Frequently Asked Questions about the History Education Major:
1. How does my AP history affect my major?
2. What are the criteria for admission to the College of Education?
3. If I hope to teach in a college or university, do I need to take Teacher Education courses?
4. What happens if I am not admitted to the College of Education?
5. As a History Education major, do I have to complete college-level requirements of study a foreign language?
8. What courses will be offered during the summer?
9. What Study Abroad programs does the History Department offer?
10. Is there a History Club?
11. Is there an honor society in this major?
12. When and how do I apply for graduation?
1. How does my AP history affect my major? If you took the AP exam in World History, American History and/or European History and got a grade of 3, 4 or 5, you received 8 credits in the relevant area(s), which means that you got credit for HST 140 and HST 150 (World History), HST 202 and HST 203 (American History) and/or HST 205B and HST 206 (European History). HST 140, HST 150, HST 202 and HST 203 are part of the History Education major, and these credits therefore cover those courses. However, from the standpoint as securing a position as a teacher of history, it is not wise to rely so heavily on AP History so you should take additional upper-level History courses to make your college-level record more substantial. Moreover, if you also received a grade of 4 or 5 on the AP exam in English or Literature, the combination of that grade plus four of your AP credits in History was probably used to give you credit in either IAH 201 or IAH 202. If it was IAH 201, the AP credits for either HST 202 or HST 203 will not appear on your MSU record. If you received credit for HST 140, 150, 202, 203, 205B and/or 206, you will not be able to repeat these courses at MSU because your record will show that you have already taken them. If you received a grade of 2 on the AP exam and therefore received merely a waiver of the relevant courses, you may take the courses at MSU if you wish to do so.
2. What are the criteria for admission to the College of Education? For information about the process of applying to the College of Education, see their web site: http://education.msu.edu/academics/undergraduate/default.asp The History Education major is specifically for secondary school teaching. If you are interested in Elementary Education, please consult the College of Education. Students wishing to be admitted to the College of Education normally apply in the Fall term of their sophomore year. The application is due about the middle of the fall semester. It is a long application, and you must also take a Basic Skills test, so advanced planning is necessary. The College of Education does not consider students whose GPAs are below 2.75, and it does not admit all students with GPAs of 2.75 or above who apply. If you are not admitted in your sophomore year or if you decide late that you would like to teach in elementary or secondary school, you can apply to the College of Education in the Fall term of your junior year. If you are admitted, the College of Education will want you to take TE 302 the following summer in order to bring you back into step with your cohort of TE students. If you are not admitted in your junior year or you decide very late that you would like to teach, you can apply to the College of Education at MSU or to any other university in the state that certifies teachers and do the education part of your training after you graduate from MSU with your degree in History. This is called the “post-baccalaureate” route. Two TE courses are available to students who have not been admitted into the College of Education: TE 150 and TE 250. These courses may be taken in either order. It is wise to try to take both of them before you become a junior if you plan to do your TE courses while you are an undergraduate or before you graduate if you plan to do your TE courses post-baccalaureate.
3. If I hope to teach in a college or university, do I need to take Teacher Education courses? No. Training in teaching is not a formal part of the training of college and university professors. You should follow the History major rather than the History Education major.
4. What happens if I am not admitted to the College of Education? If you are not admitted to the College of Education on your first attempt, you have several options. One is to reapply a year later. The second is to switch to the History major and do your teacher training on the “post-baccalaureate” route. About these two options, see above, question 2. Note that any student who is not admitted to the College of Education cannot complete the History Education major. To remain a History student you will have to switch to the History major, whose requirements are substantially different from the History Education major. Moreover, the History major does not require Teacher Education courses or a minor but does require completion of College of Social Science requirements. The credit loads of these two routes are approximately the same.
5. As a History Education major, do I have to complete college-level requirements? No. This requirement is waived for History Education majors.
6. What is a seminar? A seminar is a course whose enrollment is deliberately kept small, and which is taught in discussion format. Students do common reading and discuss it in class. Each student also does individualized research, and writers a formal paper on it. Students are usually also asked to report to the whole class about their individual work. It is usual in such courses that class participation counts for a good deal of the grade. HST 201 and all the courses numbered 48x are seminar courses, as are all graduate courses in History. These courses are limited in enrollment to twenty to twenty-three students. HST 201 (“Historical Methods and Skills”) should be taken early in the student’s career and is a prerequisite for the 48x courses (“Seminar in…”), which are usually called “400-level studies courses.” It is possible to take any course numbered 48x more than once, provided that, the second time, the course is not being given by the same professor on the same topic. Students may not enroll for more than 12 credits in one HST 48x. With the permission of your adviser and of the professor teaching the course, it is possible for an undergraduate History major to take a graduate course. A graduate course may be used to fulfill the requirement for a 400-level studies course.
7. How do I fulfill the Tier II writing requirement? The senior seminar (HST 48x) fulfills the Tier II writing requirement for History Education majors.
8. What courses will be offered during the summer? History offers quite a few lower-level and upper-level courses online during the Summer including all of the required courses for the History Education major except for HST 201. The list of these courses available in the coming Summer is posted on the History Department’s web site during the course of Fall semester, usually in November. In addition, the Department offers at least one senior seminar on campus each Summer. HST 201 is offered only on campus and is not usually offered during the Summer. Find out more about our summer online course offerings.
9. What Study Abroad programs does the History Department offer? The History Department regularly offers two Study Abroad programs. One in the Summer goes to Great Britain. It includes upper-level English and/or European history courses and sometimes lower-level European history courses or ISS courses. Another, which is offered in the Summer of odd-numbered years, is about “Race Relations in South Africa” and takes place is Johannesburg. The Department of History also participates in several international internship programs. From time to time, additional programs are offered on an ad hoc basis.
10. Is there a History Club? Yes! The History Club is open to all students, whatever their major. Announcements are posted on Professor Tabuteau’s listserv. Learn more here!
11. Is there an honor society in this major? The History honor society is Phi Alpha Theta. There is a chapter in the Department. Membership is by invitation only. You do not need to be a History major to be a member of Phi Alpha Theta, but you must have a certain number of credits in History at Michigan State and you must have a certain GPA in those courses. For further information, consult the Phi Alpha Theta faculty advisor, Professor Jane Vieth.
12. When and how do I apply for graduation? You may apply for graduation either over the web or by going to the Registrar’s office and filling out a paper application. You should apply for graduation by the Friday of the first week of the term in which you expect to graduate, except that, if you expect to graduate at the end of the Summer term, you should apply the preceding Spring term. There is no commencement ceremony at the end of Summer term, so students who are expecting to graduate in August are allowed to “walk” at the May ceremony. They are also allowed to “walk” at the following December’s ceremony, but almost all such students attend the May ceremony instead.