History (BA)


The goals of the History Department are: (1) to provide students in all colleges and programs opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the contemporary world through a critical knowledge of the past; and (2) to provide all students with opportunities to cultivate skills of analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and interpreting historical evidence. Thus, the program is designed to play an integral role in the general liberal arts education of University of Detroit Mercy students and to serve the needs of history majors on a variety of career paths. Students who fulfill the requirements for this program will earn a Bachelor of Arts with a major in History.

Students may also want to consider a History minor or a Museum Studies minor.

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    Degree Requirements - Bachelor of Arts with a major in History (120 credits)

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University Core Curriculum, the requirements for the program major and complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.

    History Major (36 credits)

    The major consists of a minimum of 36 hours of approved coursework, with an overall C average in the coursework.

    Required (15 credits):

    • HIS 1500 Introduction to History (3 credits) OR HIS 2640 Comparative Civilizations (3 credits)
    • HIS 2500 United States History to 1877 (3 credits)
    • HIS 2510 United States Since 1877 (3 credits)
    • HIS 2910 Historical Methods (3 credits)
    • HIS 4990 Senior Seminar (3 credits)

    Two of the Following (6 credits):

    • HIS 2000 The Ancient Mediterranean World (3 credits)
    • HIS 2100 Medieval Europe (3 credits)
    • HIS 2200 Early Modern Europe (3 credits)
    • HIS 2300 Europe in the 19th and 20th Century (3 credits)

    Two of the Following (6 credits):

    Electives at the 3000/4000 Level (9 credits)

    Chooses three HIS courses at the 3000 or 4000 levels.

    Areas of Interest

    History majors may plan their degree programs to enhance their area of interest:

    Public History

    Public history may be broadly defined as using the past to serve the present. It is appropriate for History majors who are considering career options other than teaching or law. Such options include archivist, museum curator or administrator, manager of historic properties, editing and publishing, policy analysis, government service, urban and regional planning, intelligence analyst, etc.


    History is an outstanding major for those considering careers in law. The reading, writing and critical thinking skills that history students develop are excellent preparation for the rigors of law school. The major can be supplemented with a Legal Studies Certificate.

    Graduate Study

    For students interested in pursuing graduate studies in history, the emphasis in their undergraduate studies will depend on their specific interests—e.g. modern Europe, recent America. Students should use electives to build a strong cognate in a complementary area: e.g., languages, English, philosophy, economics, religious studies or political science. Those considering an advanced degree in history should consult their advisor for help selecting coursework and applying to graduate schools.


    Another area with growing career opportunities is intelligence. Agencies view an undergraduate major in History as an important area of preparation for careers in intelligence analysis.

    Other Requirements:

    • Exit interview
    • Mini-portfolio

Program Contact Information

Roy E. Finkenbine, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Co-Chair
Department of History
Briggs Building, Room 318
McNichols Campus

Email: finkenre@udmercy.edu
Phone: 313-993-1016
Fax: 313-993-1166

Gregory Sumner, Ph.D., J.D.
Professor and Department Co-Chair
Department of History

Briggs Building, Room 326
McNichols Campus

Email: sumnergd@udmercy.edu
Phone: 313-993-1121
Fax: 313-993-1166