Frequently Asked Questions

Adjunct Programs

Imagine studying World War Two history in Germany, learning about the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom, or taking part in a group field study in Hong Kong.  Study abroad can be a valuable addition to your history program.  The History Department routinely grants transfer credits from history and related courses taken abroad.

Please refer to the following information to help guide you in your selection of partner university and course work:

  • The one course that all History Majors must take is the fourth year capstone course, HIST 490 (3) Seminar for History Majors, or its equivalent. This course must be completed at UBC and not on exchange.
  • When selecting courses at a partner university, please remember that of the 30 upper-division credits required for the major, no more than 24 credits are allowed in any one field (such as Canadian, Modern European, Asian). Please ensure that you have enough diversity in your courses taken at UBC and abroad so that you meet this requirement.
  • Of the 42 total minimum history credits, at least 6 credits must be substantially pre-modern in content. You can choose to fulfill this requirement at UBC by selecting from a list of courses found here. If you want to fulfill this requirement abroad, please ensure that the course content has substantial pre-modern content.  If you’re uncertain, please check with a History Department adviser.
  • More than half of the upper division credits toward the History Major should be designated as History courses (at UBC, these are courses marked HIST in the calendar). Below are some guidelines to help you determine if a course abroad is equivalent to a UBC upper year HIST course:
  1. Is the course offered by the History department in the partner university?
  2. Does it have a lower level requirement?
  3. Is it offered as an upper year course abroad?

Keep in mind that degree structures differ. For example, in the UK, 2nd and 3rd year correspond to UBC’s 300 and 400 level courses. In the rest of Europe, the third and final year of the Bachelor and the first year of a Masters correspond to UBC’s 3rd and 4th years. These are rough parallels but are offered here to help you interpret courses abroad.

The UBC Arts Co-op Program offers students enriched educational experiences for personal and professional growth. Arts Co-op students alternate between academic terms and challenging, paid work experience.

The Arts Co-op program partners with a diverse range of employers to offer work opportunities that will help you excel in both academic and professional capacities, and prepare you for your future career.
 
What History grads say about their journeys in co-op:
Mark has two words of advice for prospective Co-op students: “Do it.” He says, “As students, we can have a skewed view of what the world’s like, and many of us probably haven’t taken a lot of time to think about what we truly want to do. Co-op, with its strong network of employers and its online database, make it dead simple for you to explore your career options.” Mark Penny, BA 2011

 “If I could do all over again I might change some things, but I definitely would do Co-op again!” Julia Harrison, BA 2005

“Joining the Arts Co-op Program is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make: professionally, academically, financially, and personally.” Jen Tsui, BA 2007
 
To read a profile about the experiences of recent History co-op grads, visit http://artscoop.ubc.ca/tag/history/
 
What you’ll get out of Co-op:

  • Explore career options, while building your skills and discovering your interests
  • Clarify career goals and options available to you with a BA
  • Gain job search skills through extensive and specialized pre-employment training, including resume/cover letter writing, interview, and workplace success strategies
  • Build 12 to 16 months of experience to add to your resume before you graduate
  • Enrich classroom learning, and discover how your degree applies in the workplace
  • Help finance your degree with relevant, paid work
  • Develop a network of contacts that will increase your chances of finding meaningful work upon graduation

For more information, including when information sessions are scheduled, see http://artscoop.ubc.ca

Many History courses include optional community service learning (CSL) opportunities.  History students do course-related volunteer projects with local organizations.  You can also create your own CSL arrangements; if you are interested, speak with your course instructor early in the semester.   For more information on CSL, contact a course instructor or see the following web site: Community Service Learning at UBC.

The History Department Research Internship Program enables interested History undergraduate students to develop their research, writing, and communication skills via part-time, unpaid positions working closely with History faculty on ongoing faculty research projects. For more information, click here.

Courses

There are no prerequisites for History courses. That said, students often find that they get more out of a course and do better if they have some familiarity with what history is and what's involved in writing a history essay, particularly for 300 and 400 level courses. This often means completing your 12 credits of lower division History courses before taking courses at the 300- or 400-level. If you have any questions about whether you are adequately prepared to take a course, you should contact the professor who is teaching the course they're interested in.

The History undergraduate program is designed to take you through a series of stages in developing knowledge, skills, and practice of history. Though there are no prerequisites in History, you will benefit from moving progressively through the History curriculum. Even those of you not intending a major or minor in history will find the following overview useful in considering what History courses might be appropriate to your interests.

Our First Year Courses (100s)
are introductions to the study of history focusing on particular eras and themes through a global lens. Drawing comparisons and connections across societies and regions, first-year courses will expose you to a range of approaches, problems, and sources prevalent in the field of history. These courses combine lectures in large classes with instruction and discussion in small group tutorials. You will develop the ability to analyze historical writing, express arguments using historical evidence, work those arguments into essays, and present arguments and information orally.

Our Second Year Courses (200s)
provide a more in-depth introduction to the practice of history through courses with a regional and/or thematic focus. Each course includes particular attention to four key areas of historical practice: primary-source analysis, historical writing, library and media skills, and public history. The goal of second-year courses is to expose you to a body of historical material on a given subject, and to develop your capacity as historians.  Second-year courses give a solid grounding in historical thinking and writing that prepares you for upper level courses in history.  Second year courses usually consist of lectures and tutorials.

Students may apply for the major, honours, or joint major programs after taking 12 credits of history in their first two years. Starting for majors declared in 2015, at least 6 of these credits must be at the 200-level. It is possible, though not advisable, to complete the 200 level requirements in the 3rd year.

Many students in 2nd year consider going on exchange in their 3rd year through Go Global. The History Department offers transfer credit for most history courses taken abroad.

Our Third Year Courses (300s)
are on specialized topics and/or chronological periods. These courses combine breadth of coverage and depth of analysis, while also incorporating historical writing and other historical skills introduced at the lower level. These courses form the heart of the history major. We encourage you to develop a regional and/or thematic focus (Canada, China, History of Science, for example), while also taking a range of courses outside your specialty. These courses tend to be smaller than lower level courses and include ample opportunity for discussion.

Our Fourth Year Courses (400s)
come in two forms: advanced, thematically focused lectures (with discussion) and small seminars. All history majors must take a capstone research seminar at the 400 level.  In capstone seminars, you will do common readings around a particular theme, while also developing your own research agenda. Capstone seminars culminate in the production of a 15-20 page paper synthesizing your original research.

For all courses currently being offered 2016W, please follow this link.

For all courses currently being offered 2016S, please follow this link.

The best way to get a syllabus for a course is to contact the Professor who is currently teaching it. If s/he hasn’t got a current syllabus, s/he may have one from a previous year.

Yes. See this page that lists courses from other departments that can count towards your History requirements. 

Yes, as long as each course has a different letter designation (e.g. HIST 490C and HIST 490X). Although every History Major must have an opportunity to take the course, there are usually some seats available for students keen to take another seminar. Seminars usually take more time and effort than a typical 3-credit lecture course, but can be very rewarding.

HIST 490 is a capstone seminar course for History Majors. Most students take HIST 490 in their fourth year, but a few do take it in their third year after completing several upper-level history courses.

Honours Program

The Essence of the Honours Program

  • a significant thesis project
  • explicit training in historiography and methodology in HIST 333 and HIST 433
  • small tutorials with like-minded and dedicated students
  • a strong sense of intellectual community; an esprit du corps

In the History Honours Program, students make the shift from being consumers of history to becoming producers of historical knowledge. Participation in small seminars and the preparation of a graduating essay helps them to develop skills in critical thinking, research and writing, oral presentation and argument. To help students succeed in the program, honours students are closely mentored by faculty members throughout their two years. In addition, honours students create their own close knit intellectual and social community through shared seminars and infectious enthusiasm for the study of history.

Some of our honours students go on to graduate school in history, but the program is designed for all academically able and highly motivated students interested in a research-intensive program. History honours students go on to use the skills they have gained in research, writing, and analysis in a variety of ways.  Common career paths include law, teaching, and working for non-profit organizations or for government. 

You may speak to the current Chair of the Honours Program, Prof. Courtney Booker.

Another variant of History Honours accommodates students especially interested in International Relations. This requires the successful completion of 120 credits. Students considering this honours program should consult the Honours Chair, Prof. Courtney Booker, in their first or second year and the International Relations adviser (currently Prof. Steven Lee) in their first or second year of undergraduate studies. For more details, please see the course and credit requirements for the honours program detailed below.

First and Second Year

  • must take 12 credits of lower-level History courses (or the equivalent taken in other institutions), of which 6 credits must be at the 200-level. The 12 credits may include up to 6 credits of MDVL 200, Arts One, or a relevant Coordinated Arts Program (CAP) course.
  • should have an average of at least 80% in History courses.
  • must have POLI 260 (3 credits)
  • must keep in mind prerequisites for any upper-level courses in affiliated fields to be taken in the upper years

Third Year

  • HIST 333 (6 credits): year-long course in historiography and methodology
  • HIST 321 (6 credits): intensive one-term honours tutorial
  • 6 credits in History
  • in consultation with an advisor, 12 credits selected from courses listed in the International Relations Major program

Fourth Year

  • HIST 433 (6 credits): year-long course devoted to a topic of broad interest; and to working collaboratively on skills relevant to writing the honours essay
  • HIST 421 (6 credits): intensive one-term honours tutorial
  • HIST 449 (12 credits): Honours Graduating Essay
  • IR seminar (3 credits)
  • 3 additional credits in IR
  • an oral examination on the graduating essay

Third or Fourth Year

  • an exam confirming reading knowledge of a foreign language

We encourage students interested in studying abroad to combine History Honours with one of the many exciting international exchange opportunities available through UBC's Go-Global Program.  A one semester exchange can be incorporated into your History Honours Program without delaying graduation.  A two-semester exchange is also possible, but in most cases will require adding at least one semetser to your studies at UBC.  You can find out more about Go-Global Programs at http://www.students.ubc.ca/global/. 

If you want to pursue this option, you should speak to the Honours chair, Prof. Courtney Booker, and contact Go-Global at go.global@ubc.ca or 604-822-0942.

History Honours can be combined with the Arts Co-op Program.  The Arts Co-op Program has one intake period annually in September. Applications are normally available on the Arts Co-op web site in August.  We recommend that students interested in combining History Honours with Arts Co-op apply for the Co-op program in their second year and do their first Co-op term prior to the start of third year. However, it is also possible to apply to the Arts Co-op Program in your third year after you have entered the Honours Program.  You can find out more about the Arts Co-op program at http://artscoop.ubc.ca/.

If you want to pursue this option, you should speak to the Honours Chair, Prof. Courtney Booker, and to Julie Walchi, the Director of Arts Co-op (Julie.walchi@ubc.ca) in order to work out a schedule for your co-op terms.

Yes. Applicants are invited to apply for the Conway Summer Travel Scholarship in German History (#1301)

A $3,000.00 summer travel scholarship has been endowed by Professor John Conway to commemorate thirty-eight years of teaching in the History Department. Applications should outline the candidate’s interest or research in the history of Germany and include a proposed itinerary, and plans for further study.

Eligibility:
Honours and Graduate Students in History, Germanic Studies or International Relations, University of British Columbia.

Application forms:
Available on History Department website/ Home page.

Deadline:
Applications must be submitted to Prof. Steven Lee Awards Coordinator, Department of History, by 27 February 2014 . His email address: stevenhl@ubc.ca

Yes, you can.  We will consider some students who have clear strengths in other parts of their applications.

Yes, you can.  We would expect you to fulfill the remaining credits as soon as possible in your third year.

You are welcome to combine History honours with another major or minor, though please be aware that this may mean that you cannot complete your degree in four years.  UBC will allow you double-count a certain number of courses toward two programs:

http://students.arts.ubc.ca/advising/degree-requirements/credit-requirements/

I'm About to Graduate

Usually the application for May graduation appears online at the end of Term 1. The deadline for applications is usually the end of February.

Keep an eye on your Degree Navigator Report. If all your Faculty of Arts and History requirements are checked off in green, then you are fine. If you have any X’s for your History Major requirements, come and see a History Advisor. It may be a reporting problem on Degree Navigator, but make sure as soon as possible.

First make sure you didn’t manually change the “Program Year” from the year you declared your History Major. If that is not the problem, come and see a History Advisor. That’s what they’re here for.

Most professors are more than willing to write a letter of reference on your behalf – provided you did well in their class, that they know you well enough from the course you took with them, and that you give them enough time to do so.

When you ask for a letter of reference, be sure to tell your professor what program it is for, what the deadline is, and to whom the letter should be addressed. Your professor may also ask for a copy of the essay or other work you did for her/him in order to refresh her/his memory about your performance.

I'm Worried Because...

Yes. Meeting with an Advisor is one of the requirements of the Program. Fill out the advising form. Advising is required of everyone but can be especially important if you are a transfer student, have transfer credits from going on exchange, are pursuing a second Major or Minor, or are participating in Co-op.

Don’t panic. You can speak with your Professors, of course, and you should do so as early as possible. If you suffer from a condition that is negatively affecting your overall academic success, you should contact the Faculty of Arts Advising Office immediately.

The History Department doesn’t keep wait lists, but individual instructors may. Contact the Professor who is teaching the course you want to get into. In general, the best thing to do is to keep checking back on the Student Service Centre (SSC) website. People often drop courses, especially as the start date approaches, and during the first few weeks of the class. If you’re vigilant, you might be able to nab a space.

Major Program

Plan to attend the meeting for prospective History Majors in late March and sign up to consult a History Department Faculty Advisor to help design your program.

Declare your Major on the Student Services Centre (SSC) during your registration window in the summer.

Majors need:

  • At least 12 lower-division History credits 
    • For Majors declared starting in 2015, six of these lower-division credits must be 200-level History courses
  • At least 30 credits from upper-division History courses, and no more than 24 credits in any one field (such as Canadian, European, Asian)
  • These History credits must include:
    • HIST 490 (3) or its equivalent (HIST 403, 466, 468)
    • At least 6 credits in substantially pre-modern history
    • At least 15 upper division credits in courses listed as HIST in the UBC Calendar

To qualify for the Majors or Honours program in History

  • you need 12 credits of lower-division History taken during your first and second years,
    • including 6 credits of courses at the 200-level.

There are no specific course prerequisites for upper-division history courses. History credits transferred from other institutions also meet the requirements for the Major. UBC Arts One, IB, and AP students may receive 6 lower-division history credits.

In order to apply for a Major you will need to download the Advising Form, complete it, and see a History Department Advisor in person to get it approved.

The Advisors are Dr. Arlene Sindelar, and Mr. Hart Caplan.

For full details on advising and advisors, please follow the Advising page.

The only requirement for admission is consultation with the advisor. In addition to Faculty requirements, the program requires the following:

First and Second Years (12 credits)

  • Students must complete HIST/PHIL 260,
  • and at least 9 credits of first and second year HIST or PHIL courses.
  • The following are recommended: HIST 104, 105, 106, 259; PHIL 125, 220, 230, 240.

Third and Fourth Years (30 credits)

  • Students must complete HIST 393/PHIL 360,
  • and one (3 credits) of HIST 490 or PHIL 491.
  • Students must take an additional 15 credits from the following list, with no fewer than 6 credits in PHIL and 6 credits in HIST:
    • HIST 392, 394, 395, 396, 398, 440, 487, 491, 493, 494, 495, 581, 589; PHIL 321, 362, 363, 427, 460, 461, 462, 464, 469.
  • The remaining 9 credits will normally be taken from upper-division HIST or PHIL courses (excluding PHIL 400, 401).
    • Students may substitute any of the following: BIOL 446; CLST 306; ENGL 309; GEOG 345; MATH 446; MATH 447; PHYS 340; PSYC 312.

Yes. Meeting with an Advisor is one of the requirements of the Program. Fill out the advising form. Advising is required of everyone but can be especially important if you are a transfer student, have transfer credits from going on exchange, are pursuing a second Major or Minor, or are participating in Co-op.

Yes, as long as each course has a different letter designation (e.g. HIST 490C and HIST 490X). Although every History Major must have an opportunity to take the course, there are usually some seats available for students keen to take another seminar. Seminars usually take more time and effort than a typical 3-credit lecture course, but can be very rewarding.

HIST 490 is a capstone seminar course for History Majors. Most students take HIST 490 in their fourth year, but a few do take it in their third year after completing several upper-level history courses.

Lots! You can learn more here.

Minor

Faculty of Arts students can complete a Minor in History by earning

  • at least 30 and no more than 42 credits in History courses
  • at least 6 credits must come from the 200 level
  • At least 18 credits must be at the 300- or 400-level
  • No more than 6 eligible credits may be double counted towards both your Major and Minor programs

Programs (General)

The History Department offers programs for:
•    History Major 
•    History Minor
•    History Honours, including the joint Honours Program in History and International Relations

A student may self declare a History Major or Minor during their registration window through the Student Services Centre (SSC) once they have earned 54 university credits.

Faculty of Arts students can complete a Minor in History by earning

  • at least 30 and no more than 42 credits in History courses
  • at least 6 credits must come from the 200 level
  • At least 18 credits must be at the 300- or 400-level
  • No more than 6 eligible credits may be double counted towards both your Major and Minor programs

University-Wide Questions

Click here for information on undergraduate admissions.

Tuition for undergraduate students is calculated on a per credit basis. For more information, click here.

Click here for tuition and program fees for graduate studies in history.

For more information with respect to undergraduate programs, click here.

For graduate studies, the deadline for admission varies by department. For more information, click here.