HIST - History course descriptions


Lori Witt (chair), Mark Barloon, Chia Ning, Timothy Olin


Statement of philosophy

The History, Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Philosophy faculty believe that one of the most important ways in which people establish who they are is through an accounting of what they have done over time. Since all human activities provide resources for this understanding, the history department includes in the study of history all social and cultural activities in which people have engaged. History is more than past politics. To insure that its students have the opportunity to know the variety that characterizes the human experience, the history department offers courses in all periods from ancient to modern and in most regions, including the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and America. 

Since history involves more than the simple setting forth of facts, the department exposes its students to the variety of interpretations and arguments that have characterized historians’ study. It also seeks to make them aware of the difficulties in coming to agreement in these matters. The department intends that engagement in such investigations assists students in developing their reasoning skills, as well as advancing their reading and writing skills, which provides excellent preparation for graduate and professional study. 

In addition to the standard major, the history department offers two options that lead either to certification in secondary education or an emphasis in public history. Course work in cultural anthropology, archaeology, art history, cultural and historical geography, and environmental studies is encouraged depending on individual student interests.


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 in all skills is based on student’s performance in HIST 485 and 486. This two-course sequence requires extensive writing and reading in addition to 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 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 director. 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)
  2. Complete one of the following:
     HIST   130       United States to 1877 (3)
     HIST   131       United States Since 1877 (3)
     HIST   132       Issues in American History (3) (topic varies)
  3. Complete 16 credits from the following courses:
     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     221      Biblical Archeology (3)  
     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 (3)
     HIST     237      American Environmental History (4)
     HIST     250      Latin American Civilization (4)
     HIST     271      History of Modern China (4)
     HIST     275      History of Modern Japan (4)
     HIST     276      Early East Asian Civilization (4)
     HIST     277      Modern East Asian Civilization (4)
     HIST     280      Modern African Civilization (4)
     HIST     397/497           Internship (maximum 4 credits allowed to count)
    Up to 2 courses from the following may also count toward the 16 credits requirement. Students seeking secondary education licensure should consult their history and education advisors prior to enrolling in these courses:
    POLS         211       American Political Parties (4)
    POLS         222       African Politics Since 1935 (3)
    POLS         225       Modern Latin America (4)
    POLS         231       The Middle East in World Affairs (4)
    POLS         235       The U.S. in World Affairs (4)
    POLS         361       American Political Philosophy (4)
    REL            252       The Reformation (3)
    REL            254       The Early Church (4) 
  1. Complete 8 credits of the following: 
    HIST     310      Studies in World History (4)
    HIST     330      Studies in American History (4)
    Note: Each of these course may be repeated for credit with different topics. 
  1. Complete all of the following: 
    HIST     485      Historiography Seminar (4)
    HIST     486      History Research Seminar (4)


History Minor Requirements (22 credits)

 1. Complete a minimum of 22 credits including seven credits each of American and world history distributed as follows:

*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.


Secondary education teaching licensure

Students seeking education teaching licensure must, depending on the endorsement they are seeking, complete the History Major Requirements listed above, which must include:


Students should consult their history and education advisors for courses needed. In addition, students seeking teaching licensure must earn a GPA of 3.0 in the history major and complete all education (EDUC) courses required for licensure.