Every political institution, social value and economic custom is the result of past change and is simultaneously being transformed. To understand our own society and the forces for change propelling it towards an uncertain future, it is therefore necessary to understand something of the past. The department offers courses at most levels in American, Asian, African, Latin American, British, Canadian, Caribbean, East European, Russian, European, colonialism, post-colonialism and trans-nationalism, international relations, women and gender, and medieval history.


Admission Information

  • Apply to the Humanities admission category on the St. George campus
  • Six Grade 12 U or M courses, including English are required
  • Senior high school credits (Grade 12 U or M courses in Ontario) in history, geography and languages are recommended
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits


Honours Bachelor of Arts Program

  • History (specialist, major and minor options)


First-Year Courses

  • HIS100Y1 – History of the Arctic
  • HIS 101Y1 - Histories of Violence
  • HIS 102Y1 - Empires, Encounters and Exchanges:  From the Silk Road to the Present
  • HIS 103Y1 - Statecraft & Strategy: An Introduction to the History of International Relations
  • HIS 106Y1 - Natives, Settlers, and Conquistadors: Colonizing the Americas, 1492-1776
  • HIS 107Y1 - Approaches to East Asian History
  • HIS 109Y1 - The Development of European Civilization, 1350-1945

*Not all courses are offered every year


Advice for First Year

A first-year History course is a prerequisite for enrolment in history specialist and major programs so students should take one during their first year if they are interested in studying history. Note that students are only permitted to count one first-year History course toward their degree. Students intending to specialize in history should also take at least one second-year History course in their first-year.



Training in history develops your analytical and writing skills. It also provides training in locating sources of information, and in using research facilities.

A degree in history can lead to a career in research or teaching, or to employment opportunities in publishing, journalism or the media.

Training in history is also an appropriate preparation for the practice of law, or positions in government service such as archivist or policy analyst.

An undergraduate degree in history is a first step towards numerous rewarding careers but it is also designed to give students a comprehensive view of the world so that they can be informed citizens, can get more out of reading a newspaper and can bring greater intellectual curiosity to hobbies and interests.


Direct Career options include:

Archivist Biographer Historian
Conservator Museum docent
Curator Heritage research assistant
Exhibit designer Information officer
Fundraiser Teacher
Gallery director  



Learn more about the Faculty of Arts & Science by reading our Viewbook


First Year