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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State Abington


Abington College (HSTAB)
University Park, College of the Liberal Arts (HIST)


This major provides a broad introduction to the history of the great civilizations of the world and specific areas of historical inquiry. Centered in one of the basic, traditional disciplines, the History major offers invaluable preparation for students interested in a career in government, international relations, law, or librarianship, as well as essential training for those interested in a professional career as an academic or public historian, archivist, or secondary school teacher. Along with the perspective on the present that a study of the past engenders, the program develops skills in research, analysis, and synthesis that have proved useful in commerce and industry. The History major permits easy combination with minors, area studies, or even a concurrent major, providing flexibility in one's career choice.

For the B.A. degree in History, a minimum of 123 credits is required.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)


ELECTIVES: 18 credits

(3 of these 24 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR, GENERAL EDUCATION, or ELECTIVES and 0-12 credits are included in ELECTIVES if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.)
(See description of Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements in this bulletin.)


HIST 302(3) (Sem: 5-6)

Choose one sequence from the following three:
HIST 1 GH;IL(3), HIST 2 GH;IL(3) (Sem: 1-4)
HIST 10 GH;IL(3), HIST 11 GH;IL(3) (Sem: 1-4)
HIST 20 GH;US(3), HIST 21 GH;US(3) (Sem: 1-4)

Select 12 credits, in consultation with an advisor, at the 100-200-level, one course from each of the following field categories: Europe, United States, Global, Pre-Modern* (Sem: 1-4)
Select 3 credits at the 100-400-level (Sem: 1-8)
Select 12 credits at the 400-level, at least one course which must be in Global History (Sem: 5-8)

* Courses that appear in two History categories (such as HIST 174) cannot be double-counted to be applied to two field categories. However, the student may choose to which category to apply the course.

Integrated B.A./M.A. Program in History

The Department of History offers an integrated B.A./M.A. program that is designed to allow academically superior baccalaureate students to obtain both the B.A. and the M.A. degrees in History within five years of study. The first two years of undergraduate coursework include the University General Education and Liberal Arts requirements in addition to introductory coursework in the major. In the third year, students are expected to take upper-level courses and the department’s undergraduate capstone seminar.  By the fourth year students should have selected the primary fields of study and be enrolled exclusively in 400 and graduate-level courses in those areas. The fifth and final year of the program typically consists purely of graduate seminars. The program culminates with an M.A. oral defense of seminar papers that best represents their interests and work written in two of the graduate seminars.

By encouraging greater depth and focus by the beginning of the third undergraduate year, this program will help the student more clearly define his/her area of interest among the four main primary areas of focus in the department’s graduate program. As a result, long-range academic planning for exceptional students pursuing doctoral degrees after leaving Penn State, or other professional goals, will be greatly enhanced. With the IUG they would be highly qualified to enter directly into careers in secondary education, and other government positions that require graduate degrees.  Students who have completed this program but wish to continue on to a Ph.D. will be more competitive in applying for admission to Ph.D. programs in History and Area Studies but also will be well placed to apply to other professional programs including library science, law, and museum studies.

Admission Requirements

The number of openings in the integrated B.A./M.A. program is limited. Admission will be selective based on specific criteria and the unqualified recommendation of faculty. Applicants to the integrated program:

  1. Must be enrolled in the History B.A. program[1].
  2. Must have completed 60 credits of the undergraduate degree program (it is strongly suggested that students apply to the program prior to completing 100 credits).
  3. Must be accepted without reservation into the M.A. program in History.
  4. Should have a recommended overall GPA of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) in undergraduate coursework and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all coursework completed for the major.
  5. Must present a departmentally approved plan of study in the application process.
  6. Must be recommended by the chairs of the Department's undergraduate and graduate committees.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete the requirements for a B.A. in history.

Students must complete the Master of History Requirements, which total 30 credit hours of graduate instruction, in addition to completing 123 credit hours of undergraduate instruction.

The 400-level courses, totaling 18 credit hours, can double-count towards both the B.A. and Master of History degrees.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate instruction over and above the 123 credit hours required of the B.A. degree in history.  All 30 of these credit hours must be earned in 400-level, 500-level, or 600-level courses.

These 500-level courses must be grouped into two primary fields of study with a minimum of 6 credit hours in each field.

Student must have satisfactory academic performance to maintain enrollment in the program. A grade point average of 3.0 in the 30 credit hours of graduate instruction is required to receive the master's degree.

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2013

Blue Sheet Item #: 41-06-070

Review Date: 04/09/2013

Department head updated by Publications: 3/23/11


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