Department Affiliation: History and Political Science

The student who majors in History examines and analyzes the heritage of the recorded past in an effort to better understand and evaluate events and developments of the present. Emphasis is placed on American, European, and non-Western civilizations.

Other options are offered in the closely-allied area majors offered in Social Science with emphasis in History, Political Science, and Public Administration.

It is possible to have history and American Studies as a double major. See American Studies. Such a combination is highly desirable and very useful, combining as it does with the general major a specialized study of the character and developing trends of American society.

History B.A. Degree

Courses Required

Lower Division:


Western Civilization



World History


Upper Division:

Nine upper division courses including:

HIS 101

Historical Methods and Historiography


Two courses in United States history


Two courses in non-European/non-United States history


Total units in History: 36

History Minor

A minimum of six courses including:

HIS 1A or 1B

Western Civilization



World History


Four upper division History courses, at least one of which is non-European/non-United States history.

To declare a minor in History a student must take at least 5 approved courses from Mount St. Mary's College.

Total units in History: 18

History Courses

HIS 1AB Western Civilization (3,3)

An historical study of the major elements in human heritage designed to introduce the student to the ideas, attitudes, and institutions basic to western civilization. GS-IIIC

HIS 3/103 World History (3)

A global perspective on world history, focusing on the major civilizations and their interaction with the environment GS-IIIC

HIS 4/104 History and Film (3)

An exploration between film and the past that focuses on how film constructs history and how history can be approached through the study of history

HIS 5/5H European Leaders and Ideas in Ferment and Flux (3)

A study of the major people and forces which shaped European culture and institutions from the mid-19th century to the present.

HIS 6/106 American Cultural History (3)

An historical perspective on American cultural practices, values, and patterns of representation, focusing not only on "highbrow" sources such as Emerson's essays, but also on movies, music, cartoons, advertising images, and other forms of expression taken from popular culture. Topics include American humor, gender relations, African-American culture, civil religion, the Emersonian tradition, and the West as symbol and myth. GS-IIIC

HIS 7/107 History of Women in the Middle Ages: Finding a Voice (3)

A survey, from the period of late Roman antiquity through the Christian Middle Ages, of Western perspectives about women written by men as well as "counter-perspectives" written by women themselves. The lives and writings of key women and their contributions to the history of women and modern feminist thought are highlighted, including Hroswitha, Hildegard, Heloise, Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, Margery of Kempe, Christine de Pisane.

HIS 11/111 Native American History (3)

An introduction to the varied historical experiences of the diverse nations native to North America from the pre-colonial period to the present.

HIS 19/119 History of the American West (3)

An examination of myth and reality concerning the American frontier experience. Emphasis is placed on the multicultural nature of the American West and on the role and experience of women in settling it.

HIS 20/120 The Sixties (3)

An examination of the foreign policy, domestic politics, and social and cultural developments of the 1960s. Topics include the Vietnam War; the student, civil rights and anti-war movements; the counterculture, second-wave feminism, and the New Right.

HIS 23/123 American Revolutions (3)

Focuses on periods that constituted major turning points in the history of the United States, including the Revolutionary period and early Republic, the Civil War and its aftermath, FDR's New Deal, and the sixties.

HIS 25 Cultural and Historical Geography (3)

A survey of the basic cultural elements of geography, of their correlation with the physical elements, and of the geographic factors basic to the study of history and the social sciences. GS-IIIC, VI

HIS 45/145 Europe from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, 1300-1789 (3)

Students are invited to probe the intellectual and artistic flowering of the Renaissance as well as its political and economic foundations; further investigation will focus on the intellectual, social, religious and political complexities of the Reformation era as well as its major religious and political personalities. The European search for security and the effort to reconcile the Old Regime with the New Science of the Enlightenment. An examination of the attempts to maintain the political balance and growth of forces leading to the modern world. GS-IIIC

HIS 46/146Europe:The Age of Revolution and Nationalism,1789-1871 (3)

A study of class conflicts, culture and nationalism in the period from the beginning of the French revolution to the unification of Italy and Germany and the Commune of Paris. The intellectual and artistic achievements of figures such as Goya, Beethoven, Stendhal, Darwin, Marx, and Wagner will be treated in relation to the political, social, and cultural trends of this period. GS-IIIC

HIS 47/147 Europe: The Age of Imperialism and Totalitarianism, 1871-1945 (3)

The history of Europe in the German era from the establishment of the Second Reich to the collapse of the Third. A study of society and culture in nations preparing for and conducting total war. The intellectual and artistic achievement of figures such as Nietzsche, Freud, Mann, Nijinsky, Orwell, and Picasso will be treated in relation to the political and intellectual currents of the period. GS-IIIC

HIS 50/150 An Introduction to Asian History (3)

Introduction to the major themes in the social, cultural, religious, and political development of Asia; principally India, China, and Japan. Examines and compares the history of these civilizations from pre-history to the early twentieth century. GS-IIIC

HIS 75 Contemporary America (3)

American life since 1945; national and international problems, the place of the United States in world affairs, and the changing mores of American society. GS-IIIC, IIIG

HIS 93ABCD Studies in Selected Historical Problems/Topics (3,3,3,3)

The course will reflect special areas of research by various faculty members and visiting lecturers. The particular areas of study will be announced in the semester schedules.

HIS 101 Historical Methods and Historiography (3)

An examination of modern research and writing methods emphasizing needed skills in preparing research papers. Evaluation of the most significant historians and historical works. Required for history majors.

HIS 112/112H Economic History of Europe (3)

This course will offer a unified explanation for the growth of Western Europe from A. D. 900 to 1900, with particular emphasis on the evolution of economic institutions. These institutions include property rights and wage labor. (See ECO 112H.) GS-IIIC

HIS 113 History and Civilization of Spain (3)

A study of the social, cultural and political history of Spain with an emphasis on the values and institutions which have created modern society in Spain. ( See SPA 112.)

HIS 114 Ancient Civilizations (3)

A study of the history, society, literature and religion of the peoples of ancient Egypt, Israel and Mesopotamia. The course covers the dawn of civilization up to the coming of Alexander the Great with emphasis on the influence and contributions of the ancient Near East on the development of "Western" civilization.

HIS 115AB History of Political Theory (3,3)

(See POL 117AB.) GS-IIIC

HIS 116 Classical Civilization (3)

The development of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic Ages. The rise of Rome, its rule of the Mediterranean, and its role as transmitter of the Greek heritage. GS-IIIC

HIS 118 The World of Medieval Europe, 500-1300 (3)

An Exploration of the forces, institutions, and people of the late Roman Empire, the emerging Christian Church, and the Germanic tribes which fused together to create the foundations for Western European civilization. GS-IIIC

HIS 124 History of the Middle East (3)

An examination of the development of major Islamic civilizations to the emergence of the contemporary nation states. Emphasis on the origins of the Turkish-Christian and Arab-Jewish conflicts. (3)

HIS 126 Department Seminar (3)

This course is limited to juniors and seniors and provides an in-depth examination into an historical topic. Research and writing skills are emphasized; a major research paper is required. (Same as POL 153.) Prerequisite: His 101.

HIS 130 Colonial Latin American (3)

A survey of Latin America from the period of conquest and colonization through the nineteenth century movements for independence.

HIS 131 History of Religion in North America (3)

An historical survey of the North American religious experience from colonial times to the present. Topics include African-American religion, Puritanism, evangelical revivalism, religion and politics in antebellum reform, Mormonism, Spiritualism, and New Thought, religion's response to urbanization, industrialization, immigration, religion and science, religion and politics from the radicalism of the 1960s to the neoconservative evangelism of the contemporary period, New Age religion, and women and religion. Although the course emphasizes Christianity, it includes brief examinations of the historical experience of Native Americans, Jews, and Muslims.

HIS 132 Civil Liberties (3)

A critical study of the various efforts to suppress the rights of citizens defined by the Constitution from the period of the early Republic to the Patriotic Act.

HIS 133 Political Biography (3)

History approached through the biographies of major political, social, and cultural actors, American and non-American. (See POL 104.)

HIS 151 Advanced Studies in the History of Modern Japan (3)

An examination of the rapid transition of the feudal Japan of the Shogun to the modern technological state. This course will probe the events that brought changes in government, family, religion, education, industry and foreign relations from 1600 to 1952. (See POL 152A.) GS-IIIC

HIS 152 Advanced Studies in the History of Modern China (3)

An emphasis on the development of Modern China through a biographical approach. Personalities such as the Empress Dowager, Sun Yat-Sen, Mao Tse Tung and others will provide insights into the evolution of the Chinese state. (See POL 152B.) GS-IIIC

HIS 154 The History of Modern Mexico (3)

This course on Modern Mexico examines the social, cultural, political and economic forces that have shaped contemporary Mexico.

HIS 162 History and Civilization of Latin America (3)

A survey of pre-Columbian and Latin American social and cultural history, with stress on the values and institutions which have created modern society in the Latin American world. (See SPA 44/144.) GS-VI

HIS 165 History of the Spanish-Speaking Peoples of the United States (3)

A study of the Spanish-speaking peoples in the United States today. The history, contemporary status, and emerging future of the Mexican Americans, with attention to the Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other communities of importance to Southern California. (See SPA 145.)

HIS 171 The United States from Colony to Republic, 1607-1800 (3)

The American Revolution, Confederation, and Union under the Constitution; the social, economic, and cultural development of the United States to 1800. GS-IIIC

HIS 173 The United States in the 19th Century (3)

Social, economic, political development from the early national period through the Gilded Age, with special emphasis on the Civil War, including the underlying causes of the conflict and its consequences for American civilization. GS-IIIC

HIS 175 The U.S. in the 20th Century (3)

United States social, economic, political and cultural development from the Progressive Era to the present, including World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam, the Great Depression, the Cold War, Women's suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement, and the globalization of American culture during "The American Century." GS IIIC

HIS 178 Diplomatic History of the United States (3)

A survey of the factors entering into the formation and the carrying out of American foreign policy, with emphasis on twentieth century developments and post World War II problems. GS-IIIG

HIS 179 Constitutional History of the United States (3)

The evolution of the fundamental characteristics and trends in American constitutional development with emphasis on contemporary problems. Consent of instructor necessary for non-majors and non-minors. (See POL 108.) Prerequisite: Pol 1. GS-IIIC, IIIG.

HIS 180 Current Constitutional History (3)

Emphasis on the Bill of Rights as applied to both federal and state jurisdictions. Also includes examination of both substantive and procedural due process. (See POL 109.) GS-IIIC, IIIG

HIS 181 Modern Presidential History (3)

A study of 20th Century presidents and how their personalities and styles of leadership influenced political trends. A comparative analysis of crises and leaders will be the major emphasis. GS-IIIC

HIS 184 Radicalism and Dissent (3)

A look at American history and society through the eyes of those on the margins, including religious "come-outers," Wobblies, anarchists, sixties radicals and flower children, and contemporary eco-terrorists. GSIII-C

HIS 185A African American History: American Slavery, 1619-1865 (3)

Slavery as an economic and social institution from its introduction to the English colonies in 1619 to its abolition following the Civil War in 1865. GS-IIIC

HIS 185B African American History:Emancipation to the Modern Era (3)

Social, political, economic, and cultural history of African Americans, with emphasis on how African Americans achieved legal and political equality with the American system. African American cultural expression, Black Nationalism, and changing race relations throughout the history of the United States. GS-IIIC

HIS 185C/185CH Race and Racism in American Life and Thought (3)

The evolution and role of race constructs in American social and intellectual history, including law and politics, art and the media, and evolving social mores from Colonial America to the late 20th Century. GS-IIIC

HIS 186/186H Gender in American Life and Thought (3)

The evolution and role of gender constructs in American social and intellectual history including law and politics, art and the media, and evolving social mores from Colonial America to the late 20th Century.

HIS 188 California History (3)

Social, economic, cultural, and institutional development of California through the Spanish, Mexican, and American periods. (See POL 179.) GS-IIIG

HIS 191 Major Issues in the United States Women’s History (3)

A topical study of women's struggle and evolving role in American life throughout American history. Among the areas considered are politics and public life, economics and business, art and culture, family relationships, gender roles and expectations, and the race/gender nexus. GS IIIC

HIS 192ABC Women of Color in the U.S. (3)

This course explores the experiences of women of color in the United States through history, literature, and film. Each semester the course focuses on a single group of women of color. The course may be repeated for credit.

HIS 193ABCD Studies in Selected Historical Problems/Topics (3,3,3,3)

Each course will reflect special areas of research or interest by various faculty members and visiting lecturers. The particular areas of study will be announced in the semester schedules.

HIS 196H Senior Honors Thesis (3)

Open only to students admitted to the Honors Program.

HIS 197ABC Readings in Historical-Literature (1-3)

Individual programs of reading on significant historical topics or fields. Designed to acquaint the student with pertinent books of the past and present. Limited to majors in history.

HIS 198 Internship in Public History (3)

Students serve a supervised internship in a selected museum or public history site.