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Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Studies at UCSB

The study of history in the undergraduate program at UC Santa Barbara opens the door to new ways of understanding the past and the present. By examining societies in other times and places, students gain an appreciation of the diverse beliefs, institutions, social arrangements, and technologies that have shaped human experience.

Hear from real UCSB students…

Historians seek to understand the forces that drive historical change and the contexts that give such change meaning. History asks students to do much more than just memorize a set of facts. It asks students to solve intellectual puzzles, evaluate conflicting evidence, and assess the merits of different scholarly interpretations of the past. It asks students to think about big questions:

  • How have different cultures and societies made sense of historical change?
  • How have they adapted and changed in the face of dramatic transformations in the environment, belief systems, and political economies?
  • How have they grappled with conflict and crisis?
  • How have the meanings of concepts that might seem natural or timeless—concepts like “the family” or “race” or “gender” or “work” or “citizenship”—actually varied in time and place?

Because every subject has a history, students might find themselves investigating anything from the intimacies of private life and the history of the body to more classic topics such as social movements, revolutions, and wars. History also invites students to reimagine the traditional ways we carve up geographical space by examining not just the histories of nations but also the histories of regions, trade, and cultural exchange. What history teaches is a way of thinking, a way of questioning, and a way of wondering about the world. After all, the past is never really fixed in stone.


UCSB’s History Department features three paths to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.):


UCSB’s History Department features two paths to a minor in the field of History:

What Can an Undergraduate Degree in History Do For You?

  • What History Can Do For You – Take a look at just some of the ways that an undergraduate degree in history can help prepare you for an academic career in the field as well as those outside of it:
  • Careers of UCSB History Majors – See where some alumni of our department have gone.

Also, take a look at this list of careers for History Majors compiled by the American Historical Association.

History Majors’ Club

If you love History, consider joining or taking part in some of the events organized by UCSB’s local chapter of the Greek organization focused on continuing our interest in history outside of the classroom:

More club information and instruction on how to get involved is available at the “Phi Alpha Theta” link above.

Join the History majors e-mail list to keep up with History Department news:
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