Major Requirements


The major in history consists of 12 courses, at least 11 of which must be completed within the Department of History. Students may (with permission) include one course from another department in constructing their “Fields of Concentration” (see below).

Individual programs must satisfy both lower- and upper-division requirements. They must also include at least one course (as one of the 12 required courses) devoted entirely to premodern history to be selected from courses focused on one or more of the following eras: Antiquity, the Classical Period, and the Medieval Period; courses dealing solely with the Early Modern Period do not satisfy this requirement. For courses satisfying the premodern history requirement, please review the current list. (This list may not be completely up to date. If you have a question, please ask.)

Students may declare the major after completing three courses in the Department of History, including at least two courses in the lower division.

Please scroll down for more important information about the History major.

Double majors please note: 
If you are adding History as a second major, or declaring a double, please fill out the Major Declaration Form by clicking the box below. Within the form, be prepared to upload your completed double major packet (, and then make a phone appointment with the major advisor to complete the process. Schedule phone appointment here: History Advising Calendar. If you have any questions about the form, please make a phone appointment first. 
If you are declaring a simultaneous degree please follow the same process but use the Simultaneous Degree packet at the L&S link above.

Lower-Division Requirements

Four courses at UC Berkeley (or their equivalents elsewhere), to include:

  • one survey course in the history of the United States (7A or 7B);
  • one survey course in the history of Europe (4A, 4B or 5);
  • one survey course in the history of another world area (3, 6, 6A, 6B, 8A, 8B, 10, 11, 12, 14);
  • one elective (any of additional course listed above, or History 1, 2, 30 or 39. Note that History R1B, 24, 84 and 98 do not fulfill this requirement.)

Students may substitute one upper-division course for any one of the first three requirements, in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor.

For Non-Berkeley Courses

To find equivalent courses at California Community Colleges, see Please be aware that not every possible course is articulated on You are welcome to ask the Undergraduate Advisor about any non-articulated history courses. To have any non-Berkeley course approved, please supply a syllabus, or at least a course description, along with a copy of the transcript on which the course appears (unofficial is fine) when you declare the major, either online or in person.  

Upper Division Requirements

Eight courses, to include:

At least one proseminar (History 103)

One research seminar (History 101)

At least four of the eight upper-division courses must constitute a Field of Concentration, which shall be defined by one of the following rubrics:

  • A period (such as “The Ancient World,” “The Medieval World,” “The Twentieth Century,” or a similarly broad temporal span)
  • A geographical area (such as “Eastern Europe,” “China,” “The Mediterranean,” or a similarly broad spatial expanse)|
  • A thematic approach (such as “Science and Medicine,” “Law,” “Popular Culture,” “Religion,” or a similarly broad subject matter)

Field of Concentration

The four courses constituting the field of concentration must include History 101. The three additional courses in the field may include History 103. They may also include one appropriate upper-division course (of at least three units) from another department (in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor.)

Students must submit the Field of Concentration form (online) two semesters prior to graduation (thus, for example, during the spring of the junior year for majors expecting to graduate the following spring) in order to secure approval for their Field of Concentration from the Committee on the History Undergraduate Major.

While individual majors must define their own particular fields of concentration, the Committee on the History Undergraduate Major offers a sample of possible fields to assist students in making their decisions.

More information about the Field of Concentration requirement and the Declaration Form is available here

Independent Study in History

Students may create an independent study project in consultation with a supervising professor in the History Department under the number History 199. (Lecturers and GSIs may not supervise History 199.) With the professor's approval, History 199 may be taken for one to four units. A four-unit History 199 may count once as an upper division course requirement and can be a great addition to your Field of Concentration. History 199 may only be taken P/NP and will not be counted in the major GPA.

Please complete the History 199 Form with a faculty member, and turn the completed form in to the Undergraduate Advisor before the add deadline.

Sample Program Plans

Students interested in 3, 3.5, and 4 year program plans should view sample programs here