DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > History > Student Resources > Advising FAQ > History Major and Minor

History Major and Minor

What are the history department's Learning Goals?

The department has established learning goals for its major curriculum. Upon completion of the history major, students can:

  1. describe and discuss historical facts, themes, and ideas; 
  2. identify, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize primary and secondary source evidence; 
  3. identify and explain how the past is different from the present; 
  4. express knowledge of the history of individuals and groups who are different from themselves; 
  5. analyze an event, source, idea or person within its historical context; 
  6. critically evaluate change over time (the idea that the relationship between events over time suggests meanings that might be overlooked if the events were examined in isolation);   
  7. identify different perspectives on the past, whether those be historical, interpretive, or methodological in nature; 
  8. conduct research independently using primary and secondary source evidence; and 
  9. express knowledge and reason effectively in writing.

What are the requirements of a history major?

There are four concentrations within the history (HST) major:  standard, pre-law, public history, and secondary education.  Each of the four concentrations requires students to take a total of 15 courses (or 60 credit hours).

For more information about individual concentrations, please visit the course catalog.

What is HST 390: Practicum in Historical Research and Writing?

Students in all of the HST major concentrations are required to take a pair of linked courses that includes a topical 300-level HST course in one quarter (called the “gateway course”) and the linked HST  390 research practicum , which is also the major’s Senior Capstone Seminar,on the same topic and taught by the same instructor the following quarter. Students are strongly encouraged to take this sequence either in their junior or senior year bearing in mind that the sequences are reliably offered only in Autumn-Winter and Winter-Spring.

Not all 300-level HST courses are gateways to HST 390 practicum, so make sure that you take the right classes. The History Department posts the sets on bulletin boards in SAC 420.

I am a transfer student. I have never taken HST 298 or 299 at DePaul but I did take similar courses at another institution. Can the HST 298 and/or 299 requirement be waived?

In cases such as this, the chair may (at his or her discretion) approve the substitution of a similar transfer course for HST 298, but all students should plan to take HST 299 at DePaul.  (In order to enroll in HST 299, the chair will need to have previously approved the transfer course substitution for HST 298.)

What is an Independent Study course? How do I arrange to take one?

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Science defines an Independent Study course as one “taken with faculty supervision for knowledge enhancement beyond the courses offered in a particular area of interest. In rare cases, when scheduling or other conflicts exist, a regular course may be taken as an Independent Study.” Students may approach a faculty member about doing an Independent Study. If the instructor agrees, the student must next submit an Independent Study application. Only upon College approval will the Independent Study go forward.

How do I transfer to/from a major in a different college?

Changing majors across colleges (i.e., from a history major in LAS to a finance major in the College of Commerce, or vice versa) first requires an Inter-College Transfer (ICT).  Please see  DePaul Central's Guide to Changing College, Major or Minor for details.

What do I need to do or take for a minor in history?

 The requirements for a history minor (declared in summer 2008 or later) are six courses, distributed as follows:

  • Two lower-division (100- or 200-level) HST courses
  • HST 298
  • HST 299 (prerequisite: HST 298)
  • Two upper-division (300-level) HST courses (prerequisite: HST 299)

What is the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar?

The Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar (NLUS) is an intensive, 15-week (semester-long) course that runs from January through mid-May, spanning winter and spring quarters. It is an opportunity for undergraduate students from DePaul, UIC, Loyola, and Roosevelt Universities to conduct original research at one of the nation's leading rare materials libraries under the guidance of an interdisciplinary faculty team. (The instructors may be professors at any of the participating universities.) NLUS is an especially valuable opportunity for strong undergraduate students who are considering graduate study in the humanities or social sciences. The course meets at the Newberry Library in downtown Chicago (near CTA Red line Clark/Division stop) and is capped at 20 students. The seminar topic changes every year and is usually announced by the beginning of fall quarter. Interested students must submit an application, which is usually available through the history department’s website; participants are selected through a competitive process. 

As a history major, how could I apply the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar toward graduation requirements?

DePaul students who successfully complete NLUS earn 9 credits, 4.5 credits in each of two related disciplines, generally history and another field related to the course topic that year (such as English or art history). A history major’s faculty advisor can authorize the credit earned in  NLUS to count as two 300-level HST courses. History majors also are also eligible to use NLUS as a substitute for the required two-course gateway HST 3xx-390 sequence, and/or to use 4.5 of the credits earned in NLUS to satisfy the Experiential Learning requirement in the Liberal Studies program. The student should discuss the application of NLUS credit with his or her advisor.