May 30, 2023  
2021-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History Major, BA

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The history program at Winston-Salem State University is designed to inspire and challenge students to critically evaluate the world around them and to explain the complexity and diversity of human experiences, activities, affairs, ideas, and institutions over time.  This experience and knowledge is necessary to understand the world as it has been shaped in the present and to plan for the future, as history opens up the entirety of documented human experience.  Students in the history program use their knowledge of the past to engage with the world around them through research, analysis, and communication in order to create a new generation of informed and critically thinking citizens committed to social justice and equity and well able to express that commitment. To further this end, the history curriculum offers a wide spectrum of courses in African American, U.S., Africa and the African Diaspora, Europe, and wider world history; in the pre-modern and modern eras; in cultural, economic, intellectual, political, religious and social history; and in the specialized areas of applied history, the history of war and society, urban history, and the history of science. 

Studying history at Winston-Salem State means reading, writing, working with others in a supportive academic environment, inside and outside the classroom. It means understanding the past, present, and future through both traditional historical methodology, and theories, and interdisciplinary means as well.  History students here do scholarly research, develop written and verbal communication skills, and are able to understand issues that affect the world around us and to not only think about those issues critically but also to communicate those thoughts to others.

The history program prepares graduates to pursue graduate studies in a variety of fields such as history, divinity, law, and education. Additionally, our program provides all students with analytical skills necessary for a wide range of jobs and occupations. Many history majors have gone on to successful careers as journalists, writers, and many other creative and professional occupations. A history major teaches the student to empathize and understand how people in the past lived, thought, and acted across a wide spectrum of cultures, and as such instills empathy and creativity, which are important to many fields.

History Objectives*

The history faculty at WSSU is committed to several core objectives:

  1. To provide the means for an understanding of historical development so students may become aware of the certainty of change and be prepared to meet it.
  2. To provide a general foundation for students who plan careers in professional fields outside of history.
  3. To prepare students for graduate training in history through the degree option with a deeper concentration in specialized areas of history.
  4. To promote social justice through the understanding of humanity’s past and the application of this understanding to the problems facing the current world.

History Learning Outcomes*

To achieve these objectives, history students will learn to command the following learning outcomes:

  1. Engage in historical inquiry, research, and analysis.

Students will learn to understand the idea of change and continuity over time and critically assess the idea from a disciplined, skeptical stance and outlook on the world that stresses evidence and sophisticated use of information. 

  1. Understand the complex nature of the historical record.

Students will learn the craft of the historian in several ways. First and foremost, students learn to distinguish between primary and   secondary materials and decide when to use each. They also learn to recognize the value of conflicting narratives and evidence in order to carefully choose among multiple tools, methods, and perspectives to investigate and interpret materials from the past.  In order to have a strong foundation in history, students must develop a body of historical knowledge with range and depth. This will allow students to recognize the ongoing provisional nature of knowledge, and interpret the past in context; contextualize the past on its own terms. Most importantly, students will be able to recognize where they are in history and the varying viewpoints on how they arrived at their place. These skills are of utmost importance to lifelong learning and critical habits of mind that are essential for  effective and engaged citizenship and a focus on issues of Social Justice.

  1. Generate significant, open-ended questions about the past and devise research strategies to answer them.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the historian’s craft is developing a methodological practice of gathering, sifting, analyzing, ordering, synthesizing, and interpreting evidence. This enables the student to ask questions that allow him or her to seek a variety of sources that provide evidence for supporting an argument about the past and identifying and summarizing other scholars’ historical arguments.  With this understanding, the historian can then work on solutions to solve questions and problems that arise in the contemporary world.

  1. Craft historical narrative and argument.

Students will learn to write complex, original narratives that generate historical arguments that are reasoned and based on carefully  selected, arranged and interpreted historical evidence. Most important, students learn to write effective narratives that describe and   analyze the past for its use in the present while comprehending the ethical significance of the practice of history as they build on other scholars’ work, peer review, and citation. Students will interact closely with the history faculty and their peers, learn to defend a position publicly, and revise this position when new evidence requires it.

  1. Practice historical thinking and historical empathy as central to engaged citizenship, so that our students can use those skills to promote Social Justice, thus fulfilling the University’s motto: ‘Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve’.

In order to prepare students for a life that is committed to achieving a more socially just and equitable world, students engage a diversity of viewpoints in a civil and constructive fashion. In the history curriculum, they work cooperatively with others to develop positions that reflect deliberation and differing perspectives that they can apply to contribute to contemporary social dialogue.

*Adapted from the most recent history discipline core guidelines of the American Historical Association

The History Major – 36 Required Credit Hours

 The History degree requires 36 credit hours in foundation, breadth, and depth courses.  History majors must take three History foundation courses (9 credit hours), five History depth courses (15 credit hours), and four History depth courses (12 credit hours).  History majors must choose one of the four depth areas of study offered by the History program are:  

Depth 1 – African American/US

Depth 2 – African/African Diaspora/Latin America

Depth 3 – Europe

Depth 4 – Middle East and Asia

Required Foundation Courses - 9 Credit Hours

• One 1300-level History Course

• One Additional 2300-level History Course

HIS 2311  /Historical Thinking and Methodology

Required Breadth Courses - 15 Credit Hours; 3300-level preferred, 4300-level allowed

HIS 3316  /Historiography or HIS 3347  /African American Materials & Methods Research

• One 3300 or 4300-level African American History Course (HIS 3347   cannot be counted twice)

• One 3300 or 4300-level European History Course

• One 3300 or 4300-level Wider World History Course (i.e., non-US/and non-European)

• One 3300 or 4300-level History Elective Course

Required Depth Courses – 12 Credit Hours

HIS 4314  /Senior Seminar in History

• Three Additional Upper-Division History Courses in the Depth Area 

African American/US 

Africa/African Diaspora/

Latin America

Europe Middle East and Asia

HIS 3370  Applied History I 

HIS 3370   Applied History I

(if applicable)

HIS 4041  Independent Study (if applicable)

HIS 4041   Independent Study

(if applicable)

HIS 3371  Applied History II

HIS 3371   Applied History II

(if applicable)

HIS 4302  /HIS 4373   Special Topics

(if applicable)

HIS 4302  /HIS 4373  Special Topics

(if applicable)

HIS 4041   Independent Study (if applicable)

HIS 4041   Independent Study

(if applicable)

HIS 4303   Age of the Crusades

HIS 4303   Age of the Crusades 

HIS 4302  /HIS 4373   Special Topics (if applicable)

HIS 4302  /HIS 4373   Special Topics/

(if applicable) 

HIS 4305   The Ancient World  

HIS 4305   The Ancient World  

HIS 4308  History of North Carolina

HIS 4301  /POS 4301   Latin American Political Thought

HIS 4306  The Classical World  

HIS 4306  The Classical World  

HIS 4321  History of Genocide

HIS 4321   History of Genocide  

HIS 4307  The Early Middle Ages 

HIS 4307   The Early Middle Ages 

HIS 4326   American Studies

HIS 4305   The Ancient World

HIS 4309   Renaissance/Reformation 

HIS 4318   Rome & Early Christianity   

HIS 4346   US Economic History

HIS 4323   Special Topics/Latin America 

HIS 4310   Modern European Cultural History

HIS 4321   History of Genocide  

HIS 4351   Recent History of US

HIS 4355   African Experience in the Americas

HIS 4311  Modern European Intellectual History 

HIS 4332  /POS 4332   History/Politics of East Asia 

HIS 4355   African Experience in America

HIS 4372  Latin America since 1824 

HIS 4318   Rome & Early Christianity 

HIS 3301   The World at War

HIS 4356   African American History Seminar

HIS 3309   Black Revolutionary Movements

HIS 4320  /JUS 4320   Roman Justice   

HIS 3303   Early Islamic Societies, Cultures and Thought

HIS 4371   American South in Pop Culture

HIS 3332   Cultural Dimension of the African Experience in the America

HIS 4321   History of Genocide  

HIS 3304   Islamic Societies, Cultures and Thought in the Modern World

HIS 3301   The World At War

HIS 3333   History of Africa to 1808

HIS 4328  /JUS 4328   Victorian Justice  

HIS 3312   History of the Indian Subcontinent

HIS 3310   American Military History

HIS 3334   History of Africa since 1808

HIS 3301   The World at War


HIS 3313   US/Diplomatic History

HIS 3352   African Presence in Mexico

HIS 3351   History of Science

HIS 3320   Oral History

HIS 3354   African Presence in Americas

HIS 3356   Modern Russian History


HIS 3335  /SOC 3335   US Social History to 1865

HIS 3354   Modern Latin America


HIS 3336  /SOC 3336   US Social History since 1865


HIS 3341  /African American History to 1865


HIS 3342  / African American History since 1865


HIS 3345   Modern African American Urban History

HIS 3351   History of Science      

HIS 3361   Urban History



Latest Update Approved by Academic Standards and Curriculum Committee - May 15, 2018



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