Undergraduate FAQ


Twelve credits of lower-division History courses, including six credits of History at the 200-level, taken during the first and second years (the first 60 credits) qualify you for the majors or honours program in history.

There are no other specific course prerequisites for upper-division history courses. Courses numbered HIST 100 to HIST 199 are all World History courses and introduce students to historical questions and to the approaches that scholars have taken in trying to answer them. Some of these courses survey world history over a specific period and others consider particular themes common to the history of human communities. Courses numbered HIST 200 to HIST 299 provide a solid grounding in historical thinking and writing through courses with a regional and/or thematic focus that prepares you for upper level courses in history.

Arts One may count for 6 of the 12 required credits. ASIA 100, ASIA 101, GRSJ 205, GRSJ 210, CLST 110, CLST 111, CLST 231, CLST 232, CLST 260, and history credits transferred from other institutions can also provide six credits toward the requirements for the major. International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) first year credits may also receive lower-division history credits. (Courses listed above from other UBC departments may not necessarily meet the 200-level requirement.)

Plan to attend the History Department for prospective History Majors and Honours Students held late in spring term, and sign up to consult a History Department Faculty Advisor in April to approve your program. Fill out the History Major’s Advising Form and bring it to your meeting with the History Advisor. If you have completed at least 42 credits, you may then declare your major during your registration window for the next academic session through UBC’s Student Service Centre (SSC).

You should have your program proposal as a History Major evaluated and approved by a Departmental Advisor either before you declare your History Major, or before you register for your third-year classes. At the advising meeting for prospective History Majors and Honours Students at the end of March students can sign up for advising during April. Throughout the year department advisors are available during for appointments and drop-in advising for students who need assistance.

The History Majors Program is designed to be as flexible as possible. To meet the needs of a particular student's program, the History Department will consider counting a course not specifically listed as a History course (or its equivalent) towards the requirements of a Major in History if the course can be shown to be substantially historical in content and context. Each such request, however, must be discussed with a History Advisor and is judged on its own merits; approval can by no means be taken for granted.

Yes. After you have completed the required lower-division credits in History, you may begin to take upper-division History courses (300 and 400 level) that count towards your History Major or Minor.


The one course that all History Majors must take is the fourth year capstone course, HIST 490 (3) Seminar for History Majors, or its equivalent.

Each term during Winter Session, several professors offer sections of this course on various topics. These classes have 18 or fewer students and provide students an opportunity not just to learn history, but also to be historians, reading, interpreting, and discussing history as they write a research paper. This course also fulfils the research requirement of the Faculty of Arts.

A variety of courses can fulfil the rest of the requirements to graduate with a History Major. These requirements are:

  • Of the 30 upper-division credits required for the major, no more than 24 credits may be in any one geographic field (Canadian or North American, European, Asian, South American).
  • Of the 42 minimum history credits, at least 6 credits must be substantially pre-modern in content. A list of courses fulfilling this requirement is available on the History Department website and in this booklet on pages 7-8. This requirement cannot be waived.
  • At least 15 of the upper-division credits toward the History Major must be earned through courses listed as HIST in the UBC Calendar (excepting students who earn History credit on exchange through Go-Global).

Yes, students in the Faculty of Arts can complete a Minor in History by earning at least 30 and no more than 42 credits in history courses (a field other than the major) that include:

  • At least 18 credits numbered 300 or above. These 18 credits may include a maximum of 6 credits for non-HIST courses that are listed in the calendar as acceptable for History credits (limit waived for students who earn History credit on exchange).
  • At least 6 credits numbered 200 to 299.
  • Six credits may come from any level, including AP, IB, and Arts One credits.

Declaring a Minor

Students can declare a History minor through the UBC Student Service Centre (specialization code 3012).

No formal advising is necessary, but you are welcome to see an advisor, especially if you have concerns or seek a course accommodation. If some of your courses qualify toward your major as well as your minor, no more than 6 credits may be counted towards both programs.

Mandatory Advisor Meeting

Sign up to meet with an advisor at the Prospective History Student Meeting in March to plan and approve your program.

Once you have your program approved, you can meet with a History Advisor when you have questions throughout the year. If you are a transfer student or miss the meeting, contact and meet with a History Department Advisor as soon as possible. Advisors are available in person or by telephone during their advising office hours. as well as via email. Telephone the History Department Office (8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday) to find out the name and office number of the advisors and their advising hours, or check the History Department’s website: http://www.history.ubc.ca/content/advising.

History Department Office: Twelfth Floor, Buchanan Tower, Room 1297
Address: 1873 East Mall, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z1
Telephone: 604.822.2099
History Department Website: http://www.history.ubc.ca/
Department Head: Prof. Eagle Glassheim
Majors Advising: Dr. Michael Lanthier, mlanthie@mail.ubc.ca

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