History Program Requirements

The History Department serves the Baldwin Wallace University community and the greater Cleveland area by providing academic expertise in a wide variety of historical fields and by offering multiple, balanced perspectives on human history.

The Department of History views the purposes of teaching history to be: (1) to supply the student with an understanding of the past upon which the structure of contemporary society is built; (2) to provide students with a sound foundation in history in order to teach; (3) to prepare students for graduate school, government service or professional school; (4) to assist students in developing skills in critical thinking and writing; and (5) to present a historical background for the arts, music, literature, religion, philosophy, the sciences, social sciences and business of the present.

The Department maintains a commitment to highest academic standards and to the "best practices" recommended by the American Historical Association (https://www.historians.org/pubs/Free/LiberalLearning.htm).  We believe that historians must be able to analyze primary sources, think critically about them, examine problems from multiple perspectives, and communicate ideas effectively in writing.  Therefore all history courses include essay-type examinations and/or term papers, book reviews, or other written, graded assignments.  We furthermore believe that the teaching of history should challenge students to understand the historical contexts of ethical issues.  Moreover, the History Department remains committed to presenting the human element in history and to the interests of our students as individuals.

Program notes: A general prerequisite for all 200, 300, and 400-level courses is the successful completion of a 100-level history course.

The only other prerequisites are for HIS 461 and HIS 491/492. A minimum of 19 credit hours in history courses is required before enrollment in HIS 461, and HIS 491/492 requires the permission of the instructor. History courses at the 100 and 200 level are survey courses and may be approached chronologically or topically, as the interests of the professor and the students warrant. The 300-level courses are in-depth studies of particular topics or periods and are typically offered every other year. HIS 260 and HIS 360 may be taken more than once, provided the topic has been changed.

A transfer student is required to take at least 19 history credits at BW to graduate with a history major.

History Major

Computer Code: HIST

Minimum credits required: 37

Required Courses (* = Prerequisite Required)



World Civilizations I & II OR

3 credits each



History of Europe I & II AND

3 credits each



History of the U.S. I & II

3 credits each




3 credits*

One 200 or 300 level course in each of the following fields: non-Western history, i.e. History 227I, 236I, 260I (where relevant), 267I, 288I, 291I, 292I, 360I (where relevant), 381I, 389I; European history, i.e., HIS 211I, 235I, 239I, 245I, 260I (where relevant), 313I, 323I, 345I, 346I, 347I, 348I, 349I, 360I (where relevant); United States history, i.e., HIS 260 (where relevant), 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 360 (where relevant).

No more than 12 credits of 100-level history courses can count toward the major.

In addition, history majors must successfully pass the Department of History Comprehensive Examination, which is individually-tailored to reflect the student's coursework at BW. They must also complete a Senior Learning Statement, which is a brief survey that we use to assess the value and continuing relevance of our courses. It is recommended that a student achieve a balance among European, American, and non-Western courses. It is also strongly recommended that a history major take more than the absolute minimum hours required, and that students who plan to attend graduate school seek out opportunities to do research (for example, through Faculty Student Collaborative Scholarship projects or the departmental thesis). Special programs may be designed for the student seeking a double University major, such as business-history, art-history, sociology-history, political science-history, psychology-history, etc.

History Major for Adult & Continuing Education Students

Computer Code: HISL

Minimum credits required: 37

This major also consists of a minimum of 37 credit hours. Whereas there are no specific requirements, it is strongly recommended that a student take a balance of American, European and non-Western courses. The Comprehensive Examination is not required.

Students majoring in history may prepare to teach in the secondary schools. Details of courses necessary to become licensed may be obtained from the Department of History or the Division of Education. See Division of Education program.

History Minor
A minor in history consists of a minimum of 19 credit hours. Whereas no specific courses are required, at least two courses must be taken at the 200-400 level, and students must complete a Senior Learning Statement following completion of formal course work for the minor. Students may specialize in a field in which our faculty provide depth (U.S., Britain, Russia, East Asia, or Middle East), or design a program that is evenly balanced between European, American, and non-Western courses.  We encourage students to consult with a member of the History Department to develop a program appropriate for their career plans.

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