Frequently Asked Questions

I am new to History. Are there any prerequisites?

Any student may take a 100- or 200-level History course. Only our 300- and 400-level courses have pre-requisites. Plus, students who have been at university for a while are able to take several 300-level courses, many of which only require 45 university-level credits.

What is the difference between a 100-level and a 200-level course?

The main difference is content. Our 100-level courses often cover large periods of time or large geographic areas. Our 200-level courses tend to be a bit narrower in scope. All 100- and 200-level courses, though, are considered introductory so feel free to start wherever you would like!

How often do you offer your courses? Sometimes I cannot find the course I want to take.

Our lower-level classes (100- and 200-level) are offered annually. Some are offered in both the Fall and Winter (such as HIST 101 and 102) while others are only offered in one semester.

Our upper-level classes (300- and 400-level) are on a 2-year rotation. This means the courses are generally offered only once every 2 years. We are working to minimize this for some courses.

What is expected of me in a 100- or 200-level course? What will I learn?

Lower-level classes are focused on introducing you to History as discipline, to the skills you need to be successful, and to historical narratives, themes, and content. At this level, focus is placed on developing students’ skills in:

  • Reading for History, including primary and secondary sources
  • Writing for History, including exams and basic essays writing. This includes:
    • Developing and defining theses and arguments
    • Working with a range of sources
    • Writing with audience in mind
    • Thinking historically
  • Engaging in historical debate and discussion
  • Developing historical consciousness

All lower-level classes, therefore, are geared with History beginners in mind.

What is expected of me in a 300-level course? What will I learn?

At the 300-level, instructors focus on further developing the skills students will have obtained during their earlier university years, whether focused on History or other disciplines. In addition to continuing to develop skills introduced at the 100- and 200-level, 300-level courses see students:

  • Paying greater attention to context, evidence, and perspective when exploring historical documents and debates
  • Working with a larger number of sources
  • Building their understanding of historiography
  • Writing with the discipline in mind
  • Contributing more in class through seminar discussions, presentations, and group work

At the 300-level, then, we expect students to further develop their skill set, take more responsibility for their learning, and show more independence in their studies.

What is expected of me in a 400-level course? What will I learn?

Our 400-level courses are seminar-based. This means that the bulk of class time is spent in discussion. Students taking 400-level courses should be prepared to work at a high level. The 400-level is the place where all skills are meant to come together, with students working to develop their abilities to the highest level possible. Students are expected to take even greater responsibility for their own learning.

I would like to see about having a pre-requisite waived so I can take a course. What should I do?

All requests for pre-requisite waivers need to go to the course instructor. The Department Head and Department Assistant cannot and will not approve such requests for you.

How can I connect with other History students?

There are lots of ways to connect with your fellow students! Consider joining the Association of History Students. Attend departmental events, such as film nights, coffee breaks, etc. Join our group pages on Facebook, both the UFV History Students Past and Present page and the AHS page. Do you have ideas for History student events? Contact the Department Head or Department Assistant.

What can I do with a History Degree?

A lot! As a sole degree, History graduates are recognized in several business and professional communities for their skills and abilities:

  • Research
  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Think and analyze critically
  • Work with multiple sources
  • Account for different perspectives
  • Construct and support an argument
  • Summarize and synthesize a lot of information
  • Place events in context
  • Collect and organize data
  • Show sensitivity to cultural diversity, grounded in a solid understanding of the past

History is also a popular foundational degree which many students use as a springboard into further education. Popular examples include:

  • Teacher Education Programs
  • Graduate Studies
  • Law school
  • Museum and Archival Studies
  • Public History programs
  • Library and Information Systems
  • Business programs
  • TESL

Our graduates end up pursuing a variety of careers. Our alumni are:

  • Teachers
  • Lawyers
  • School administrators
  • Civil servants
  • Information managers
  • Librarians
  • Financial analysts and advisors
  • Curators
  • Archivists
  • Public historians
  • Researchers
  • Business owners
  • Business managers
  • ESL instructors
  • Marketing coordinators and assistants 
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