Starting Out

flag.jpgA history degree provides you with many marketable skills that not only set you apart from others in the job market, but also give you the tools to succeed in many different professions. Pursuing a B.A. or M.A. in History can open doors to exciting new career paths.  Whether embracing the historian's craft or using tools and knowledge gained in the pursuit of your history degree to tackle a different vocation, we are here to help you get started out right!

Famous History Majors

ekaganpublicdomainimage.jpgElena Kagan, Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court pursued her history degree in order to enter the field of law.  After working as a lawyer, law professor, and serving as clerk for Thurgood Marshall at one point, she was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Obama where she took her seat August 7, 2010. She is one of 3 Supreme Court Justices with a degree in history.

Many students choose to work towards a history degree and then go on to fulfilling and rewarding professions.  The long list of famous history majors includes comedians such as Steve Carell, writers and activists such as W.E.B. DuBois, and more recently, Chris Hughes a co-founder of Facebook.

Whether you intend to go into politics, become a writer, work in a start up internet company or teach history to others at any level of public education or higher education, a history degree can help you succeed.  The business of history is a multimillion dollar business from the success of the History Channel to the popularity of many single-authored history books. 


Marketable Skills

Organizational Skills

Students in the history program, both B.A. and M.A. develop impressive organizational skills as they move through the program.  Whether you enter the profession as an historian or you work outside academia, highlight these skills on future resumes or curriculum vitas! Before you complete your coursework, you will:

  • Organize both small and large scale research projects
  • Work independently for several years to complete projects with firm deadlines
  • Manage a large amount of data communicated both in written and visual form
  • Maintain records of data spanning many years into the past
Analytical Skills

Not only will you curate, organize, and manage the sources you collect as you research the past, you must also critically analyze them.  You must read and study these documents and sources carefully.  Therefore, before you leave the program, you will attain valuable analytical skills to highlight as you seek that career upon graduation.  These skills include:

  • Analyzing primary and secondary sources from a variety of areas and a multiplicity of time frames
  • Applying context to written documents, including documents relating to economic, political, social, and cultural issues
  • Making determinations on the validity of sources based on the origin of the source itself, whether or not other peers have evaluated it, and when it was produced
  • Demonstrating an ability to place the subject of a research project in a larger global context
Communication Skills

Finally, upon conducting the research, organizing it, and finally evaluating it, you must now communicate your findings to others.  These communication skills have the ability to set you apart in the global labor market.  Be sure to highlight those skills in well written resumes that touch on ways you can bring to an career an impressive array of skills of abilities.  Be sure to include that you can:

  • Communicate complex information in verbal, written, and visual form
  • Take concepts in one form and transfer that information into another form, i.e. data from a map into a written narrative
  • Complete small to large scale projects and reports, including concisely presenting data in 1-2 pages or elaborating on larger projects of 50 pages or more

B.A. in History Course Requirements

Core Curriculum (42 Credit Hours)

Of the following courses, at least one HIS 2000 level civilization course should be used to satisfy the Language, Philosophy and Culture requirement.  A different HIS 2000 level civilization course can also be used to satisfy the Component Area Option as well. See the 2022-2024 college catalog for expandable boxes with the exact courses that qualify for each of these requirements.

  • 3 credit hours First Year Experience
  • 6 credit hours Communication
  • 3 credit hours Mathematics
  • 6 credit hours Life and Physical Sciences
  • 3 credit hours Language, Philosophy and Culture
  • 3 credit hours Creative Arts
  • 6 credit hours American History
  • 6 credit hours Government-Political Science
  • 3 credit hours Social and Behavioral Science
  • 3 credit hours Component Area Option


History Major Courses (78 Credit Hours)

These refer to courses required for the history degree specifically.  While all students complete the core curriculum, the list below provides details for the requirements for your B.A. in History from U.T.S.A.:

  • 36 credit hours 27 of those hours must be upper division (HIS 3000-4000) of these the following are required:
    • 3 credit hours HIS 3013 Historical Research Methods (Gateway course which requires a C- to pass and is a requirement for a later course)
    • 3 credit hours HIS 4973 Senior Seminar (HIS 3013 is the prerequisite)
  • 6 credit hours of a language other than English
  • 36 credit hours of electives
    • 12 credit hours can be completed in upper division courses in disciplines that support the study of history.  See your advisor for details as you move through the program!

M.A. in History Course Requirements

Admission Requirements

The university has its own requirements for any graduate program. The following courses are required before your apply to the M.A. in History program at U.T.S.A. specifically.  See the Graduate Course Catalog for 2023-2025 for more details. 

  • 18 upper-division courses in a field with significant historical content or demonstration of equivalent experience
  • GPA of 3.2 or better in last 60 credit hours completed in undergraduate work or 3.2 in graduate work
  • Submission of the official application to the program
  • Official transcripts from undergraduate or graduate work completed
  • A 500 word statement describing how the M.A. degree will advance personal and/or professional goals
  • A writing sample under 5,000 words that demonstrates an ability to analyze and use primary or secondary sources in an historical argument
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one should be from a faculty member

Graduate Course Work (30 credit hours)

The following courses are required for graduation with an M.A. in History from U.T.S.A.

  • 3 credit hours HIS 5003 Introduction to History Theories and Methods (required your first semester in the program)
  • 3 credit hours in Historical Practices
  • 6 credit hours in either Sequence I or II (see box below)
  • 18 credit hours of electives, chosen in conjunction with your graduate advisor


Graduate students have two different paths to choose from as they complete their graduate course work.  They are outlined below:

Sequence I - Both courses taken the same year
  • 3 credit hours HIS 6813 Proseminar in History (HIS 5003 is a prerequisite)
  • 3 credit hours HIS 6903 Research Seminar in History
Sequence II - Course enrolled in twice
  • 6 credit hours HIS 6983 Thesis option (Students must be enrolled in HIS 6983 the semester they graduate and the thesis must be completed in accordance to university guidelines.  See your graduate advisor early if pursuing this option)
Click the link below to access the 2023-2024 Graduate Student Handbook