Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
History/Social Studies, BA
What is the study of History?
The History/Social Studies major is designed to prepare students to teach history and social studies in secondary schools. In their history courses, History/Social Studies majors learn how to locate and access a wide range of sources, to analyze historical evidence, including textual and visual sources, to evaluate historical interpretations, and to develop and support their own interpretations. The quantity of writing and discussion required in history courses also helps students to develop effective communication skills. The required courses in economics, geography, and political science are intended to prepare students to teach these subjects in middle and high schools.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
If you want to teach history or social studies in a middle or high school, you should consider the History/Social Studies major. However, this major also prepares students for a wider range of careers. The knowledge students acquire and the skills they develop in their history courses and in courses in social sciences prepare them for law school, graduate programs in public policy and international affairs, and careers as journalists, government officials, and attorneys.
Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in Social Studies may choose this major. However, the History/Social Studies degree does not require that a student pursue a teaching certificate. History/Social Studies majors interested in Secondary certification must apply separately to the certification programs, such as those in Woodring College of Education. Students usually apply to Woodring in their senior year or after they graduate.
How to Declare:
There are no prerequisites for declaring a major in History/Social Studies. Students who have earned Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit in history should not take the equivalent courses at Western. It is recommended that students who are considering a major in History/Social Studies take at least three introductory courses in history during their first year. These courses include HIST 103, HIST 104, HIST 111, HIST 112, HIST 113, HIST 121, HIST 123, HIST 273, HIST 274, HIST 277, HIST 278, HIST 280, HIST 281.
It is recommended that students contact a faculty advisor in the department as soon as they wish to declare a major in History/Social Studies.
- ENVS 204 - Human Geography
- PLSC 101 - Government and Politics in the Modern World
- PLSC 250 - The American Political System
- One course from:
- ECON 206 - Introduction to Microeconomics
- ECON 446 - Economics for the Teacher (preferred)
- One course from:
- ECON 207 - Introduction to Macroeconomics
- ECON 447 - Methods for Teaching About the National Economy in the Public Schools (preferred)
- Additional credits in any of the above disciplines or anthropology, sociology or psychology to a total of at least 30 credits
History credits should be distributed under advisement as follows:
- 2 courses in the history of the United States. One course must focus on the period before 1865 and the other must focus on the period since 1865.
- 2 courses with an emphasis on the 600-1450 CE period. One course must focus on Europe and the other course must focus on East Asia, South Asia, Africa, and/or the Middle East.
- 2 courses with an emphasis on the period since 1450 CE. One course must focus on Europe, and the other course must focus on East Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Canada, and/or Latin America.
- 2 courses in the history of the ancient world (prior to 600 CE), covering two different continents.
- HIST 391 - History of the Pacific Northwest
- HIST 499 - Historical Research
- Electives under advisement
- NOTE: At least 30 of the 60 history course credits must be at the upper-division level.
- To assure that competency requirements have been met, students should consult the department’s approved list for courses for periods and geographical regions.
These courses are offered within this major and may be used to satisfy GUR or Writing Proficiency Requirements.
- HUM: HIST 103, 104, 111, 112, 113, 121, 123, 131, 151, 152, 277, 314 Note: HUM requires coursework from at least 2 departments (exception: HIST 111, 112, 113 completed as a set).
- SSC: PLSC 101, 250; ECON 206, 207; ENVS 204
- ACGM: HIST 273, 274, 280, 281, 285, 286, 287, 359, 385, 387
- BCGM: 158, 262, 263, 265, 275, 278, 353, 362