Information for History Majors
In addition to the information below, the College of Humanities and Sciences Current Student page offers information about how to withdraw from a class, appeal a grade, see graduation requirements, etc.
Resources for Undergrads
Visit our Resources for Undergraduate Students page for the information you need to navigate the personal and professional challenges of a university education in history, and also to get support as you bring that education into the job market or go on to graduate-level education.
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HIST 493 places students in a field internship, and students receive credit for work on historical projects with approved agencies. Students may receive two, three or four credit hours for work per semester, for a maximum total of six internship credits. The work of the internship varies according to the placement, and we take care to place students in internships which match their interests and career goals.
Visit our Internship Guidelines page for all the details you need to get started.
Declare a History Major
To declare a major in history, visit Records & Registration and fill out the "Change of Major/Concentration Form" online. Then contact HSAdvisor@vcu.edu and schedule an appointment to assess your plan for completing the major.
Declare a History Minor
To declare a minor in history, visit Records & Registration and fill out the "Change of Minor Form" online. Then contact HSAdvisor@vcu.edu and schedule an appointment to assess your plan for completing the minor. At the time of submission of your graduation application to your major department, you will also need to complete the "Graduation With Minor Application."
The history major comprises some 36 credits, and leaves plenty of room for students to complete another course of study. Creative and thoughtful combinations of coursework in history with other areas of study can be an excellent boost to a student’s skill set and career options.
Visit the Complementary Majors and Minors page for suggestions.
The College of Humanities and Sciences offers more than 100 scholarship opportunities to currently enrolled students annually. The system features a searchable database of opportunities and details the requirements for each. The application process opens early January and closes late February.
Visit the Scholarships and Awards page for more details.
Undergraduate students may, with the support of a faculty member, take an independent study in history, HIST 492, for upper-division credit toward the major or minor.
Independent study courses are usually developed when a student has already taken at least one course with a faculty member, and has an interest in further pursuing a topic related to that initial course work. If the faculty member has an interest in the topic as well, they may be willing to take on the responsibility of overseeing HIST 492 for such a student. As HIST 492 is taken on as an addition to a faculty member’s normal teaching responsibilities, not all faculty are able to consider offering HIST 492 at all times; therefore, students should not plan on HIST 492 as a fixed part of their path to graduation.
VCU History supports two undergraduate history clubs, each with a distinct focus and goals. We warmly encourage all of our majors and minors to consider joining one or both of them. We also encourage non-members to take advantage of the many activities the clubs sponsor, which are open to all students. Our long-standing student clubs offer opportunities to develop leadership, professional and academic skills, to build relationships with your fellow students and faculty from across the United States and beyond, and to explore historical topics in ways that are student-directed. They're also a lot of fun!
History department student adviser Ryan O'Hallahan's last day at VCU was April 14, 2023. VCU is in the process of hiring a replacement adviser. In the meanwhile, here is your contact info for advising:
- Write to HSAdvisor@vcu.edu for advising questions
- Write to HSARAC@vcu.edu for ARAC (retroactive withdrawal) concerns
- Write to Leigh Ann Craig, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're not sure where you should take a concern.
History majors, minors and those who are interested in learning history are invited to visit the Virtual Course Fair page. Each of the course categories has links to a slideshow with course descriptions and all the information you need prior to registration.
Study abroad is an experience which can deepen your historical understanding and perspective. It can also be a transformative, enriching experience which contributes greatly to personal growth.
The study abroad program in Barbados is supported from within the history department, and there are many other exciting study abroad opportunities offered through VCU's Global Education Office.
History majors who are interested in study abroad are encouraged to visit history’s adviser, Ryan O'Hallahan, to discuss how program credits would apply to their particular goals and needs.