Jul 19, 2019  
2019-2020 General Catalog 
2019-2020 General Catalog


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Department Head: Tammy M. Proctor
Location: Main 323A
Phone: (435) 797-8452
FAX: (435) 797-3899
E-mail: tammy.proctor@usu.edu
WWW: history.usu.edu

Associate Department Head: James Sanders, Main 323E, (435) 797-1294, james.sanders@usu.edu

Associate Department Head for Regional Campuses and Distance Education: Robert Mueller, Tooele Campus, (435) 882-6611, ext 3180; robert.mueller@usu.edu

Graduate Program Coordinator: Christopher Conte, Main 323G, (435) 797-1303, chris.conte@usu.edu

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA) in History

Full details of the learning objectives, assessment plan, student outcomes and evidence of continuous improvement for these programs of study can be found at history.usu.edu/assessment.

Undergraduate Programs


Undergraduate Program Learning Outcomes in the Department of History  

Historical Knowledge 

  • Develop a wide range of historical information

-identify the key events which express/define change over time in a particular place or region

-identify how change occurs over time

-explain historical continuity and change

-describe the influence of political ideologies, economic structures, social organization, cultural perceptions and natural environments on historical events 

-discuss the ways in which factors such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, region and religion influence historical narratives

 Historical Thinking

  • Recognize the past-ness of the past

-explain how people have existed, acted and thought in particular historical periods

-explain what influence the past has on the present

  • Emphasize the complex nature of past experiences

-interpret the complexity and diversity of situations, events and past mentalities

-compare eras and regions in order to define enduring issues 

  • Emphasize the complex and problematic nature of the historical record

-recognize a range of viewpoints

-compare competing historical narratives

-challenge arguments of historical inevitability

-analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation


Historical Skills

  • Develop skills in critical thinking and reading

-evaluate debates among historians

-differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations

-assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources

  • Develop research skills

-formulate historical questions

-obtain historical data from a variety of sources

-identify gaps in available records

-recognize the discipline's standards for accurate and ethical research

  • Develop the ability to construct reasonable historical arguments

-construct a well-organized historical argument

-support an interpretation with historical evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources


Career Opportunities
         The Department's "learning outcomes" suggest the ways in which historical study develops expertise in our discipline as well as broader skills in the liberal arts.  In other words, our programs not only provide specialized academic training but also prepare students to work in a wide variety of fields.  Historical study develops one's ability to investigate problems, identify reliable sources, analyze information, contextualize complex questions—and communicate conclusions in a clear and thoughtful manner.  Such skills are in demand by employers in many areas.
     Not surprisingly, our alumni move on to a diverse range of careers.  USU history graduates manage multi-national companies and local businesses, serve in many public capacities (including Congress), run charitable organizations, administer university services, work in military intelligence, train as medical doctors, and teach history.  Many history students are preparing themselves to teach in public schools and at colleges and universities, while others find employment as "applied" historians.  Some graduates qualify to be curators and archivists in museums and libraries, working to classify and preserve materials, setting up exhibits, and working with researchers.  Others work as preservation historians for historical societies, collecting data and working to preserve historic sites.  Historians also work as editors and researchers in publishing or consult on sets and clothing in the making of films.  Some historians work as biographers, while others collect information on family lineage.
      History is an excellent undergraduate major for students wishing to work in international relations, journalism, or management.  Students preparing for law school, advanced business degrees, and management or sales training also benefit from a history degree.  History is a good major for those preparing to work in the growing information management field.  Career opportunities for history majors continue to expand and diversify.


History is a reading- and writing-intensive program.

Admission to the History Department

Admission to the History Department is based on a student's current GPA and completion of the pre-major requirements for history. 

Students who have completed the requirements in the pre-major for history must apply for admission to upper-division standing. Admission is based on: (1) the student's current GPA, and (2) completion of the pre-major requirements for history. 

  1. Students may apply for major status upon completion of a minimum of 15 credits, including the pre-major requirements while maintaining a 2.5 overall GPA. Majors must maintain a minimum 2.75 overall GPA in order to remain in good standing in the History Department. Students whose GPA drops below 2.75 may be placed on probation and may be dropped from the major if their grades do not improve.
  2. New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to the History Department as pre-majors.
  3. Students transferring from other institutions may be accepted into the major, following completion of the pre-major requirements.


Transfer Students

The History Department accepts all history courses taught by institutions within the Utah System of Higher Education. Students who are transferring may wish to consult with the Advisor.

AP Credit

The History Department does not accept AP credit for use towards its degrees. We do make allowances for the following considerations: If a student following the "History Major" track has passed an AP exam with a score of 3 or better, the equivalent lower-division course will be waived; however, the student must complete the equivalent number of credits in an upper-division course. If the student follows the "History Teaching Emphasis" track, the waiver stated above does not apply; however, the department will accept AP credit of 3 or better earned in POLS 1100  as a means of fulfilling that particular requirement.

Using the same courses to meet Multiple Requirements

Students may not count any course taken to fulfill a basic General Education science requirement (BLS, BPS) toward the History BS track. History Majors completing minors in related areas may count one course in both the major and the minor. Exception for Social Studies Composite Majors.

Departmental Requirements

New freshmen accepted in good standing by the University may apply for admission to the History Department. Students transferring from another institution or another major will be admitted if they have a minimum 2.5 GPA in history courses and an overall minimum GPA of 2.5. A minimum 2.75 GPA is required for entry into the teacher education program.

Since history can be classified in both the humanities and the social sciences, majors may receive either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. However, because history primarily involves the study of written documents, the department encourages students to choose the BA, which requires proficiency in a foreign language.

Candidates for a degree must earn a grade of C+ or better in all history courses used to meet the requirements for a history major or minor, a history teaching emphasis or teaching minor, or a classics minor.

Sample Four-year Plans

Sample semester-by-semester four-year plans for students working toward a bachelor's degree are available in the History Department.

Students should consult with their advisors to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.

Academic Opportunities

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students in all colleges and majors the unique opportunity to deepen their educational experience with hands-on practical applications of their academic knowledge. The Honors Program admits incoming, transfer, and existing USU students based on application. High achieving students with at least one year remaining are encouraged to apply.  See the University Honors Program catalog entry and website (honors.usu.edu) for more information.

Phi Alpha Theta

History students with a minimum GPA of 3.1 in history classes and an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible for membership in the national history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta. Those interested should consult the faculty advisor for Phi Alpha Theta, Angela Diaz at angela.diaz@usu.edu.

Undergraduate Teaching Fellows

The UTF program is designed to provide students, particularly potential teachers, with the opportunity to assist professors and, thereby, learn first-hand about the nature of the profession. UTFs must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be sponsored by a professor. Application forms are available in the History Department office and on the History Department website: history.usu.edu

Additional Information

For updated information concerning programs and courses offered by the Department of History, visit the departmental web page at history.usu.edu.

Major requirement sheets, which provide detailed information about requirements for the History major, can be obtained from the department.

Financial Support

Scholarships, grants-in-aid, and work-study programs are available through the University. The History Department offers scholarships to outstanding students. In addition, undergraduates may be employed as research assistants and clerical assistants within the department. For current information on scholarships and employment opportunities, see the History Department website at history.usu.edu.

Graduate Programs

Admission Requirements

Graduate applicants may be admitted to the program for either the master of arts or master of science in history if they meet the following qualifications: (1) hold a baccalaureate degree; (2) have at least a 3.0 overall GPA over the last 60 credits of undergraduate work, with a 3.5 GPA in history courses recommended; (3) submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores, with a required minimum score at the 40th percentile on the verbal section, and a recommended minimum score at the 40th percentile on both the quantitative and written portions of the exam; (4) submit three letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the applicant's academic performance and potential; and (5) submit a brief statement of proposed fields of interest and career goals.

The Department of History also strongly recommends that applicants have either an undergraduate major or minor in history or a closely related field. Familiarity with one or more foreign languages is highly desirable and is required for the master of arts degree and for master's level research in many fields of history. Applications will be strengthened by the submission of an example of the student's historical writing, such as a paper (about 15 pages in length) written for a seminar or upper-division course.

The final recommendation for admission will be made upon consideration of all the above factors by the department to the School of Graduate Studies.

Financial Assistance

The primary financial assistance offered by the Department of History is through graduate assistantships. Each year, the History Department offers to qualified students, on a competitive basis, a limited number of graduate assistantships. These assistantships entail approximately 20 hours of work per week, assisting faculty members with departmental introductory survey courses. The award carries a stipend and an out-of-state tuition waiver. To keep their assistantships, graduate assistants must maintain a GPA of 3.0 (or a B average) and be a full-time student, as noted in the School of Graduate Studies  section. While enrolled in the MA or MS program, graduate assistants may hold graduate assistantships for a maximum of two years. Applications for graduate assistantships should be postmarked no later than December 15, for the upcoming academic year.

Competitive grants to support travel and research are also available to history graduate students.

The application deadline for both fellowships is December 15, for the upcoming academic year.

Additional Funding

In addition to graduate assistantships and a limited number of research assistantships, the School of Graduate Studies awards a limited number of scholarships. To be eligible for these awards, all students should complete the application for admission and send it, along with GRE scores and letters of recommendation, to the School of Graduate Studies by February 1. A financial aid application form (which may be obtained from the History Department) should be returned to the History Department by February 1.

Students interested in establishing eligibility for federal loans and work-study will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to: Financial Aid Office, Utah State University, 1800 Old Main Hill, Logan UT 84322-1800. Questions about eligibility should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at (435) 797-0173.

Career Opportunities

Some graduates of USU's master's program continue their formal education in PhD programs or law schools. Others find employment in the two-year college or secondary school systems, as teachers or administrators. Still others work for historical societies, museums, publishing firms, and a variety of enterprises in the private sector.

Additional Information

Current announcements and other information are posted to the History Department website: history.usu.edu

HA Faculty  

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