College of Arts and Humanities

Department of History


Bachelor of Arts






Jim Jeffers, Department Chair

Kate Fawver, Howard Holter, Lynne Luciano, Ericka Verba, Clement Okafor Udeze

Nancy Owens, Administrative Support Assistant

Department Office: LCH A-342, (310) 243-3328


Emeriti Faculty

John W. Auld, Enrique Cortes, Judson A. Grenier, Donald Teruo Hata, Donald A. MacPhee, Linda Pomerantz, Frank Stricker


Program Description

A careful study of the past helps us better understand the present. History as an academic and professional discipline continually looks for the best ways to help us understand times, people, and places very different from our own. The department offers an undergraduate major and minor in history. It provides history subject matter content for teachers in Liberal Studies and secondary education, and undergraduate subject matter for college history teaching. It also lays a foundation for further training in history graduate programs. History majors may apply for the Jack Kilfoil scholarship. Consult the history department for more information.



The history program offers a wide range of topical and area courses. Lower-division survey courses help students make connections between the events and persons of the past as they learn how historians find and evaluate evidence. Upper-division courses study specific eras and topics in greater depth. The three courses required of all majors, HIS 300, 304, and 490, give students a solid understanding of the terms, methods, and theories historians use in the study of the past, and equip them to engage in historical enquiry on topics of interest to them. History courses are useful either as general electives or as part of several interdisciplinary majors.


Academic Advisement

The history program is designed to allow students maximum flexibility to tailor their major to their interests and needs. Students should therefore seek faculty advisement upon entering the program and routinely thereafter. Faculty advisors work with students to provide information about departmental requirements, course availability, course work and career options. Advisors will also help students prepare for graduate work in history and related fields. All history majors must have on file a History Advisement Form, available from the department office. Students expecting to graduate must also fill out a Graduation Advisement Form by the third week of the semester prior to the expected semester of graduation. Both forms must be filled out in consultation with department faculty or a designated history department undergraduate advisor.



High school students are encouraged to take broadly based humanities and social science courses. Students transferring from community colleges may apply appropriate lower division courses in world civilization towards the major.


Career Possibilities


The study of history will give students an understanding of modern society through a review of the past and introduce them to a diversity of cultures in historical perspective. Students will find the history major helpful if they plan to: 1) teach at the primary or secondary school level; 2) pursue graduate degrees in history or related fields; 3) work for United States governmental agencies or in local government service, or for private organizations where the ability to do research is essential; 4) work in business contexts where the ability to think critically and communicate clearly and persuasively are important; 5) study law; or 6) work in contexts where research abilities and a broad understanding of society are important such as managing local history projects, fundraising, museums, archives, and libraries.

In addition, students may prepare for a career in teaching Social Science at the secondary level (junior high or high school) by completing an approved “Subject Matter Preparation Program.” Completion of such a program is the first step in meeting the state requirements for a teaching credential. Interested students should consult the departmentally-designated advisor for current information.


Student Organizations

Phi Alpha Theta: An international history honor society. The Tau Epsilon chapter promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.


Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in History provided he or she meets the following criteria:

1.   A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;

2.   A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;

3.   Recommendation by the faculty of the History Department.






Bachelor of Arts in History

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree

See the “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.


Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 units.


General Education Requirements (55-62 units)

See the “General Education” requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the “Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement” in the University Catalog.


Minor Requirements

No minor required.

Major Requirements (36 units)

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

A.   Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

HIS 120.      World Civilizations I (3)

HIS 121.      World Civilizations II (3)


B.  Upper Division Requirements (30 units)

1.   Required Courses (9 units)

HIS 300. Research and Writing Skills (3)

HIS 304. Theory and Practice in History (3)

HIS 490. Senior Seminar in History (3)

NOTE: HIS 300 should be the first upper division course taken and must be completed with a grade of C+ or better before taking HIS 490.

2.   Select three courses in non-U.S. history (no more than two courses per continent) from the courses numbered 305, 310-319, 360-369 and 395, when the subject is appropriate (9 units).

3.   Select three courses in U.S. history. Two should be period courses, selected from the courses numbered 330-336. One should be topical, selected from the courses numbered 340-359 or 395, when the subject is appropriate (9 units).

4.   Select one topical upper division course selected from the courses numbered 301, 302, 340-352, 354, 370-390, 395 or any 400-level course (except 490).






Minor in History (15 units)

A.   Required Courses (3 units)

HIS 300.      Research and Writing Skills (3)


B.  Electives (12 units): Select four upper-division courses with the assistance of an advisor.


Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.


Lower Division

HIS 100   Perspectives
on the Present (3).

Exploration of the ways in which history and historians provide perspective and background analysis of current issues. Focus on case studies, such as: the civil rights movement; the family in history; cycles of economic depression; colonial independence movements; origins of modern science.

HIS 101   History of
the United States (3).

A study of the ideals, creeds, institutions, and behavior of the peoples of the United States. Meets the State requirement in U.S. History.

HIS 120   World Civilizations I (3).

The rise and development of key world civilizations from ancient times to 1500. Emphasis upon ideas, cultures, individuals and institutions that are part of the world’s heritage.

HIS 121 World Civilizations II (3).

Contacts and conflicts among peoples and nations of the world from 1500 to the present. Emphasis upon ideas, movements, individuals and institutions that have shaped the modern world.


Upper Division

HIS 300   Research and
Writing Skills (3).

Prerequisites: Freshman level writing courses.

Critical skills for historical research and writing, including the use of library resources, reading and reviewing techniques, interpreting documents and evaluating evidence, and methods for effective classroom presentations and research papers.

HIS 301   Individual, Family, and      Community in Historic
Perspective (3).

Concentrates upon factors that contribute
to shaping of individual, family, community, and regional history. Emphasis upon personal histories and individual relationships to immediate environment. Includes ethnic settlements, historic sites, oral histories, generations.

HIS 302   Practicum in
Applied History (3)

Prerequisite: HIS 300 or consent of instructor.

Community based historical investigation, including oral history, family history, and institutional history. Students work with community groups, agencies or institutions and consult weekly with a faculty supervisor. Total of 120 hours of activity.

HIS 304   Theory and Practice
of History (3).

Prerequisite: HIS 300 is recommended.

An examination of the works and theories of the great historians, exploration of the major philosophies of history and review of the current trends of the field of history.

HIS 305   World History
for Teachers (3).

Topics in world history as taught in grades 6, 7 and 10 in California schools. Thematic approaches using topical and case study methods and emphasizing primary source materials for teaching.

HIS 310   The Ancient World (3).

The survey of the history of the ancient world with emphasis on the earliest civilizations of the Near East, classical Greece, and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

HIS 311   Early Middle Ages (3).

Europe from the decline of the ancient Mediterranean civilization of Rome to the mid-eleventh century; political, economic, institutional, and cultural changes and developments.

HIS 312   The High Middle Ages  (3).

Europe from the mid-eleventh century to the fourteenth century; emphasis on the fortunes of Empire and Papacy, the renaissance of the twelfth century, economic and institutional developments.

HIS 313   Renaissance
and Reformation (3).

The Italian Renaissance through the Thirty Years’ War; the rise of national states, the Protestant revolt, the Counter-Reformation, the hegemony of Spain, and the attendant commercial revolution of the Atlantic World.

HIS 314   Emergence of
Modern Europe (3).

The dissolution of traditional societies
in Europe and the emergence of modern ideology, from the Enlightenment through the French and Industrial revolutions to the period of internal strife and power politics at the end of the 19th century.

HIS 315   Twentieth Century Europe  (3).

The formation of present-day Europe amid continued industrialization, war, social and political ferment from the opening of the century to the present.

HIS 316   Tudor-Stuart England (3).

England clears path to world power. From the Tudors through mid-Eighteenth century. Reformation, Civil War, Revolution. Agricultural and Commercial revolution, Classical Age of the Constitution. Main focus on eras of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and the Civil War.

HIS 318   Russia Under the Tsars (3).

A survey of the Russian people, culture and historical developments, from Medieval Muscovy to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Topics of emphasis: Ivan the Terrible, age of Peter the Great, development of Russian religion, rise of Russian communism, fall of the monarchy, Russian literature.

HIS 319   Twentieth Century Russia (3).

A survey of the Russian people and Soviet society from the rise of communism to the present. Topics of emphasis: Russian Revolution, development of communism, Stalinism, foreign policy, literature and the arts, socialist economic structure.

HIS 330   United States:
Colonial Period (3).

The discovery, founding and expansion of colonial settlements to 1740. The relation of European institutions and plans to American ideas, experience, and reality.

HIS 331   United States: Revolutionary and Constitutional Period  (3).

Evolution of the revolutionary movement
in the North American colonies. Anglo-American imperial problems, culminating in the Confederation period and the drafting of the American Constitution, 1740 to 1789.

HIS 332   United States: Early
National Period (3).

A study of the national experience from the Constitution through the era of sectional conflict. Includes expansion of the Union westward, the emergence of a national character, and sectional rivalries leading
to conflict at mid-century.

HIS 333   United States: Civil War
and Reconstruction (3).

Social, political, and economic origins of sectionalism and breakup of the Union; military campaigns and the home front in wartime; reconstruction in the South. Focus on the years 1849-1877 and their legacy to later generations.

HIS 334   Emergence of
Modern America (3).

The triumph of the industrial revolution in the post-Civil War period and the response of agrarian and progressive protest. The rise of the United States to world power and involvement in international affairs prior to World War I.

HIS 335   United States: War and Depression (3).

Major developments in American life and institutions from the beginning of World War I to the end of World War II. Consideration of the social, economic, and political implications of prosperity, depression, and two world wars.

HIS 336   United States:
Recent Period (3).

Major developments in American life and institutions since World War II. Consideration of domestic politics from Truman to Reagan, effects of mass technology, the civil rights struggle, and confrontations with the communist world.

HIS 340   The American Frontier (3).

Evaluation of successive American wests from colonial times and their reciprocal impact upon American society; the frontier hypothesis in historiography and its extension to comparative frontiers in other lands.

HIS 341   California (3).

The social, political, and cultural history
of California, from the period of Spanish exploration to the present; emphasis on adjustments of differing ethnic groups.

HIS 342   History of Los Angeles (3).

Los Angeles history from its beginnings to the present, including historical development of cities and towns in greater L.A. Topics include ethnic contributions, industrial and commercial development, labor movement, transportation, natural resources, and architectural development.

HIS 343   The Afro-American
from Africa Through
Reconstruction (3).

Consideration of the impact of general historical development upon Black Americans and their significance in American history, with attention to political, economic, legal, social, and cultural aspects; includes study of the institution of slavery and the struggle for freedom.

HIS 344   The Afro-American from Reconstruction to the Present (3).

Impact of general historical development upon Black Americans and their significance in United States history, with attention to political, economic, legal, social, and cultural aspects. Study of race relations and the circumstances and aspirations of the Black American in an industrial age.

HIS 345   History of the Mexican
American People I (3).

Mexican American life to 1900, stressing the evolution of economic and political thought, social institutions, and cultural expressions.

HIS 346   History of the Mexican American People II (3).

The Mexican American’s contributions to the building of the Southwest; the clash between Mexicans and North Americans; the emergence of the urban Mexican American.

HIS 348   Labor in American Society (3).

The role of labor in the political, economic, and social life of the U.S., including growth of organized labor, rival ideologies, legal decisions, and contributions of various ethnic groups, from the colonial period to the present.

HIS 349   History of Urban America  (3).

Historical urban processes from colonial times to the present; emergence of heterogeneous, fragmented cities; causes of urbanization, character of urban life; and the consequences of immigration and industrialization; includes urban physical development and architecture.

HIS 351   History of American Law (3).

Examination of the origins and development of the American legal system and one or more areas of law-contracts, torts, family law, personal rights, etc.

HIS 352   Topics in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations (3).

Foreign policy by topics or eras. Examples: U.S. Revolutionary period, U.S. policy in Asia, the Cold War era, the U.S. and the Third World in the twentieth century. Topics will vary and be listed in the class schedule.

HIS 354 American Immigration (3).

Historical trends, movements, and patterns of global immigration to the United States. Topics of study include: motives for immigration; anti-immigration sentiments and activities; legal and political responses; role of distinctive cultural groups; assilation and nonconformity.

HIS 360   Africa: Pre-colonial Period (3).

An analysis designed to develop the students’ interpretive understanding of the historical and political developments in African societies; concentration on the tribal foundations of African civilizations.

HIS 361   Africa: Colonialism to                       Independence (3).

Social, economic, and political development in 19th and 20th century Africa, emphasizing religious revivals in Central and Western Sudan, impact of European imperialism on traditional institutions, colonialism and nationalism, regaining political independence in the 1960’s.

HIS 362   Traditional China (3).

The origins and evolution of Chinese civilization and the influence of China on East Asia prior to the 19th century Western impact.

HIS 363   Modern China (3).

China from 1840 to the present. Western impact on traditional China and the Chinese response. Analysis of attempts to modernize China. A history of the Chinese communist movement since 1921. Society, politics and culture of the People’s Republic of China focusing on the era of Mao Zedong (1949-1976).

HIS 364   Traditional Japan (3).

Origins and evolution of Japanese social, cultural, intellectual, and political traditions until the 19th Century Western impact. Foundation for comparison and contrast of Japan before and after the Meiji Restoration.

HIS 365   Modern Japan (3).

Japan from the late Tokugawa period to the present. Western impact on traditional Japan and the Japanese response; the development of a modern state, economy, and society.

HIS 366   Latin America:
Colonial Period (3).

Colonial Latin America from pre-Columbian civilizations to the wars of independence, emphasizing mechanisms of empire established by the Spanish and Portuguese and acculturation between conquering Europeans and colonized Indian and African peoples.

HIS 367   Latin America:
National Period (3).

Latin America from the wars of independence to the present, with topical emphasis on the historical roots of underdevelopment, class conflict, and attempts by revolutionary and conservative movements to resolve political instability and economic dependency.

HIS 368   Mexico: Colonial Period (3).

The history of the pre-Columbian civilizations, including the Mayas and Aztecs, the Spanish conquest, and the development of colonial society and institutions that led to the movement for independence.

HIS 369   Mexico: National Period (3).

The development of Mexico since independence with emphasis on the evolution of its political, economic, and social institutions.

HIS 376   Film as History (3).

The historical analysis of films as manuscripts and source materials for social and intellectual thought in the twentieth century. Emphasis to vary from semester to semester, for example: Film as History: The Great Depression; or Film as History: Latin America.

HIS 379   The Family in History (3).

Family relationships, sexual attitudes, patterns of growing up and growing old in various societies, and minority groups, as they have evolved with social and economic changes in various historical contexts.

HIS 380   Women in History (3).

Changing role of women in the family, political economy and culture of various societies. Topics vary, for example, Women in History: Sex Roles in North and South America; Women in History: Women in China; Women in History: Sex roles and Feminism in the United States.

HIS 381   Across the Pacific: Asian
and Pacific Peoples and
the Americas (3).

A survey history of Asian and Pacific contacts with North, Central and South America and the Pacific Basin, including immigration and acculturation, diplomatic and commercial relations, legal and political issues, and cross-cultural contributions.

HIS 395   Special Topics in History (3).

Intensive study of a single period, area, figure, movement, or idea in history. Topic may be either departmental or interdisciplinary, but focus is historical, and may be single instructor or team taught. Example: Special Topics: Revolution.

HIS 490   Senior Seminar in History (3).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor is required.

History majors and minors must have completed HIS 300. Others should have completed writing proficiency requirement. Collective examination of a topic in depth. Students will undertake a major research project utilizing historical skills. Three hours of seminar per week.

HIS 494   Independent Study (1-3).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor is required.

Independent study of a particular problem under the direction of a faculty member of the History Department.


Infrequently Offered Courses

The following courses are schedule only on a “demand” basis. Students should consult the department office for information about the next scheduled offering.


HIS 317   Modern England (3).

England achieves world power. From mid-18th century to the present. Industrial Revolution, achievement of democracy and the welfare state, the impact of war, and changing world role.

HIS 373   The City in History (3).

The rise of the city from earliest times to the present tracing the establishment and growth of cities as institutions and the development of the process of urbanization; comparison of selected cities.

HIS 430   Oral History (3).

Theory, principles and practices of oral history, including research preparation, interviewing techniques, transcription practices, preparation for public use, conservation and mechanical techniques. Individual or group project included.