)
    HIST 237 American Environmental History (4)
    Students may count 1 of the following towards their History major. Students seeking Secondary Education endorsements should consult with their advisor.
    POLS 211 American Political Parties (4)
    POLS 235 The U.S. in World Affairs (4)
    POLS 361 American Political Philosophy (4)
  1. Choose either Track A or Track B           

A. History Majors not seeking Secondary Education endorsement. Complete 8 credits of the following:
HIST 310 Studies in World History (4) (topic varies)
HIST 330 Studies in American History (4) (topic varies)
Note: Each of these courses may be repeated for credit with different topics. With advisor approval, students seeking secondary endorsement are encouraged to take these classes and substitute them for a class in section 3 or 4.

B. History Majors seeking Secondary Education endorsements. (Students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program.) Complete 3 classes in American government:
POLS 110 Introduction to American Politics (4)
POLS 211 American Political Parties (4)
POLS 212 Congress (4)
POLS 213 Courts (4)
POLS 214 The Presidency (4)
POLS 215 The Politics of State and Local Governments (4)
POLS 216 Political Behavior: Political Participation, Elections, and Media (4)
POLS 287 Presidential Inauguration Seminar (3)
POLS 316 Presidential Elections (4)
POLS 361 American Political Philosophy (4)
Or other approved American government course

  1. Complete all of the following:
    HIST 485 Historiography Seminar (4)
    HIST 486 History Research Seminar (4)

Note: HIST 397/497 Internship: For History majors not seeking Secondary Education endorsements, a maximum of 4 credits of internship will be allowed to count in sections 3 or 4, at the discretion of the Department Chair.

 Note: History majors seeking the Social Science Basic Endorsement can also gain courses toward additional endorsements beyond World History, American History, and American Government in Economics, Geography, Psychology, and Sociology. Students should consult with their advisor.


History Minor Requirements (22 credits)

1.  Complete a minimum of 22 credits including seven credits each of American and world history distributed as follows:
Two HIST courses at the 100-level or above (6-8 credits)
Three to four (12 credits required) HIST* courses 200-level or above. Up to 4 credits of HIST-397/497 may count.One HIST course at the 300-level or above (excluding HIST-397/497) (4 credits)

*Students may count up to four credits from the approved list of political science or religion courses noted within the history major requirements.

Note: The history minor will not meet the State of Iowa requirements for teaching certification in history as a minor field.