Department of History
Old Horticulture
506 E. Circle Dr
Room 256
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Main: 517.355.7500
Fax: 517.353.5599
Email: history [at] msu [dot] edu
Hours: 8:00-5:00 M-F

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Undergraduate Study in History

The Department of History offers many classes on a wide variety of topics in the history of the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America and the world. We offer courses at all levels from broad surveys to specialized seminars. Our courses are open not only to History majors and minors but to the university community as a whole. Most courses have no prerequisites, though a few have restrictions based on students’ class status. We pride ourselves on being an excellent teaching department. All professors, no matter how senior or how prominent in the profession, teach regularly and at all levels from introductory seminars and survey courses to senior seminars. We converse seriously among ourselves about teaching and incorporate the best techniques into our courses. Our very positive student evaluations reflect our concern with teaching. Members of the department are also serious, practicing scholars and their scholarship informs their teaching. The department encourages its majors and minors to acquire scholarly skills and requires them to practice those skills in the introductory seminar (History 201) and the senior seminars (History 48x) that majors and minors must take. Students may also pursue individualized research through independent study courses and study abroad programs. History majors who are in the Honors College are required to complete a thesis as part of the major.

History opens a wide variety of careers to students and gives students the knowledge and skills to succeed in careers ranging from teaching to law, government, business, the non-profit sector and the arts and even to medical school.

The Department offers two undergraduate majors, one in History and one in History Education and a disciplinary minor for Teacher Education students.

The undergraduate major in History Education is designed to be very flexible. Only one course (History 201) is required of all majors. All others are chosen from menus, so that students who wish to concentrate in one geographic region, one period of time, or one type of history may take six or more courses in that concentration. Students who prefer to take a wider variety of subjects are also able to do so. History majors are required to complete a two-year competency in any of the many foreign languages offered at MSU. This requirement can be fulfilled by examination and is waived for students who are native speakers of languages other than English.

The undergraduate major in History Education is specifically for students who wish to become secondary school teachers of History or Social Studies. Such students must be admitted to the College of Education and will need to fulfill the requirements of the Teacher Education program as well as the requirements for the B.A. in History.

The minor in History is available only to students pursuing Teacher Education.


The Director of Undergraduate Studies is Dr. Emily Tabuteau. She advises all History majors except for those in the Honors College. She can be reached by email or at (517) 884-4883. Please contact Dr. Tabuteau if you have questions about the undergraduate program of the Department of History. Dr. Sayuri Shimizu is the adviser to History majors in the Honors College. She can be reached by email or at (517) 432-8222, extension 157. Dr. Tabuteau maintains a listserv for undergraduates interested in history (majors, minors and others) and a listserv for alumni who want to remain connected to the department. Both lists are intended to serve as discussion sites for history-related matters that members of the lists choose to raise. They both receive notices of interesting history-related items and events on and off campus. In addition, the undergraduate listserv receives announcements of university, college and department policies and deadlines; university, college and department positions open to undergraduates; jobs and internships; new and interesting course offerings, office hours and other items of interest to those who have not yet completed their undergraduate degrees. To be added to either list please send an e-mail message (containing your full name and the e-mail address you use) to tabuteau [at] msu [dot] edu.