BA in History

GW History Students in Class

The Bachelor of Arts in History immerses students in the art, literature, stories and artifacts of civilizations from all over the world. Many students round out their curricula with research seminars or integrate their passions in a related field, such as political science, art history or a foreign language. Others deepen their expertise on a particular era or region through a focused specialization

With unparalleled access to world-renowned archives and libraries, students majors have history at their fingertips.

How to Declare a Major 

  1. Download and complete the department’s Major Information Form (PDF).
  2. Bring it to the History Department undergraduate advisor, who will assign you an advisor from the department.
  3. Meet with the assigned history advisor during their office hours and bring a copy of the Declaration of Major/Minor Form for their signature.
  4. Bring a signed copy of the Declaration of Major/Minor Form to the History Department office so that we can add you to the history majors listserv.
  5. Submit the signed declaration form to the Undergraduate Advising Office.

Optional Specializations

GW History Professor Pointing at Screen

Specializations prepare students to be competitive candidates in history-related fields. Students may choose a field, region, chronological period or a combination thereof. 

To specialize, history majors must choose the name of their specialization and pick at least six courses that apply toward it. The History Department undergraduate advisor must approve the chosen field and courses. Up to two courses may be chosen from other academic departments, with the undergraduate advisor’s approval. Up to two courses may also be supervised internships (HIST 3095). For course and specialization ideas, students should consult current class offerings and faculty areas of study.

Sample Specialization Curricula 

In addition to these examples, the History Department offers a number of other classes that would suit topics like borderlands and transnational histories, Native American history, European economic history and more. 

Imperial History

HIST 1120: European Civilization in its World Context
HIST 2001: Empires and Imperialism: Rome to Washington
HIST 2001: Islam and Imperialism
HIST 2105W: European Decolonization
HIST 3301W: The Cold War in Asia
HIST 3137: The British Empire

The Atlantic World

HIST 2301: Colonial North America
HIST 2520: Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World
HIST 3137: The British Empire
HIST 3301: Pilgrims and Indians
HIST 3303: Revolutionary America
HIST 3701: Argentina in Global Context

South Asian History

HIST 2105W: European Decolonization
HIST 3035: The United States and the Wars in Indochina, 1945-1975
HIST 3301W: The Cold War in Asia
HIST 3601: World War II in Asia Pacific
HIST 3601: Vietnam: Colonialism, War, Revolution
HIST 3640: History of Southeast Asia

Special Departmental Honors

Two GW History students at Research Days

Students interested in earning special honors in history to be noted on their transcript must meet requirements and complete the Senior Honors Thesis course (HIST 4099) and accompanying paper.



Honors Requirements
  1. Meet GW’s general special honors requirements.
  2. Graduate with a GPA of 3.3 overall and 3.5 in history major classes.
  3. Find an advisor willing to work with you on a senior honors thesis as a tutorial. You should not expect faculty members to agree to serve as advisors unless you have taken at least one class with them and done very well.
  4. Sign up for HIST 4099 (Senior Honors Thesis) for either a semester or a year (at the discretion of the advisor), depending on the length or research requirements of the thesis undertaken. Complete a Registration Transaction Form through Colonial Central and notify the departmental undergraduate advisor of registration.
  5. Complete HIST 4099 with a final grade of A- or higher.
2018–19 Honors Students

Martha Ball
Jordan Cassel
Keegan Claufield
Noah Duell
Lydia Francis
Veronica LaDu
Margaret McCool
Samuel Nohra
Harry O'Gorman
Samuel Pfister
Magdal Pszonak
Zachary Sanders
Francis Shin
David Skalkowski
Isaac Strauss
Amanda Urban
Di Wang
Elliot Warren