College of Letters and Science
Division of Social Sciences
About the Major
History is the study of the past of our own society and how it emerged out of the traditions that produced it. At the same time, self-knowledge for students of history comes not only from self-discovery, but from a comparison of their own tradition and experience with those of others. It is only by studying the history of other civilizations and cultures that we can hope to gain perspective on our own.
The course offerings in history at UCLA are designed to bring about an understanding of the forces that have shaped the many cultures of this country and the world. UCLA has one of the largest, most distinguished, and most diverse history faculties in the country. Its main emphasis is on the many aspects of social history, but intellectual, cultural, and political history are also strongly represented.
6265 Bunche Hall
Choosing Your Course of Study at UCLA
Making the Right Decision
One of the most important decisions you will make in college is your choice of major — the field of study that represents your principal interest and that will likely contribute to your career goals. Some students select their major at the time they fill out the University’s application for admission, although a far greater number are undecided about their major.
Students in the College of Letters and Science do not need to declare their major in their freshman year. In fact, you can be an “undeclared major” until the end of your sophomore year, which is particularly advantageous if you are not certain of your specific academic goals. It is wise to wait and explore the diversity of subject areas offered at UCLA through taking introductory courses in a variety of disciplines. It would not be unusual for you to become enthusiastic about disciplines previously unfamiliar to you. With careful planning, these courses may also apply toward fulfilling your university and college requirements.
To narrow your choice of study, carefully consider the general college requirements, the description of courses offered in the major, and the departmental requirements for completing the program of study. Look at the books required for each course. Sit in on a few classes and talk with professors during their office hours. Discuss interests and plans with a departmental counselor or faculty adviser, a college counselor, or advisers in the UCLA Career Center.
Certain majors, especially in the arts, engineering, the sciences, and theater, film, or television require early declaration. Some have enrollment quotas and allow application by new majors only during a specified term. Students should check with the departmental adviser for the majors that interest them.
In addition, UCLA undergraduate students are limited to between 208 and 216 quarter units, depending on the college or school, to complete the academic program and fulfill all degree requirements. So, if you wait to declare a major, you should not wait too long. In any case, you must declare your major by the beginning of your junior year (90 quarter units).
When you are ready to declare your major, you should obtain a Petition for Change of Major from your college or school office.