Frequently Asked Questions

Declaring the minor or major is easy -- there are no deadlines, fees, or hassles. To obtain a signature or informational materials, contact the department's adviser, Dr. Lindsay Parker (Phone: 619-594-0983, Office: AL-584). You may e-mail her (preferred) at [email protected].

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: 

  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.4 or higher.
  2. Complete a minimum of 60 semester units.
  3. 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.

 Many history minors are surprised to discover that as they near completion of the minor they are only a few courses away from a second major. Dropping the minor and adding history as a first or second major is easy (see requirements for the major, above), and all prior history coursework will apply. It will, however, require that you complete the courses of the three fields, including five 500-level courses, as well as the 400 and 450 courses.
 

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.

Yes. If a new catalog reveals changes to your major or minor curriculum that appeal to you, you may adopt the catalog in effect during the year in which you graduate. You can see the department adviser, or you can indicate your preference for the current catalog on your graduation application (i.e., on the "major" line, write "history, current catalog"). 
Yes. A new rule allows students to use the same course to satisfy that requirement and count toward the major. There are some potential problems with double counting courses, so please be aware of the following: There are rules limiting the number of units within one department that can be used toward your Bachelor's Degree, and there is a minimum number of units required to graduate that might not be met if you use a lot of courses to satisfy multiple requirements. The Office of Advising can help you navigate all of these graduation requirements. 
To determine if courses transfer, log on to www.assist.org (the web-based clearinghouse for articulation among California institutions of higher education), to determine if agreements exist for the courses and schools in question. 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).
In today's world, international experience is valuable, but not required of History majors. A semester abroad can integrate international experience into a student's undergraduate education. Please visit our study abroad page or the CAL Study Abroad website to see current study abroad opportunities.
 

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. 

Yes. The state requirements for a Social Science credential do not specify an undergraduate major. History is one good option for future teachers. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing or the College of Teacher Education at SDSU (with drop-in advising options) offer more information.  

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. 

The undergraduate adviser can provide some informational materials regarding careers for history majors.  If you are nearing graduation and are looking for ways to put your skills to work, we also recommend that you take advantage of the data, materials, and services provided by SDSU's Career Services. You can also visit our section on what to do with a degree in History.

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).

Remaining questions about your History degree can be addressed to Dr. Parker ([email protected]) or the Department Chair, Dr. Edward Beasley ([email protected]).

 

Advising

Dr. Lindsay Parker
Phone: 619-594-0983
Office: AL-584
E-mail: [email protected]