Undergraduate Programs


Undergraduate Studies in History

The History Department offers an undergraduate major as part of either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Students can learn a foreign language of their choice in order to earn a BA, or can pursue any of the BS sequences (various combinations of math with computer or natural sciences). This flexibility is equally true of our major. Although we require our students to acquire breadth both chronologically and geographically, our major has sufficient choices and electives to allow students to pursue their strongest interests and/or sample from the wide range of periods and places covered by our classes . The majority of our majors are able to pursue a minor or double major, a practice we encourage. We also offer a highly flexible minor that pairs well with nearly every major.

The history major requires four lower-division surveys: two in United States history and two in non-United States history. Majors take a total of seven upper-division elective courses, but these must include at least one pre-modern course, one non-western course, and one United States or modern European history course. Every major takes HIST 395 Historical Methods and ends their course of study with HIST 495 Senior Thesis.

The history minor requires eighteen hours of coursework, at least two at the 100- or 200-level and at least two at the 300- or 400-level. Only a handful of history courses are closed to minors, so minors have great flexibility in choosing their classes.

A history major offers excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. In addition to teaching and public history, our graduates have gone on to work in fields as varied as finance, non-profit fundraising, information science, journalism, business, government, politics, and public administration. The communication, research, and analytical skills that history majors learn are useful in nearly all jobs. We encourage our majors to take advantage of the assistance NIU Career Services can provide.

Prospective students with questions about the major and minor in history should contact the department at history@niu.edu.

Advisors Information

Degrees Offered

Fields Of Study

  • Ancient
  • Medieval
  • European/British
  • Russian
  • Asian
  • African
  • Global 
  • United States
  • Latin American

Learn More

Liberal Learning and the History Major from the American Historical Association

Mentoring Program

B.A & B.S Alumni Updates

Undergraduate Forms