Planning Your Program

How to plan your program:

1.  Read the University of Arizona's Academic Calendar carefully for degree requirements.

2.  Look over and fill out the Undergraduate Planning Form.  These Forms are also available in the History Department Office and from Advisors.  Fill them out each semester as you plan your program for the following semester.  By the time you have completed all of your degree requirements, you should be able to answer YES to all seven of the questions listed at the bottom of the page.

3.  Consult with your SBS Undergraduate Advisor as often as you like, but at least once a year.  New History majors may find that they want to speak to an Advisor each semester as they register for the following semester.  Advisors are also able to help you tentatively plan a program more than one semester in advance.  By the end (and sometimes even the middle) of the semester, the Department has planned its courses for the following year; advisors have this information.  Feel free to ask for it! 

4.  Choose your three geographical areas of concentration so that, if possible, one geographical area corresponds to the language you studied for your General Education requirement.  For example, if you have studied Spanish, you may want to choose Latin America as one of your three fields of concentration. 

5.  HIST 301:  Introduction to the Study of History  HIST 301 will be offered at least twice a year.  This course introduces history majors to the research skills necessary for success in the required HIST 498: Senior Capstone.  Students in catalog year 2009-present are required to take HIST 301 prior to enrolling in HST498.

6.  HIST 498/HIST 496H: Senior Capstone*, which is required of all History majors, will be the capstone of your undergraduate experience.  This course allows you to conduct historical research.  Try to choose a section taught by somebody with expertise in one of the three fields of concentration you have studied -- ideally, the one corresponding to your second language competence.  In this way, you may actually be able to use foreign language materials for some of your research.  If you enroll in a section taught by somebody whose area of specialization is unfamiliar to you, the course will be much more difficult because you will lack the general historical background needed to do a research paper in that area.  THIS IS A VERY DEMANDING, TIME-CONSUMING COURSE.  BE SURE TO PLAN YOUR PROGRAM SO THAT YOU LEAVE SUFFICIENT STUDY TIME TO COMPLETE THE RESEARCH PAPER ON TIME.

*Honors majors may elect to take the honors section, HST 496H: Senior Capstone, which is offered each semester, but the Honors section is not required in order to satisfy major requirements for Honors students.

Every year the Department of History recognizes the outstanding research efforts and papers of the top ten percent of our majors by giving the Ursula Lamb Arizona Senior Prize for Outstanding Research Paper.  The students are nominated for the award by their History 498 professors.

7.  HOW TO REGISTER FOR HIST 498 or HIST 496H.  Students must receive a signature from the instructor in order to be admitted to HIST 498.  Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the various faculty teaching the course and the thematic or geographical approach that will be used in the course prior to registering.  A list of faculty offering HIST 498 and their topics is available on the department website under “Courses,” and advisors have this information. Students are advised to "shop around" early in order to be able to enroll in the 498 section that best suits their interests and needs.  Plan in advance!  Also, you must register for HIST 498 in advance!  Those who do not may not be able to graduate on time.

8.  INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES!  Students may count up to six units of Internship credit towards their History major.  The Arizona Historical Society (AHS) offers an internship, which provides specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service at the AHS.  The internship activities depend on the skills of the students and the needs of the AHS divisions--such as Archives, Education, Exhibits, and Collections.  The activities might include processing a collection; developing a curriculum; conducting archival research.  A writing component is also a part of the internship; its exact form depends on the nature of the internship activities.  These and other history-related internships are administered through our department by Professor Katherine Morrissey, Social Sciences Room 137A, 626-8429,   For current internship listings, visit the Department of History web site Internship page.

9.  ARE YOU AN HONORS STUDENT?  Honors students are encouraged to consult regularly with the History honors major advisor, Professor Susan Crane (Social Sciences 237A,

If you are an honors history major and wish to graduate with Honors in History, you MUST complete a thesis in History (HIST 498H) in addition to completing all history major requirements.  The thesis takes two semesters, and should be undertaken only after completion of HIST 498 or HIST 496H.  The thesis counts as six elective units in History and six units of Honors credit.

Since the department offers few specifically Honors-designated courses, Honors students can contract with faculty members to turn a non-Honors course into an Honors experience.

If you are a senior in terms of units taken, you are also eligible to register for 500-level courses that are listed as 400/500.  By taking the course under the graduate number, you will meet with graduate students and complete the same assignments they do.  You need to get a petition in the Administration building and obtain the instructor’s signature before being allowed to register under the 500 number.

11.  ARE YOU A TEACHING MAJOR OR MINOR?  If you are a Teaching major or a Teaching minor, you  will not receive a B. A. in History, but you will still need to consult with a History Advisor from time to time.  The requirements for the Teaching major are identical to the History major requirements. Teaching majors are strongly advised to take at least 6 units in U.S. History.  For the Teaching minor requirements, please see the catalog.

12.  DEGREE CHECK  -   Your academic advisor can help you with your degree check and other matters. 

13.  Department of History Commencement  -  In addition to commencement ceremonies offered by the University of Arizona and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Department of History sponsors its own commencement activities. We are one of very few departments on campus that chooses to honor its graduates with their own commencement program.  Each student is recognized individually and is given the opportunity to say a few words to those in attendance. We feel that by giving our graduates the opportunity to celebrate their achievements in a more intimate atmosphere, with the faculty who have guided and mentored them, as well as with their fellow history students, their commencement experience will be more meaningful and memorable.  Information on our commencement activities is posted on the History website and on the bulletin boards outside the History main office in Social Sciences Room 215, and outside our Community Outreach Office in Social Sciences Room 228.

If you are graduating, please fill out the Graduating Student Profile Form, found on the Department’s website, and email it to Vicki Parker ( or deliver it to her office in Social Sciences Room 119.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Us

Department of History
Cesar E. Chavez
400N Main Office
1110 James E. Rogers Way
Tucson, AZ 85721
Tel: (520) 621-1586
Fax: (520) 621-2422