Honors in History

The application for Honors in History Spring 2024-Winter 2025 is now open. You will need a UW NetID to access the form via Google Suite. Applications require an unofficial transcript, writing sample, statement of purpose, and one letter of recommendation from a faculty member. The deadline to apply for the 2024-2025 Honors in History program will be January 24, 2024. 

Successful applicants to the History Honors program enjoy a unique opportunity to craft their thesis project from the ground up. Spending two quarters engaged in primary-source research under the guidance of a faculty member specializing in their subject area, students will produce a piece of work similar in structure and analysis to the articles professional historians submit for publication.

Success in history Honors is not predetermined by G.P.A. A student who is considering applying to the program should think deeply about the descriptions below and decide whether or not they want to engage in such intense independent research. Students considering honors may have a project outline or several in mind at the time of their application. These topics should be shared as part of their application. The "With Honors in History" on an honors student's diploma is not an end in itself, but rather marks the rigorous process by which a student becomes better prepared for post-graduate work, or employment which requires such a skill set.

Declaring Honors in the History Major

Admission to the History Honors Program is by application only. See above for latest news about application open dates.

In order to apply to the History Honors Program students must meet these prerequisites before winter quarter of their junior year:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA or 3.3
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 in history
  • At least 10 credits of upper division history coursework (300-400 level) completed in residence at the University of Washington

Honors Major Requirements

Students who declared the History major prior to Autumn 2002 have a different set of requirements. Contact History Undergraduate Advising with questions.

To earn a History major and graduate "With Honors in History" you will need a cumulative UW GPA of 3.3, as well as 70 credits of history with a cumulative history GPA of 3.5 and a 2.0 in each history course, broken down as follows:

30 credits of upper division history coursework (300-400 level) completed in residence at the University of Washington. Transfer and AP credit, correspondence courses, and foreign study courses are not classified as "in residence."

5 credits each in four of the following six areas of study:

  • Asian History (all HSTAS courses)
  • European History (all HSTAM and HSTEU courses)
  • Latin American & Caribbean History (all HSTLAC courses)
  • Middle Eastern & African History (all HSTAFM courses)
  • United States &Canadian History (all HSTAA courses)
  • Comparative and Transregional Global History (all HSTCMP courses)

10 credits of approved courses in the Pre-Modern period.

10 credits of approved courses in the Modern period.

5 credits of HSTRY 395: Historical Methods

Instead of HSTRY 388 and HSTRY 494/498, honors students complete a three-quarter sequence: HSTRY 395, Modern Historical Writing, is taken Spring of the student's junior year. This course serves as a rigorous introduction to historiography, "the study of the study of history." HSTRY 395 acquaints students with the numerous ways historians have defined their craft, provides insight on factors which influence historians' perceptions of the past, and introduces students to a broad range of approaches to historical analysis. In HSTRY 395 students learn the skills necessary for HSTRY 491/492: Honors Historical Methods. Students must earn a 3.5 or better in HSTRY 395 in order to continue on to HSTRY 491.

10 credits of HSTRY 491/492: Honors Historical Methods

HSTRY 491 and 492 are taken the Fall and Winter quarters, respectively, of the honors student's senior year. HSTRY 491 and 492 are combined into a working seminar in which students produce a senior thesis to serve as their seminal work. Each student is paired with a faculty member who specializes in her or his particular area of interest. Participants in the seminar act as colleagues, reviewing and critiquing each other's work. Time spent in class generally decreases throughout the course of the sequence, as students become more immersed in their research and consultations with their faculty advisor.

The choice of remaining elective History coursework (to reach a total of 70 credits) is entirely at the student's discretion.

The faculty have determined which of our courses fulfill the above requirements. See the Approved Course list.

Applying to Graduate

Students must complete a Graduation Application no later than the third Friday of the quarter in which they wish to graduate. Failure to adhere to these deadlines will delay your graduation. Graduation applications may be completed up to two quarters in advance; doing so guarantees Graduating Senior Priority (G.S.P.) status for the remaining two quarters.