Department of History


IU Bloomington offers the following undergraduate degree:

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History

Major Requirements

History majors must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of History classes; 18 of these credit hours must be completed on the IU Bloomington campus, and 18 credit hours must be at the 300–400 level. The major program includes:

  • Concentration: 12 credit hours (four courses) in one historical area.
  • Secondary field: 6 credit hours (two courses) in a different historical area.
  • Electives: 6 credit hours (two courses) from areas other than the concentration and secondary field categories.
  • Seminars: J300 and J400 (J300 is a prerequisite for J400).

A full description of courses, historical areas, and requirements can be found at:  Students entering I.U. Bloomington Summer 2013 to Present.

The requirements for students who entered I.U. Bloomington between Summer 2004 and Spring 2013 are found at:  Students entering I.U. Bloomington from Summer 2004 to Spring 2013

Areas of Study:

  • Africa and the Middle East
  • Ancient
  • Asia
  • Europe after 1500
  • Jewish
  • Latin America
  • Medieval
  • Pre-Modern Mediterranean World
  • Russia and Eastern Europe
  • United States
  • World and Comparative

Students may also design their own concentrations in consultation with a faculty mentor. 

Curriculum beginning summer 2016
Students who enter I.U. Bloomington in the summer of 2016 and later will fulfil a new set of requirements, as below.  Students who began their study before summer 2016 can choose to follow the new requirements, but they should discuss the implications of this with the History Advisor.  The new requirements will be:

  1. Distribution: Students must take at least 1 course in pre-1750 history, 1 course in post-1750 US or European history, and 1 course in post-1750 non-US/European or world history (9 credits).
  2. Students must take H270, preferably when they first declare the major; it is a prerequisite for J400 (3 credits).
  3. Students must take J400, as a prerequisite for J425 (3 credits).
  4. Students must complete J425 (3 credits), an independent research project.

Students are still encouraged to take a J300 seminar, which will fulfil the Intensive Writing requirement.  More details about how courses will fulfil the new requirements will be forthcoming.

Departmental Honors

Students may be recommended by faculty and admitted to the competitive Department of History Honors Program. For details see this page.

Prelaw Track

Students intending to study law should follow the general requirements for the major. In addition, those interested in legal careers should concentrate on developing particular kinds of skills needed in legal education and practice. For further information, please contact Jim Basore, the Academic Advisor, or our Pre-law Advisor, Professor Michael Grossberg. Majors should also keep in contact with the University's Pre-Law advising office located in Maxwell Hall 010 (855-1873).

Double Major

Recognizing the knowledge and skills History provides, many students decide to complement other major areas and disciplines with a History degree.  Many of our students have double majors in Political Science, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography, English, and Religious Studies. Students seeking a double major must have two advisors, one from each department in which they propose to study, and the final program of studies must be approved by the College of Arts and Sciences.  For more information contact the College Recorder’s office.

Interdepartmental Major in History and African-American and African Diaspora Studies

Students interested in African-American History can greatly benefit from this interdisciplinary major.  For more information, see the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

Languages and Overseas Study

History majors in good standing and with appropriate language training may earn credit toward the major and toward other degree requirements in the university’s overseas study programs.