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Minoring in History; Hist Courses that Fulfill the Mason Core Requirement

Do you like history but do not plan on majoring in it?  If so, why not minor in it?

If you are taking this class, you are already at least one-third of the way to a history minor.  (That is, if you have already taken HIST 100 or 125.  You have to take one of these two courses at some point in order to fulfill your Mason Core requirement in Western Civilization or World History.)  All you need for a History minor is 12 more credits, or 4 more classes.  Some of you may have taken an additional history course along the way, which means that you may already be halfway towards the History minor. In addition, there are history courses that fulfill Mason Core requirements in both Global Understanding and Social Science.  This means that you might be able to complete most of the History minor simply with your Mason Core courses.  You should check with the History Undergraduate Office to make sure you’re choosing the right courses, but the basic message is this:  you’re probably much closer to getting the History minor than you might think.

Getting a minor is a good thing.  It is good for your resume, mainly to show prospective employers that you have a breadth of interests and that you took your college education seriously enough to do the academic planning necessary to complete a minor.  Plus, a minor gives purpose and direction to your elective courses, so that when you are taking elective credits as a junior and senior you are not just randomly selecting courses that happen to fit your schedule.  If you like history at all, filling up some of those elective credits with history courses should be more rewarding and fun than simply choosing courses at random.  And we offer around 30 different upper-level history classes every semester, on almost every conceivable topic, and at every time slot.  Almost none of these classes have prerequisites, so you can take nearly any one you like, at any time.  And our instructors are outstanding:  the student evaluation scores for history classes at Mason are significantly higher than either the college or university average.

If you have questions about the minor, please contact the department’s Undergraduate Coordinator, Carrie Grabo (, or our Undergraduate Director, Dr. Jennifer Ritterhouse ( Signing up for a minor is easy.  All you need to do is go to the History Undergraduate Office, in Robinson B361, and talk to Ms. Grabo or Dr. Ritterhouse.  And signing up doesn’t obligate you to complete the minor, either:  if you sign up for the minor but do not complete it, you can delete it at any time and the minor simply won’t appear on your diploma.

If you don’t think you have room for the minor but might like to take other history classes, below and attached is a list of history courses in the spring semester that fulfill Mason Core requirements.  In other words, these are history courses that fulfill requirements you have to fulfill anyway.  For example, if you still need to fulfill your Core requirement in Global Understanding, there is a long list of history courses you can take to fulfill it.


History courses offered in Spring 2017 that count for the Mason Core*

Western Civilization/World History

HIST 100: History of Western Civilization

HIST 125: Introduction to World History

Social and Behavioral Science

HIST 121: Formation of the American Republic

HIST 122: Development of Modern America

Information Technology

HIST 390: The Digital Past

Global Understanding

HIST 252: Survey of East Asian Civilization

HIST 272: Survey of Latin American History

HIST 282: Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization

HIST 328: Rise of Russia

HIST 356: Modern Japan

HIST 358: Post-1949 China

HIST 360: History of South Africa

HIST 387: Topics in Global History

                Section 001: Global History of Christianity

                Section 002: History of Shiism

                Section 003: History of Peace

Section 004: Commodities in the Atlantic World

Section 005: The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800

                Section 007: The Vietnam War


Non-Western Culture Requirement (for CHSS students)

HIST 252: Survey of East Asian Civilization

HIST 272: Survey of Latin American History

HIST 282: Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization

HIST 328: Rise of Russia

HIST 356: Modern Japan

HIST 358: Post-1949 China

HIST 387: Topics in Global History (see sections under Global Understanding above)

*This list is based on the Mason Core and CHSS requirements for students who enrolled at Mason in 2016-2017. Students with a catalog year earlier than 2016-2017 should double-check the appropriate lists under the General Education Archive at