Frequently Asked Questions
In the history department you are initially admitted as a "premajor," and earn the opportunity to move into the major by clearing the following "impaction" requirements:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.4 or higher.
- Complete a minimum of 60 semester units.
- Complete 12 units "preparation for the major" with a C or better in all four courses
Once you clear the requirements, you will be moved automatically into the major. Impaction does not affect history minors.
These match university requirements, as spelled out in the "graduation requirements" section of the university catalog. Your performance on the Writing Placement Assessment exam will determine whether you may enroll in History 400, or require additional writing coursework.
These requirements are not within the adviser’s jurisdiction to discuss alternatives. Students registered with the Student Ability Success Center should consult that office if they believe they are eligible for a waiver.
San Diego State University is a recognized leader in international education, and boasts a wide variety of excellent opportunities for study abroad. The History Department strongly encourages students of all majors and minors to take advantage of these opportunities for international experience, and strives to accommodate units transferred from overseas institutions and programs.
Most study abroad programs require that you meet first with a major or minor adviser for approval of planned coursework. However, final approval of units is done upon your return. Normally you must wait until the international transcript evaluators have determined transferability of your overseas coursework, though we can facilitate this process by meeting to go over your materials. If the Registrar rejects a course you believe should have been transferable, bring supporting documents to the department adviser to determine if that decision can be challenged by a Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements (RAAR).
Note that SDSU need not offer an exact equivalent course in order to accept credits from abroad, particularly at the upper division level. When you take courses overseas for which no SDSU equivalents exist, we can usually apply those units toward the major or minor, presuming you can support a petition with relevant documents (e.g., syllabus or catalog description). You will need to meet with the department adviser to determine field eligibility of the course(s) in question. Under no circumstances will the university allow more than 12 units of upper division coursework by transfer to the major, or 6 units to the minor (that is, half of your upper division major or minor units must be completed at SDSU). Note that official "SDSU study abroad programs" (such as the London, Paris, and Florence semesters) earn "resident" units, just as if earned on campus.
One of the most common stumbling blocks is delaying the completion of the GWAR (upper-division writing requirement), which then delays the student’s ability to take History 400 and 450/1/2, all of which must happen in sequence. Please clear the GWAR as soon as possible after reaching 60 units so that you have opportunities to take your two 400-level seminars.
It is also important that you work diligently with your History 400 professor to pass the course with a C. Failing to pass that course will require you to repeat it before completing your final capstone requirement (450/1/2), which will likely delay your graduation.
Keep track of your completion of EIGHT, not SIX, classes in the A, B, and C categories. There is a minimum requirement of two classes in each category, but completing ONLY two of each will leave you short. Another often-overlooked requirement is the non-western one (see above degree requirements).
Finally, as you prepare to register for upper-division work, look for mostly 500-level classes. You need five total. You also need to take 400 and 450/1/2. That leaves room for only three 400-level A, B, or C courses. Some students take an abundance of 400-level courses only to find themselves unable to graduate because of the missing 15 units at the 500-level requirement.
Please look at the important links to the right for more information about courses.
Questions that concern requirements other than the History major should be directed to Academic Advising. They are located in SSW-1551. They have walk-in hours M-Th 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and phone hours M-Th 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. (619-594-6668).