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College of Arts & Sciences

The Department of History cultivates in undergraduates a lasting curiosity about the world and imparts useful tools for understanding and participating in it responsibly. With an emphasis on critical reading and writing, discriminating research skills and persuasive communication, the history major prepares students for a variety of occupations in the fields of business, government, nonprofit, education and many more. Our courses frequently focus on themes such as the history of Gender, Race and Power; War and Society; Empire and Colonialism; and Religion and Society, and students may choose history majors or minors focusing on any of these themes or choose general history. Students are guided in their path by a diverse faculty that includes fourteen recipients of the UW Distinguished Teaching Award — more than any other unit on campus. Our faculty’s expertise covers nearly every continent on earth, throughout the chronological span of written history.

Major category: Minimum requirements

Curricular options: General History, History of War and Society, History of Religion and Society, History of Empire and Civilization, History of Race, Gender and Power

Topic(s): Social sciences

Degree requirements

Applicant type

Applicant type

Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).

History is a minimum requirements major. You may declare this major after enrolling at the UW and completing the prerequisites. Visit the department website for more information.

Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

Departmental application deadline: Must enroll at the UW before applying to the major.
Please contact the department for details about the application process.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Courses required for the major:

  • 10 credits of History coursework with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50
  • 10 credits of composition/writing courses with a minimum grade of 2.0 for each course


Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 180
Total from Washington community colleges: 35

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 7
3.50 – 3.74: 14
3.25 – 3.49: 5
3.00 – 3.24: 5
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes

See list of all majors