Following the campus guidelines for Coronavirus all UC Davis classes, lectures, seminars, labs and discussion sections will move to virtual instruction and remain virtual through the end of fall quarter 2020, including final exams. Given this, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions. To contact staff members of the department via e-mail or phone, please go to our administrative staff contact page. 

Potential students

First-year and incoming transfer students can tailor their lower division and upper division history coursework to their interests and preferences.

The history degree at UC Davis is very flexible. Students may take lower division courses within fields in Africa/Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America, United States, and World. Students also may take upper division coursework in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, United States and World.

Many students benefit from taking a course load of about 15 units during their first quarter at UC Davis, while adjusting to a new campus, the quarter system and making other adaptations. Students need to average 15 units per quarter in order to complete all requirements within four years, but can easily make up the first quarter deficit later. In planning course loads after the first quarter, students also should consider outside responsibilities and commitments.

For first-year students

The Department of History advises students to begin exploring their interests and preferences by starting to take their lower division history coursework, foreign language and English requirement as soon as possible.

The history major consists of lower division preparatory work: The lower division history coursework is split into seven Concentrations: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, United States, and World. To satisfy the lower division, all History students must satisfy the following: 

  • At least one course in THREE DIFFERENT concentrations (12 units)
  • TWO additional courses in any concentration (8 units)


AP Exams: If you receive a score of 3 or higher on the following AP Exams, you will receive credit towards the following lower division courses: AP US History: 17A and 17B, AP European History: 4B and 4C, AP World History: no class equivalency but yields units.

IB Exams: If you receive a score of 5 or higher on the following IB Exams, you will receive credit towards the following: IB History of Americas: 17A and 17B, IB History of Europe: 4C only, IB History of the Islamic World: HIS 6, IB History of Africa: HIS 15

For transfer students:

It is possible for transfer students entering UC Davis with 84 to 105 quarter units to complete the history major within two years, if all required lower division courses have been completed. (Multiply semester units by 1.5 to convert them to quarter units.) 

Transfer Courses: You will receive lower division credit for courses taken at a California Community College based on the articulation agreement between UC Davis and the individual institution. For a complete list of approved courses, visit: All other transfer courses (including other UC’s, CSU’s, and out of state institutions) must be approved by the History Advising Department.

You may download these sample plans for transfer students: