This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Bachelor of Arts in History requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 36 of those credits in history. Students must complete HIST 300 with a minimum grade of C prior to enrolling in more than six credits of 300- or 400-level history courses. Students in the program can take advantage of a wide range of courses with thematic, topical, national or chronological emphases to fulfill requirements and electives. Students should consult with their advisers each semester to design a program that meets these requirements and suits their interests and career objectives.

The history curriculum exposes students to a multidimensional analysis of the human past. Faculty members seek to impart to students an awareness of the forces of change and continuity; good judgment as to the appropriateness (or inappropriateness) of analogies between one set of historical circumstances and another; an appreciation of the need for skepticism and informed judgment in historical studies; and an understanding of the role of biases and frames of reference in historical research. As such, the study of history not only has the intrinsic appeal of any disciplined intellectual inquiry, but also leads to personal and social awareness within the rich tradition of the liberal arts. The B.A. in History provides students an ideal preparation for a wide range of careers and further professional study, and it constitutes an indispensable basis for active citizenship.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Library and research skills. Students should be able to locate information independently and evaluate its utility for their research purposes.

  2. Critical reading skills. Students should be able to engage a wide variety of written texts and glean useful information from them.

  3. Critical thinking about sources of information. Students should be able to evaluate the quality and utility of sources used to understand the past, keeping in mind their context and purpose.

  4. Critical thinking about logical inferences. Students should be able to make useful connections among sources of information about history and be able to propose causal relationships based on discrete pieces of information.

  5. Formulation of persuasive analysis. Students should be able to use both historical sources and logical inferences to make convincing arguments about the past.

  6. Writing skills. Students should be able to write clearly, accurately, persuasively and elegantly about the past and to employ the research apparatus normative to historical writing.

  7. Other information presentation skills. Students should be able to present information and arguments about the past in other formats, such as oral presentations, museum exhibits, archival guides, web-based presentations, etc.

  8. Interpersonal and project management skills. Students should be able to carry out the stages of any project or assignment in an organized, proactive manner, showing independence, timeliness, professional ethics, problem-solving skills, teamwork and collaboration, integrative learning and the transfer of skills, self-assessment, and good judgment in seeking support or resources.