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
  3. A course of your own choosing

1 st 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. As for the requirements themselves, the foreign-language requirement is the most serious initially. Students must address this in their first year, either starting in on a new language or continuing on the basis of what’s been done in high school. Beyond this, students will be tracked into theology and religion classes through the FYE. This is an important first step. Those who wish can work on other requirements: math/natural sciences, social sciences, literature or humanities. Although there are many requirements between entering CUA and graduating, there is also a fair amount of freedom within these requirements. Such freedom is best honored by extensive familiarity with the course catalogue. You can also access an abbreviated list of first-year course options, including course descriptions.

Students normally take five courses. You've already been registered for your two First-Year Experience Learning Community courses. That leaves three more courses for you to choose.

Within the Major

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. There are distribution requirements (a minimum of 3 pre-1800 courses), and students should use the department website to become familiar with them. At the same time, these requirements matter least in the first year. Best is to see which courses are more interesting, to take them and to go from there, whether these be courses in ancient, medieval or modern history.

Beyond the Major

History connects to many other disciplines, and these are connections that students generally form on their own initiative. The most obvious connection is to politics, especially for the study of U.S. history. After that, area studies - expertise in the language, culture and literatures of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East - form a natural complement to historical study. Art history is another good complement to academic work in the history major. History is also 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.

Know which courses you want? Get registered.