History majors typically take the following courses in the fall semester of their first year:

First-Year Experience Learning Community Courses

We will register you in these courses.

  1. Philosophy (PHIL 201)
  2. English Composition (ENG 101) OR Theology (TRS 201)

Why am I taking these classes?   Honors students take equivalent honors courses.

Major and Elective Courses

You will need to choose and register for these courses.

  1. A 100-level or 200-level history course (HIST)
  2. A foreign language (see below)
  3.  A liberal arts foundations course; a course toward a minor, certificate, or other focus area; or a free elective

Language placement

Your major requires you to complete the study of a foreign language through the intermediate level. Catholic University teaches the following languages that satisfy this requirement: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. If you are interested in learning a language not listed here, consult with your advisor.

If you have previously studied a foreign language and are interested in continuing with that same language, or if you can demonstrate fluency in a foreign language, you should complete the language placement exam.

About Your First Semester Courses

We believe that first-year history majors should be quite free in course selection. There will be time later to specialize and to worry about the requirements for graduation. Most important, at the beginning, is to figure out what you like to study, at what you excel, and what will be professionally useful to you over the long term. 

First-year students generally take a history course at the 100- or 200-level, though some have taken, and very much enjoyed, 300-level classes. It is best to see which courses are interesting, to take them, and to go from there, whether these be courses in ancient, medieval or modern history.

Students should begin completing the foreign language requirement in their first year, either starting in on a new language or continuing on the basis of what’s been done in high school. Expertise in the languages, cultures, and literatures of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East form a natural complement to historical study, so do not be afraid to be adventurous. 

For your fifth course, you can choose what you like. You can take a liberal arts elective or a free elective course in a subject of your interest. Or, you may wish to begin study in a secondary subject area, perhaps for a minor or certificate. History is an eclectic discipline, and its serves students well in their first year of university studies to become familiar with a wide variety of academic disciplines, methods, and questions. Think big this year; there will be plenty of time to specialize later. Good places to start your exploration include politics, anthropology, and archaeology. Art history is another good complement to academic work in the history major. Honors students interested in the Honors Humanities track may be interested in HSHU 101.

To learn more about the History major, consult the History Department’s website.

Know which courses you want? Get registered.