Bachelor of Arts in Historical Studies

To understand current national and global issues, we often turn to historians for perspective. Historians provide a framework for understanding today’s challenges and caution us against mistakes of prior civilizations.

“History is philosophy teaching by examples.” – Thucydides

Careers in Historical Studies

Historical Studies

The combination of creativity, collaborative communication and critical thinkingskills fostered by the School of Arts and Humanities (A&H) makes this degree applicable to a variety of occupations. Aside from the mainstream career paths of teaching or working in archival and museum settings, students with a historical studies degree may find employment in government, nonprofit or business organizations. Many history majors successfully complete law school, thanks to the solid writing and critical thinking foundation they receive in their undergraduate studies. Students may also be certified to teach high school history through the UT Dallas Teacher Development Center. The University’s Career Center is an important resource for students pursuing postgraduate employment. Licensed counselors are available to provide strategies for mastering job interviews, writing professional cover letters and resumes and connecting with campus recruiters, among other services.

High School Preparation

To successfully obtain a bachelor’s degree in historical studies, students should be proficient at reading and synthesizing information rapidly, and be able to construct well-formulated research papers and projects. Potential high school preparation includes four years of English and social science, including geography, government and history, two to three years of foreign language and one year of fine arts courses, among other subjects.

Historical Studies at UT Dallas

Students must successfully complete 120 hours to graduate, with 42 hours from the University’s core curriculum and 45 in the major. Students are encouraged to focus their work in historical studies on a particular time or place, a significant theme, topic or problem or an approach to learning such as literature, the arts, ideas, science and technology or the social sciences. They may choose from courses designed around historical themes, issues and ideas in American, European, Latin American, African and Asian studies. Students may additionally choose to pursue a concentration in philosophy as a part of the Historical Studies major.

About the School of Arts and Humanities

The School of Arts and Humanities prepares students for the changes they will face in a media-rich 21st century. By connecting the visual and performing arts with the humanities (philosophy, literature, history), students learn how to think creatively as well as critically. Faculty members, many of whom are internationally recognized scholars and performers, provide quality instruction on topics ranging from the history of the Holocaust to the world of Harry Potter.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts: Historical studies*, Latin American studies*, literature*, philosophy, visual and performing arts*

Master of Arts: Art history, history, history of ideas, humanities, Latin American studies, literature, visual and performing arts

Doctor of Philosophy History of ideas, humanities, literature, visual and performing arts

Minors Offered

If your academic focus leads you elsewhere at UT Dallas, but you would still like to pursue studies in the School of Arts and Humanities, the following minors are available:

  • Art history
  • Asian studies
  • Communication
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Film Studies
  • History
  • Latin American studies
  • Literature
  • Medical and scientific humanities
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Philosophy
  • Spanish
  • Theatre
  • Visual arts

Honors Thesis and Fast Track

The School of Arts and Humanities honors thesis offers the opportunity for advanced creative and scholarly work and recognition. To earn A&H honors, students must graduate with:

  • A minimum of 30 graded, upper-division semester credit hours at UT Dallas.
  • At least 12 hours of upper-division courses in the student’s major with a GPA of 3.80 in those courses.
  • The completion of an honors thesis or project evaluated by two faculty members with a grade of at least B+.

*Exceptionally well-qualified Arts and Humanities undergraduates who meet the requirements for admission to graduate school should consider the Fast Track program, which allows them to begin work on an A&H master’s degree before graduation. Qualified seniors may take up to 12 credit hours of approved A&H graduate courses during their senior year, which will apply to their undergraduate degree plans. For more information regarding Fast Track, visit utdallas.edu/ah/fasttrack.

Additional Facts

Several faculty members have been awarded prestigious fellowships, including those from the Guggenheim, Fulbright, Alexander S. Onassis and Woodrow Wilson foundations. Others are recipients of the Füst Literary Award, as well as awards from the National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The school’s centers further enhance students’ educational experience by bringing the concept of globalism to campus, by bringing world events into focus through research and by encouraging innovation and creativity.