History students at UM-Dearborn research a wide variety of topics, periods and areas of the world, and practice many modes of historical thinking.

At the end of their studies, history majors are able to frame and investigate questions about the actions, contexts, and meanings of earlier human lives from cultural, economic, political, and social perspectives. Producing original historical research, students locate and interpret primary sources as evidence, place their inquiries in the context of relevant historiography and broader frameworks of interpretation, and integrate varied sources in a coherent argument.

For additional information on studying History, contact:

Professor Ara Sanjian, PhD
History Discipline Representative
136 Fairlane Center North
Tel: 313-583-6531
Email: arasan@umich.edu

  • The History discipline at UM-Dearborn forms the community of scholars who seek to understand humanity in time and who strive to introduce students to historical thinking.  We seek to discover, critically analyze, imagine, and recreate the contexts and meanings of earlier human activities from cultural, economic, political, and social perspectives.  Because of time’s centrality to historical study, historians learn to interpret where humans have been and to imagine where they may be going, as well as to appreciate the ever-changing human world and their own place in it.  The study of the past also provides students a solid set of skills for those wanting to work in government, law, business, to teach, or to succeed in many other areas.  As central to the social sciences as it is to the humanities, history also enriches an individual’s personal life and environment.

    The History Discipline is part of the Social Sciences Department, and also includes the Disciplines of EconomicsPolitical Science, and Urban & Regional Studies. History faculty at UM-Dearborn teach and research many times and places of our human past. 

    Our courses and faculty will introduce new ways of thinking about our ever-changing world, and teach important skills for finding out more about our evolving place in it.  First year students should consider taking a First Year Seminar for History credit in the Fall semester of your first year, to apply for the Honors Program, and in later terms participate in the Women in Learning and Leadership Program (WILL) among other college programs. 

    You may also want to make history your major concentration. UM-Dearborn offers students a History Major or Concentration and a History Minor or Area of Focus, and the details for each follow below. Studying history will also prepares you for graduate study in a variety of fields.

Degree Requirements

For more detailed listings of course requirements please go to the CASL Advising and Records website.

  • Students who want to concentrate in history must take three of the following courses as prerequisites.  Faculty strongly advise students to take these course during their freshman or sophomore years:  HIST 101, Ancient World; HIST 103, Modern World; HIST 106, African Past; HIST 111, American Past I; HIST 112, American Past II.

  • To pursue a concentration (major) in history, students must complete 27 credit hours in history courses numbered 300 or above.  These history courses should be distributed to include: (1) at least six credit hours history of the United States and/or its colonial period; (2) at least nine credit hours of non-U.S. history; (3) HIST 300, The Study of History (a requirement), which must be taken before the end of the student’s junior year; (4) 6 credit hours at the 400/4000 level in a student's junior and senior years.

  • While students are completing their coursework for the history major, they should be compiling an electronic portfolio of their written work, which must be completed by the time of graduation. 

    The portfolio consists of the following components:

    • An archive of at least four significant assignments/papers from upper-division (300 and above) history courses taken at UM-Dearborn
      • including your major paper from HIST 300
      • including at least one paper from a senior-level course (HIST 4XX or HIST 4XXX)
      • including your general comments on the quality of work demonstrated by these assignments
    • A "Capstone Reflection" that highlights assignments that you feel best demonstrates your mastery of EACH of the learning outcomes for History concentrators.

    For instructions on how to create the MPortfolio, click here.

  • To complete a minor or area of focus in History, students must take 12 hours of upper-division credit hours in history.

  • Students concentrating in history should consult with an adviser in history before starting each semester to ensure that they are on the path to completing their concentration as they would like.

Program Learning Goals

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental questions, concepts, and conventions that distinguish the discipline of history.

    • Demonstrate an understanding of causation, historical context, and change over time in societies and institutions.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of diverse groups in the context of time and place.
  • Distinguish and critically engage with primary sources.

    • Demonstrate familiarity with different types of primary sources (written sources, art, material artifacts, interviews, etc.)
    • Demonstrate ability to ask questions (who, when, where, and why?) that are critical in the process of contextualizing and analyzing primary sources.
    • Demonstrate the ability to construct understandings of historical processes based on critical analysis of primary sources.
  • Understand, analyze, and critically evaluate secondary sources.

    • Identify and articulate a secondary source’s argument and assess its evidence.
    • Show familiarity with historiography on various historical topics.
    • Recognize and critique different approaches to historical inquiry.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between historical interpretations. This includes demonstrating an awareness of the implications of different interpretations, and making sophisticated comparisons between interpretations.
  • Employ historical research methodologies and create a historical account from varied sources.

    • Develop a historical question, and locate and interpret primary sources as evidence.
    • Use library and electronic resources to find appropriate sources.
    • Demonstrate familiarity with various methodologies (e.g. archival research, oral history)
    • Place a historical inquiry in the context of relevant historiography and/or broader frameworks of interpretation. Integrate varied sources in a coherent historical argument (thesis).
    • Employ standard citation styles, especially Chicago Style/Turabian Style (footnotes or endnotes).
  • Present historical information and arguments clearly and properly.

    • Communicate complex historical ideas through clear and persuasive writing.
    • Communicate historical information and ideas in effective public presentations.
    • Demonstrate the ability to write for a discipline-specific audience by integrating disciplinary concepts in writing and following conventions of history writing.
    • Communicate original perspectives on the past through the presentation of complex sources and arguments.

Internship, Co-op, and Research Opportunities

Student Clubs & Organizations

History students may also be interested in other clubs and organizations in Social Sciences, throughout CASL, and across campus.

  • At UM-Dearborn, Phi Alpha Theta is open to all students who have a love of history.  Some of the functions we have had in the past include: guest speakers, movie and pizza nights, visits to the Henry Ford Museum and other various museums in the area.  We also welcome working with other student organizations. Join us in the fall for exciting events and interesting conversations about history!

    Phi Alpha Theta (PAT) is a national honors society in History open to both men and women.  Interested students are invited to consider joining UM-D's Alpha Delta Omega chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.   To be eligible, students (whether undergraduate or graduate students) must have completed at least 12 credit hours in history. Undergraduate students must have maintained an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.1 GPA in history their courses.  Graduate students must have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours toward their Master’s Degree in history, completed approximately 30% of the residence requirements for the Master’s Degree, and have maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.5.  After satisfying these requirements, prospective members pay a one-time initiation fee of $40, all of which goes to the national organization.  In return, they will receive a one-year subscription to the Phi Alpha Theta journal The Historian, and a certificate of membership.  Membership in the fraternity is permanent. 

    The Faculty Advisor for the organization is Anna Muller (office in 2192 SSB; email: anmuller@umich.edu; office phone 313-593-6539).

    Recruitment for the Phi Alpha Theta organization typically begins near the start of the Winter term, with initiations taking place in April after a dinner.  If you are interested in learning more about this national organization, you may also want to visit the national Phi Alpha Theta website for more information about it.