Bachelor of Arts: History

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here:

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • recognize, demonstrate, and apply general knowledge of the world’s civilizations and peoples as well as their political, economic, social, and cultural histories.
  • relate the events in their particular historic stories to the general history of the topic; and students relate their interpretation to existing historical scholarship.
  • demonstrate the ability to identify and employ primary and/or secondary sources to research a topic.
  • be able to use primary and secondary sources to construct an historical interpretation, demonstrating competency in identifying a problem, posing a hypothesis, proposing a methodology, and offering an interpretation of the evidence.
  • be able to compose and present clear, well-organized, properly documented, and grammatical academic prose.

The Department of History has developed a set of carefully crafted learning objectives. Simply put, history majors are expected to acquire specified levels of knowledge, perspectives and skills through the study of the past. The learning objectives are designed to help students succeed in their undergraduate history major, as independent, creative and self-directed learners. More important, they will help students to be successful in their pursuit of a career and to hold a lifelong appreciation for the humanities and social sciences.

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (choose one of the following):3
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Statistical Reasoning
Precalculus Algebra
Precalculus (5 credit hours)
Any 200-level MATH or STAT course
ACT Math Subscore of 28 or higher; or SAT Math Subscore of 660 or higher
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits30

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences Degree Requirements

Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above; satisfied in major requirements below):0
Total Credits0

Major Requirements

The History major consists of 36 total credit hours, but no credit will be given toward the major for courses in which the grade is below C-.

Two courses, or 6 credit hours, are required in survey courses, including United States History (HISTORY 101 or HISTORY 102), European History (HISTORY 201 or HISTORY 202), or World History (HISTORY 206 or HISTORY 208). Students will select one course, or 3 credit hours, from two of these three categories (United States, European, or World) for a total of two courses, or 6 credit hours. These courses may also fulfill UMKC general education requirements.

At least four courses, or 12 credits, inside the student's interest area. The history department divides all upper division courses into five interest areas: Antiquity and Medieval; Early Modern and Modern Europe; Public History; United States; and World. All majors should select a primary interest area in order to gain an in-depth understanding of their topic. A student can also devise a thematic interest area with approval by an Undergraduate History Advisor.

Students will also take additional courses from other interest areas to enlarge the scope of their historical knowledge. At least three courses, or 9 credits, should be outside of the student's primary interest area, and at least one non-western course, or 3 credits, should be taken covering Africa, Asia, Latin America, and/or indigenous North Americans.

The final two courses, or 6 credits, come from HISTORY 301WI and HISTORY 498WI. These courses cannot be taken in the same semester and are not offered in the summer.

Independent-study courses and Internship classes may also help fulfill History electives. Enrollment in these courses is granted only by the supervising instructor.

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

Two Surveys, selecting one from two different categories:6
Category 1: U.S. History
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Category 2: European History
European History to 1600
European History since 1600
Category 3: World History
World History To 1450
World History since 1450
At least four 300- or 400-level courses inside the student's interest area, chosen in consultation with department advisor (see below). 112
At least three 300- or 400-level courses outside of the student's interest area.9
At least one 300- or 400-level Non-Western course.3
Methods Course:3
Historiography and Method
Capstone Course:3
Senior Capstone
Total Credits36

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives54

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Interest Areas

Interest area electives may be taught on a rotation basis, please see advisor for current availability.

Antiquity and Medieval12
Ancient World in Cinema
Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine
Special Studies in Antiquity and Medieval History
History of Christianity to the Middle Ages
Medieval Civilization I
Medieval Civilization II
Women and Gender in the Middle Ages
History of the British Isles, ca. 500 to 1500
Archeology and Biblical History
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Late Antiquity: The Transformation of the Mediterranean World (200–600 AD)
Early Modern and Modern Europe12
Special Studies in Early and Modern European History
History of Christianity from the Middles Ages to Present
The French Revolution and Napoleon
Tudor England, 1485-1603
History of Britain 1603-1832
Comparative Histories of Modern Germany
Public History12
Studies in Digital Humanities
Special Studies in Public History
Oral History
Museums, Monuments, and American Life: An Introduction to Public History
Archival Internship
Public History Internship
World War One through its Artifacts
Planning For Historic Preservation
American Housing
United States12
Special Studies in United States History
Decade of Dissent: The 1960s
The American Revolution, 1763-1789
The Early American Republic, 1789–1850
America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction
History of Technology
Missouri/Kansas Border Wars
Civil War in Memory and Film
Rise of the City in the U.S.
Kansas City: History of a Regional Metropolis
The American West
History of the Early American South
American Environmental History
Women in Early America
American History Through Film
Black Civil Rights in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Cities, Climate, and the Future 1
From Oil Gushers to Fracking: A History of American Petroleum 1
We Shall All Overcome: Civil Rights Movements in Contemporary America 1
Special Studies in World History
Colonial North America, 1492–1763
Women, Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
Colonial Latin America (From the Encounter to the Early 19th Century)
Modern Latin America
Latin American Crises and Opportunities
The Americas in America 1
UMKC Ireland Study Abroad 1

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).