Frequently Asked Questions for Students and Advisors.

Please note that the following information is not intended to prescribe which courses you should take to fulfill degree requirements. That information is provided in the catalogue, advising guides, and DegreeRunner and those decisions are best made in conjunction with your academic advisor. Rather this document is intended to guide those who have choices within the discipline decide what to take and dispel some common misconceptions.

Question: I have never taken a History class before. Should I take 101 since it is the lowest number in the sequence?

Answer: Not necessarily. It is a great course. But the fact that it has the lowest number doesn’t mean that it is easier than the others or that it represents a starting point. You could start with any class in the survey series (101, 102, 103, 201, 202, 203,) and have an equal chance of success.


Question: Do I need to take the classes in sequence?

Answer: No. They may be taken in any order.


Question: Are the classes with higher numbers more difficult than those with lower numbers?

Answer: No.   For our survey courses, the 100 and 200 designation is simply a way to distinguish between the Western Civilization and U.S. History sequences. HST 101, 102, 103, 201, 202, and 203 all have similar expectations and comparable outcomes.


Question: Are there prerequisites for History courses?

Answer: No. However, college-level reading and writing skills are necessary in order to succeed. Help is available from the instructor, the writing center as well as student tutors. Still, serious deficits in reading and writing should be addressed before attempting a History course. We want to give you the best chance possible to succeed.


Question: I have never taken a History class before. I feel like other people will know more than I do. Will I be at a disadvantage in one of these classes?

Answer: You are here to learn and we are here to help. Like in any discipline, having some background in the material is preferable. However, we recognize that not everyone has had significant exposure to the discipline. We make our classes accessible to students with a broad range of backgrounds. A lack of previous history classes is unfortunate. History is fun! However, students who are committed to learning will find that our instructors are committed to helping them succeed regardless of previous coursework. Everyone is welcome in our classes.


Question: Are the regional History classes (157, 158, 159,) more difficult than the survey series? Do I need to be a History major to succeed in these courses?

Answer: No, they are not intended to be more difficult. However, they are set up to intensively study one region of the world. If you were looking for broad exposure to a period in History, a survey class would be a better choice. The regional classes are great choices for both History majors and those who want a deeper understanding of a particular region.