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History of Public Policy and Law Major FAQs

This page contains the answers to frequently asked questions surrounding the History of Public Policy and Law B.A. major. For an in-depth guide to the major requirements and important policies, click HERE.

I’m currently declared in the old History of Public Policy major requirements and want to switch to the new History of Public Policy and Law requirements. What do I do?

In order to switch to the new requirements, you’ll need to fill out a change of major petition. Please email the history undergraduate advisor and state that you would like to switch to the new requirements. They will then go over the requirements with you and answer any questions you may have, then send you the change of major petition via DocuSign. If you’re not sure which major requirements you are following, you can check on your GOLD account. After logging in, click on the yellow “Registration” tab at the top, and look for the “College/Objective/Major” line in the bottom left-hand box. If “HISPP” is listed, you are following the old major requirements. If “HISPL” is listed, you are following the new ones. To view the HISPP major requirements sheet, click HERE. To view the HISPL major requirements sheet, refer to the top of this page. 

*Please note that the History of Public Policy major has been discontinued. Any new students declaring the major from winter 2020 and on will be declaring History of Public Policy and Law. 

Does history of public policy and law have a pre-major?

Nope! The history of public policy and law major does not have a pre-major, so you do not need to complete the lower division courses or earn a certain GPA before declaring. Once you declare the  major, you are fully in the major. 

Can my AP history classes cover some of my major requirements?

Possibly! Unfortunately the AP history tests do not cover any history course requirements, but it’s possible that you may fulfill your lower-division outside concentration requirements with AP tests. 

When are history 5 and 7 offered?

History 5 and 7 are offered once per year in alternating years. So, if history 5 is offered in the 2020-21 school year, history 7 will be offered in 2021-22. Please check the department course listings to see when each course will be offered. You can also visit the UCSB general catalog to view the course descriptions. These classes tend to fill up fast, so highly consider adding them during your first pass time! 

Do I need to take my lower division sequence courses in order?

No! When completing the HIST 2A/B/C, 4A/B/C, or 17A/B/C series for your lower division sequence requirement, the courses can be taken in any order. Please note that these courses are also not always offered in sequential order throughout the year, so refer to our course listings to plan out your schedule.

I’ve taken HIST 4B and 4C, but I haven’t been able to take HIST 4A to complete my series because it hasn’t been offered. What do I do?

The History department does not currently offer HIST 4A. We accept HIST 2A as a substitute, so you can take that course instead.

I’m trying to finish my lower division cognate discipline courses that are outside the history department, but some of the classes I want to take are restricted to majors only. What do I do?

Please contact the department advisor or the instructor of the course you are trying to add with any questions about enrollment. Unfortunately the history department advisor cannot help you with enrolling in courses that are outside of the history department. 

How do I choose my nation, continent, or time period of focus for areas B-1 and B-2?

This is completely up to you! The department recommends experimenting with a few different upper division history courses to see what interests you most. Remember, for your area of emphasis in B-1, you must take 12 upper division units in the same nation, continent, or time period. In area B-2, you must take 12-16 units of upper division history courses in anything outside your area of emphasis in B-1. For more information on this, click the in-depth major explanation linked at the top of the page. If you still have questions or concerns about choosing your area of focus, please reach out to the faculty director of the major. 

How do I get my upper division area B-1, B-2, and C courses to appear in my progress check?

Because History of Public Policy and Law majors have the ability to choose their areas of concentration for the B-1 and B-2 sections of the major, their upper division courses will not automatically appear in their major progress check. Complete this google form detailing where you would like each of your courses to apply to the upper division major so the history advisor can manually update your progress check. Please do not fill out this form until you are enrolled in or have completed your last courses for the major.

Can I just take 12 units of upper division history history courses to fulfill area B-2?

The 12 unit option is only available to you if you complete the 8-unit senior thesis course for area C. If you opt to complete a 4-unit research seminar (R course) instead, then you must take 16 units to complete area B-2. 

What is the History of Public Policy and Law senior thesis course, and how does it work?

History 195IA/IB is a two-quarter 8-unit thesis course that takes place every winter/spring quarter. History of Public Policy and Law majors in their senior year are eligible to participate. Students will write a 50-75 page research paper on a historical topic of their choosing, under the guidance of a history faculty member. Students will also gain experience in writing grant proposals, and have the opportunity to present their research to history department faculty and graduate students at the annual research colloquium. An information session for this course is held every fall quarter, so be on the lookout for an announcement from the history department advisor! You can also find more information on this course HERE

Do I have to complete a senior thesis to finish my major requirements?

No, students have the choice between completing the 8 unit senior thesis, or a 4 unit upper division research seminar to complete their major requirements. For more on this, click the in-depth major explanation linked at the top of the page

Do I get priority registration for history classes because I am a declared history major?

The history department does not major restrict any of their classes, so being a declared major does not necessarily give you priority registration. The one exception to this is History 9, which is restricted to History and History of Public Policy and Law majors only during the first pass time. For more tips and reminders on registration, click HERE.

I want to petition a course from outside of the history department to count towards my major requirements. What do I do?

Please visit our Undergraduate Petitions page for more information on this. 

I need to take an upper division research seminar to finish my major requirements. Can I take it over summer?

No, R courses are not offered over the summer, so they must be completed during the regular school year. 

I’m a double major with history of public policy and law. How many classes can I overlap between my majors?

Students are allowed up to 8 units of upper division courses to overlap between their two majors. Lower division courses have no overlap limits. Students who have a minor are allowed up to 5 units of upper division overlap between their major and minor. 

The major requirements have changed since I declared my major. Do I now have to follow the new requirements?

Nope! You’ll always follow the major requirements from the year you declared the major. Any changes made to the requirements after you declare will not apply to you. If you want to follow the new major requirements, please contact the history undergraduate advisor for help switching.