Department of History

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131 Holden Hall
Box 41013, Lubbock, TX 79409-1013
T 806.742.3744 | F 806.742.1060


About the Program

This department supervises the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Master of Arts in History
  • Doctor of Philosophy in History

The department also participates in a minor in women's studies; Honors College programs; and Arts and Sciences minors in Asian studies, community and urban studies, environmental studies, ethnic studies, European studies, family life studies, and religion studies.


Undergraduate Program

The broad liberal arts foundation available through a major in history can deepen students' understanding of the complex world in which they live, stimulate intellectual attitudes conducive to effective participation in contemporary society, and cultivate those mental skills required for meaningful employment in many areas of the modern economic system. A history student may consider a career in teaching within colleges, universities, or public schools; in park administration; in regional and local historical society work; in archives and records management; in museum work; in various branches of government work; and in business and industry generally. Many students use their undergraduate history major as a preparation for advanced studies in such areas as law, medicine, and theology.

Bachelor of Arts. Students seeking an undergraduate degree in history will complete 36 hours of history, including the following:

  • HIST 1300 or 2322 and HIST 1301 or 2323
  • 6 hours of U.S. history including 3 hours in a pre-1877 course
  • 24 hours in advanced courses, including 3 hours each of U.S.; European; and African, Asian, or Latin American history
  • Nine hours of the major must be in writing intensive 4000-level courses, including HIST 4398.
  • With prior departmental consent, 3 advanced hours in related disciplines may be counted toward the major.
  • At least 12 of the 30 hours required for a history major must be taken in residence, including 9 upper-division hours.

History Minor. A minor in history consists of 18 hours, including the following:

  • 6 hours must be in U.S. history.
  • 6 hours must be in non-U.S. history.
  • 9 hours, including 3 at the 4000 level, must be in advanced courses.
  • At least 6 of the 18 hours required for a history minor must be taken in residence, including 3 at the 4000 level and 3 in an advanced course.

Military History Minor. A minor in military history consists of 18 hours, including the following:

  • 3 hours of courses from HIST 1300, 1301, 2300, 2301, 2322, 2323.
  • 9 hours of core courses from HIST 3330, 3331, 3332, 3333, 3340, 3348, 3366, 3367, 4302, 4337, 4338, 4343, 4355, 4396.
  • 6 hours of elective courses from HIST 3304, 3308, 3309, 3346, 3350, 3359, 3374, 3396, 3398, 4309, 4310, 4311, 4351, 4353, 4356, 4372, 4379, 4383, 4393
  • 6 hours must be in U.S. history.
  • 6 hours must be in non-U.S. history.
  • At least 3 hours must be taken at the 4000 level.
  • At least 6 of the 18 hours required for a military history minor must be taken in residence, including the 3 at the 4000 level.

Other courses may be substituted with the consent of the Department of History's undergraduate advisor, 145 Holden Hall, 806.742.3744.

All courses numbered above 3000 are advanced courses. All courses above 4000 are writing intensive and require junior standing or consent of the instructor. A student must recieve at least a C in any history course if it is to count toward the major or minor.

Teacher Education. The Department of History cooperates with the College of Education in offering a plan for teacher certification in social studies for grades 7- 12. A student must have a grade of C or better in each course counted toward the secondary-education composite certification.

Students planning to become high school teachers should minor in secondary education. They will be required to take EDSE 4000 for their student teaching experience. The university recently implemented a teacher certification program that includes a full year of student teaching (one semester in the junior year and two semesters in the senior year) for students beginning the teaching program. Students wishing to obtain teacher certification should consult with the department's undergraduate advisor in Holden Hall room 145, and see a College of Education advisor to complete a certification plan.

The minimum requirements for the teaching field in social studies at the secondary level are as follows:

  • HIST 1300, 1301, 2301, 2310, 2322, 2323
  • 3000-level U.S. history
  • 3000-level European history
  • 3000-level Asian, African, or Latin American history
  • 4000-level HIST
  • HIST 4398
  • ECO 2301, 2302
  • GEOG 2300, 1401
  • PSY 1300
  • SOC 1301
  • POLS 1301, 2302
  • 3 hours of upper-level elective in HIST, ECO, GEOG, PSY, SOC, or POLS.


Bachelor of Arts in History: Sample Curriculum


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Graduate Program

Information about departmental admission standards, prerequisites, and other matters dealing with graduate study in history may be acquired by writing the graduate advisor or the chairperson of the department or by consulting the departmental website.

Master's Program

Students can pursue a Master of Arts in History by choosing either the Academic Preparatory Track or the Terminal Master of Arts Track.


A student in this plan must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the Master of Arts degree. A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the Department of History. This includes 12 hours taken at the 5000 level in a geographic area of concentration (U.S., Europe, or World) and 12 hours of electives. Of the electives, 6 hours must be chosen from geographic areas outside of the student's geographic area of concentration. Students also must take a minimum of 6 hours of electives at the 5000 level and may take no more than 6 hours at the 7000 level. Students also must complete HIST 5304 and 6301 during the first semester the courses are offered after the student's admission to the program. HIST 5304 and 6301 also must be taken before completing 6 hours of HIST 6000. Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the graduate advisor and their thesis director.

The 36 hours are distributed as follows:

  • Geographic Area of Concentration, 12
  • Electives, 12
  • HIST 5304 (The Nature of History), 3 (Take during first semester course is offered after admission)
  • HIST 6301 (Research Methods Seminar), 3 (Take during first semester course is offered after completion of HIST 5304)
  • HIST 6000 (Master's Thesis), 6
  • One Language

Foreign Language Requirement – Proficiency in one language other than English is required of all candidates for the Master of Arts degree. "Proficiency" in a language is defined according to the following parameters:

  • Native speaker status.
  • Attainment of a grade of C- or better in a fourth semester undergraduate course (in Texas numeration, the 2302 course).
  • Attainment of a grade of B- or better in the second semester of an accelerated graduate language course (in Texas numeration, the 5342 course).
  • Other coursework equivalent to the above, or
  • Demonstration of an equivalent level of competency through an approved examination (administered by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures when possible, by an approved outside agency, or by a scholar with demonstrable experience in the language in question) or by some other means acceptable to the committee, the department, and the Graduate School.

Thesis – Thesis work is directed by a committee consisting of at least two members of the history graduate faculty. Frequently a third member, who may be a scholar with relevant expertise from the history department, another department, or even from another university, is added if the thesis director, student, and graduate advisor conclude that the nature of the thesis topic warrants it. Students may select any member of the history graduate faculty as the director of their theses. Usually a student, with the approval of the thesis director, chooses the other committee members. A degree plan that includes a listing of committee members must be filed with the graduate advisor by the end of the student's second semester of graduate coursework. The completed thesis should demonstrate the student's competence to research an historical problem, to organize a rather sizable mass of information, and to present the findings on the topic selected in a clear and accurate form.

Thesis Defense – After the thesis has been approved by a committee, students are required to pass an oral defense of the thesis. The committee chairperson must file a written report of the outcome of the defense with the graduate dean and the graduate advisor.

TERMINAL MASTER OF ARTS (Non-Thesis Professional Enrichment)

This plan is designed to assist students for whom a two-year graduate degree would provide career advancement in a chosen or desired field other than that for which a history Ph.D. is required. The focus of the terminal M.A. is on providing a platform for developing critical analytical skills (reading, written, and oral) within an historical framework. The program provides intense study of up to three interrelated geographic, temporal, and /or thematic fields. The terminal M.A. concludes with the presentation of a portfolio. It does not end in the completion of a thesis-length work. For this reason, the terminal M.A. track is not intended for a student whose interests are oriented toward undertaking Ph.D. work in history.

Some of the careers for which obtaining a terminal M.A. in History may be an asset include the following: education (K-12 or community college), library studies, non-governmental agencies, social work, journalism, campaign management, genealogist, archivist/archival administration, public historian, corporate management, community organizer, counseling, public affairs, political activism, and entertainment industry historical consultant.

Course Requirements – A student in this plan must successfully complete at least 36 hours of graduate work to receive the terminal Master of Arts degree. A minimum of 24 hours must be taken in the Department of History and at least 3 hours must be taken at the 6000 level. No more than 6 hours may be taken at the 7000 level. Students must complete HIST 5304 and select at least two and no more than three focused areas (either geographic and/or from the thematic fields list produced by the department). For each focus area, students are required to complete a minimum of 9 hours. The remaining 6 hours toward the degree can be used either to intensify work in an already selected focus area or pursue an appropriate minor in another department. Within this framework, students are strongly advised to plan their programs with the advice and consent of the graduate advisor and their committee chair. The student is to select a committee chair by the second semester of coursework and, in conjunction with the chair, select one department faculty member for each focus area chosen.

The 36 hours are distributed as follows:

  • Focus Area One, 9
  • Focus Area Two, 9
  • Focus Area Three, 9
  • Minor Field or Discretionary Hours, 6
  • HIST 5304, 3

At least 3 hours must be at the 6000 level)

No language is required for the Terminal Master of Arts option.

If students choose three areas of concentration, they will take 9 hours in each. If they choose two, they will divide those hours into a configuration of 12 and 15.

Professional Enrichment Portfolio – At the end of 36 hours, students will be expected to produce a portfolio detailing their scholarly achievements and corresponding professional implications. The portfolio will contain sample representative work from all courses, including a copy of the major writing assignment completed in each course; an updated copy of the CV; and copies of any articles, publications, or other projects completed in conjunction with, or developing out of, the undertaken studies. Finally, students will write an 8- to 10-page intellectual biography explaining the connections between chosen coursework, skills developed, and other aspects taken from the studies that have helped them in a professional capacity. This portfolio will be distributed to the student's portfolio review committee at least one month before the intended graduation date as outlined in the course catalog.

Portfolio Defense – After the Professional Enrichment Portfolio has been approved by the committee, students are required to pass an oral examination emphasizing the general area of their coursework and portfolio. The committee chairperson must file a written report of the outcome of the examination with the graduate dean and the graduate advisor.

Doctoral Program

The Doctor of Philosophy in History requires 60 hours beyond the bachelor's degree and 12 hours of dissertation credit, 30 of which must be taken at Texas Tech University. A minimum of three years of graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree is required for the doctorate. Work completed for the master's degree may be considered as a part of this period if it forms a logical sequence in the entire program. Doctoral students must choose three fields of study for their programs organized according to the requirements mentioned below.

Geographic Major Field (30 hours) – Upon entering the program, all doctoral students must first declare their geographic major field from among the following three fields:

  • North America—Students choosing U.S. history as their major geographic field must take HIST 6311, 6312, and 6313.
  • Europe—Students selecting Europe as their major geographic field must take HIST 5305 and are required to choose, in consultation with and with the approval of their committee, two other 5000-level European history readings courses that satisfy their particular area and era of specialty.
  • World—Students who choose world history as their major geographic field must take 9 hours of differing world history "Studies in" courses, excluding HIST 6307, which is already a general degree requirement. Within their primary geographic field, students also must choose two emphases represented by two different faculty members within that geography. The selection of those emphases is left to the discretion of the students, their advisor, and their committee.

Non-Major Geographic Field (9 hours) – Students must select one non-major geographic field (one of the two geographies not selected for the major field).

One Thematic Field (9 hours) – Students must select one thematic field from the following list (or petition the Graduate Studies Committee for approval of a thematic field not appearing on the list) and complete 9 hours of coursework in that thematic field. Thematic fields must include coursework that examines the particular historical theme across different geographies. Students are required to select for the thematic field a committee member who does not represent either of their geographic fields. Possible thematic fields include the following:

  • State and Nation Building
  • Borderlands
  • Globalization
  • Urbanization
  • Economics and Business
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Religion
  • Science, Medicine, and Technology
  • Environmental
  • Memory and Memorialization
  • Comparative Imperialism
  • Diaspora and Immigration
  • Genocide Studies
  • Propaganda, Rhetoric, and Ideologies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Labor and Working Class Studies
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • War and Diplomacy
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Politics
  • Atlantic World

Other Course Requirements (12 hours):

  • All doctoral students regardless of which primary or secondary fields they choose are required to take HIST 5305.
  • All doctoral students who have not previously taken HIST 5304 are required to take it in the first fall semester of their Ph.D. program.
  • All doctoral students must also take HIST 6301 after the student has earned a grade of B or higher in HIST 5304.
  • In the 60 hours required beyond the B.A. for the Ph.D. degree, all history doctoral students must have taken a total of 6 hours of 6000-level research seminar courses.
  • No more than 15 of the 60 hours of coursework required beyond the B.A. can be taken at the 7000 level.

Foreign Language Requirement – If not satisfied at the Master of Arts level, proficiency in one language other than English is required of all candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree (see "Foreign Language Requirement" under M.A. degree requirements). Proficiency in other languages and/or greater linguistic fluency in a language will be required (or not required) for the Doctor of Philosophy degree as specified by the candidate's exam committee in the candidates formal degree plan. The language proficiencies specified therein will reflect the judgment of the graduate director, the faculty advisor, and the examination committee about the linguistic competencies the candidate will need to successfully complete dissertation research in the proposed area(s) of specialization. "Linguistic fluency" is defined in two alternative ways: (1) either the candidate should be able to demonstrate the ability to conduct an unprepared spontaneous complex conversation with a native speaker for a duration of five minutes or longer, in such a way that he or she can be easily understood; or (2) the candidate shall have completed two upper-division courses (with grades of C- or better) or graduate courses (with grades of B- or better) in the language in question (that is, two advanced courses beyond the 2302 or 5342 sequences or their equivalents).

Dissertation (12 hours minimum) – Dissertations may be written in North American, European, or world history (projects in other areas require the specific approval of the department's Graduate Studies Committee). Once students enroll in dissertation hours, they must continue to enroll in at least 1 hour every semester and summer until graduation.


Course Descriptions

History (HIST)



Alphabetical listing of all TTU faculty and their academic credentials.


Sean P. Cunningham, Ph.D., Interim Chairperson

Professors: Bell, D'Amico, Howe, Iber, McBee
Associate Professors: Adams, Barenberg, Bjerk, Calkins, Cunningham, Forsythe, Hahn, Hart, Hill, Levario, Milam, Mosher, Pelley, Stoll, Swingen, Willet, Wong
Assistant Professors:  Baum, Brittsan, Franklin, Johnson, Keyes, Legacey, Skidmore, Walker

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