History MAJOR

Make sense of the present by studying the past. As a history major, you examine the rich variety of human experience across time and place, challenging yourself to consider multiple perspectives and navigate diverse cultures and ideas.

Historical knowledge and skills are in high demand in our dynamic global community—and they are the foundation of engaged democratic citizenship. When you pursue a history major, you become a critical and independent thinker who can analyze complex issues and communicate your findings clearly and persuasively.

Learn to organize information, assess empirical evidence, apply concepts and analyze change and causation. Then, use these valuable skills to launch careers in business, public service, teaching and administration. The history major is also a preferred route to professional degrees in law, education, museum and library studies and public policy. 

Career Ideas

In uncertain times, history teaches us about change: Why does it occur and how do we manage it?

What to expect

In the first two years, you develop foundational competencies in reading, writing and critical analysis. Survey courses introduce momentous events and pressing issues across a fascinating array of regions and time periods in order to build contextual knowledge and interpretive skills. Whether in lecture or discussion, you have the opportunity to ask questions, exchange viewpoints and develop your own voice.

Intermediate courses delve into specific topics in greater detail: from Canada’s First Nations and environmental policy to international diplomacy, the options are timely and wide-ranging. At the senior level, small, interactive seminars reflect the research specialties of our approachable and award-winning faculty. Recent topics include Christianity in North Africa, comparative revolutions, European witch trials and colonial violence. In close collaboration with your professors and one another, you learn to assess historical evidence and explanations while conducting original research in primary sources and producing new knowledge.

As you progress through the program, you gain a deeper understanding of diverse societies as they developed across history’s rich geographical and chronological tapestry. Rather than simply memorize facts and dates, you learn to contextualize and manage evidence, consider nuance and complexity and craft insightful arguments. In the process, you become a confident and effective communicator who sees the world in a new way—and who is prepared to change it!

In-depth study

If you have a specific area of interest, consider taking a special topics course and dig deeper into a subject. The focus of these courses changes every year.

Courses and requirements

This major is open to students in the Bachelor of Arts. Courses for your major are only one component of the degree requirements you need to graduate. You must complete the courses and requirements outlined in the academic calendar for the year you declare your major/minor or the year you are accepted into an honours program.

Courses & Requirements
Check the academic calendar to find the courses you need to take and the requirements you must fulfill to complete your program.
Academic Calendar
Declare your major/minor

Academic advisors in the Faculty of Arts and Science have prepared resources to help you understand how your major/minor fits within overall degree coursework. Consult the academic planning information to choose and enrol in courses and complete the major/minor declaration process.