2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog


California Lutheran University’s History Department offers a challenging curriculum that explores all aspects of history. Lower division courses center on the acquisition of an introductory knowledge of the history of world civilizations and the United States and the core skills a historian needs to succeed in more specialized course work. Upper division courses offer students a variety of specialized classes, seminars and independent studies, which allow more in-depth exploration of specific topics. Faculty-led travel courses allow students to explore histories at the sites of their creation.

In Cal Lutheran’s history courses, the faculty emphasizes the understanding of the diversity of human experience over time and encourages an appreciation of cross-cultural encounters. All history courses help to develop excellent research, writing, analytical and critical thinking skills. Students are also introduced to useful methods and the debates that surround the writing of history.

History majors have the opportunity to participate in interesting internships as well as engage in projects that bring them to archives, libraries and other sources of primary data in Southern California. Students may also participate in student-faculty research projects that aid them in developing their own goals and research abilities. In keeping with Cal Lutheran’s emphasis on the use of information technology, the history faculty encourages students to develop facility with computer technology as an aid to research, data analysis, and explaining history to others.

Cal Lutheran’s history majors are in demand in the public and private sectors because of their training as good writers, effective researchers, and perceptive analysts. The faculty is actively involved in mentoring students in career choices and avenues for professional development. Cal Lutheran’s program prepares students for graduate work in history and other social sciences, as well as careers in law, education, administration, museum studies, and journalism, among others.

38 credit minimum, 22 credits upper division

HIST 101World Civilization to 15004
HIST 102World Civilizations Since 15004
HIST 121United States History to 18774
HIST 122United States History Since 18774
Five upper division history courses and the capstone class22
Total Hours38

 Museum Studies Emphasis

ART 111History of Art4
ART 112History of Art4
ART 280Design3
HIST 343Women in Global History4
BUS 375Principles of Marketing4
or BUS 367 Behavior in Organizations
HIST 492Internship1-4
EDTP 501
GEOL 152Introduction to Environmental Science3
GEOL 152LIntro Environmental Science Lab1
COMM 306Business and Professional Communication4
or BUS 301 Communication for Managers
PSYC 200General Psychology4
Total Hours35


Minor in History

20 credits minimum, 12 credits upper division

HIST 101World Civilization to 15004
or HIST 102 World Civilizations Since 1500
HIST 121United States History to 18774
or HIST 122 United States History Since 1877
One upper division course in each of the following areas:12
Women in Global History
History of Modern China
Colonial Latin America
History of the Islamic World
History of South Asia
History of East Asia
Ancient Greek World
Medieval Europe & Mediterranean World
Modern Europe:1500 to Present
Europe and Empire
War and Conflict in 20th Century Europe
History and Historians
United States
Colonial America
Society and Culture in U.S. History
Civil War: Slavery to Civil Rights
Cold War America
United States Women's History
Total Hours20



Lower Division

HIST 101. World Civilization to 1500. (4).

Designed to give students a framework for further study in humanities, this course is a survey of the major civilizations and developments in world history to 1500, emphasizing the role of world religions, technological innovations and environmental conditions in shaping the world's major cultural traditions. Discussions focus on development of critical thinking and writing skills through examination of primary historical documents.

HIST 102. World Civilizations Since 1500. (4).

Studies the history of an increasingly interdependent world from 1500 to the present, emphasizing the origins and reasons for Western dominance and the impact of and reaction to that dominance in the rest of the world. Discussions focus on development of critical thinking and writing skills through examination of primary historical documents.

HIST 121. United States History to 1877. (4).

A broad study of American history from the first settlements through Reconstruction. Special attention is given to the attempt to create an American culture and society, the creation and development of the political system, the shifting roles of women and minority groups, the sectional crisis and Civil War and the postwar attempt to deal with the place of blacks in American society.

HIST 122. United States History Since 1877. (4).

A broad study of American history from Reconstruction to the present. Special attention is given to the impact of industrialization and urbanization, the changing roles of social classes and minority groups, the experience of the Depression and the persistent attempts at reform, and America's rise to global power, including relations with the Communist world.

HIST 1ST. Selected Topics. (1-4).

HIST 201. Historical Geography. (4).

This course will introduce students to comprehensive spatial global view and with the basic analytical and conceptual skills required to study the historical relationship between human society and geography. This includes the study of how societies throughout history have been shaped by their physical environment and vice-versa. This includes the consideration of geography in relation to culture, religion, resources, social organization, economic activities, etc. Required for History Pedagogy Majors as defined by the State Standards and the History/Social Sciences This course does NOT fulfill the Core 21 History requirement.

HIST 282. Selected Topic. (1-4).

HIST 282C. ST: Select Topic (core). (1-4).

Select Topic approved for core requirement.

HIST 2ST. Selected Topics. (4).

HIST 3ST. Selected Topics. (4).

HIST 4ST. Selected Topics. (1-4).

Upper Division

HIST 301. Ancient Greek World. (4).

A study of classical civilization from the late Bronze Age to Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic world. The class examines the ancient Greek world through art and literature, social, intellectual and philosophical developments, as well as economic, military and cultural dimensions. Students read original sources in translation as well as the works of modern scholars.

HIST 302. Ancient Roman History. (4).

This class explores Roman civilization from its origins to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. It will emphasizes the development of the political and legal institutions, art and architecture, social and cultural change, as well as invention and innovation.

HIST 303. Medieval Europe & Mediterranean World. (4).

Covers the history of Europe and the Mediterranean from the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West through the 15th century. Emphasis is on the intellectual, cultural and economic as well as the military encounters of Europe with Byzantine and Muslim civilizations. Topics also include feudalism, the role of the Christian Church, the rise of towns and cities in Europe, and the legacy of the Middle Ages for our own time. (a/y).

HIST 305. Peoples of Europe. (4).

This course will examine a segment of European history through an examination of one of the peoples of Europe who have exercised a major influence on European history even while they are a "subset" or "minority" of the larger European population. The course alternates through three different peoples, including the Vikings, the Jews, and the Celts. The course seeks to understand how European history has been influenced by a variety of groups; European history is not a monolithic story of a single race or ethnicity but is instead a vibrant quilt made up of a great diversity of peoples, traditions, cultures, and histories.

HIST 311. Modern Europe:1500 to Present. (4).

An examination of the history of modern Europe through the study of some of its most important revolutionary changes. Focuses on the Scientific, English, French, Industrial and Russian revolutions as well as the Enlightenment and building the European Union. (a/y).

HIST 313. Europe and Empire. (4).

This course uses the imperial histories of Spain, England, and France to address how European imperialism helped to structure the modern world, anticipating today's globalization. It explores the impact of imperialism and colonialism on peoples and institutions both in Europe and in the rest of the world. (a/y).

HIST 317. War and Conflict in 20th Century Europe. (4).

Why was the 20th century perhaps the bloodiest in human history? This course explores the origins, practice and outcomes of modern warfare in Europe, including the influence of ideology and philosophy as well as politics and economics. Although detailed attention is given to World War I and II, it treats warfare in its broadest possible manifestation, and examines some of the longer term socio-political, economic and moral consequences of modern wars for Europe and the world. (a/y).

HIST 321. Colonial America. (4).

An exploration of the conflict of cultures during the formative years of the United States from settlement to the Constitution in 1789. Topics include Pre-Columbian Indian cultures, the empire builders of the New World, the environmental impact of the Western Europeans, the development of colonial society and the establishment of the new nation. (a/y).

HIST 324. Society and Culture in U.S. History. (4).

A thematic study of the social evolution of the United States during its first two centuries of development. Significant intellectual and cultural changes are emphasized through the lens of the five pillars of society, family, education, economics, politics, and religion. (a/y).

HIST 326. Civil War: Slavery to Civil Rights. (4).

An examination of sectionalism, Civil War and the Reconstruction with emphasis on primary source interpretation. Topics include racism and slavery, the contrasting natures of Northern and Southern societies, the politics of sectionalism, the causes and goals of the Civil War, and racial relationships and policies from Reconstruction to the modern civil rights movement. (a/y).

HIST 328. Cold War America. (4).

A close examination of modern United States history during the Cold War and after. Class sessions give attention to the political, social, economic and international developments of what has been termed "the Pax Americana." Focus is specifically on the role of presidents and policymaking, particularly the relationship with the Soviet Union. (a/y).

HIST 341. United States Women's History. (4).

An in-depth investigation of the interaction of society, women and the community in American history from 1600 to the present. Special emphasis is placed on the ways gender, ethnicity and class influence the role of women in the community with respect to legal rights, sexuality, attitudes and perceptions. (a/y).

HIST 343. Women in Global History. (4).

A thematic investigation of the "underside of history." The class explores several topics including women and their role in the development of agriculture and technology in the ancient Near East, the roles of women in the empires of Rome, the Moslems and China, the status of women in the Middle Ages in Europe and Japan, and the role of women leaders like Catherine the Great and Queen Victoria. (a/y).

HIST 345. California History. (4).

A study of the history of California through the Indian, Spanish, Mexican and American periods to the present, and through an examination of its basic political, social, economic, educational and cultural traditions and institutions. The class particularly focuses on the relationship of the student to the community. (spring).

HIST 380. History of Modern China. (4).

This course explores the historical transformations that have led to the development of modern China. The course opens with an examination of the Qing dynasty, the last major dynasty in Chinese history, and then explores the forces, internal and external, driving China toward a major revolution in the 20th century.

HIST 382. Colonial Latin America. (4).

Explores the history of colonial Latin America from the prespective of the indigenous peoples, followed by the conflict of cultures with the arrival of Spanish and Portugese empire builders from Europe in 1492.

HIST 384. History of the Islamic World. (4).

This course examines the history of the Islamic world. Major topics may include the birth of Islam, the caliphate, interactions with the European and Asian worlds, the revival of Islam, problems of modernization and development, as well as cultural, military, political and intellectual innovations in the Middle East since the 7th century.

HIST 386. History of South Asia. (4).

An examination of the history, culture and politics of South Asia through the Hindu, Muslim and British periods to the present. The impact of these legacies on the problems of state-building, economic development, social change and foreign policy in contemporary India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal is approached from a comparative and regional perspective. (a/y).

HIST 388. History of East Asia. (4).

An introduction to the history, political thought and institutions of East Asia. Topics may vary in focus from Japan to Vietnam, or Korea. (a/y).

HIST 390. History and Historians. (4).

Using selections from the writings of great historians from the Greeks to the Post-modernists, this course introduces students to a study of the theories of history, the methods of historical research and the development of historical writing. (fall).

HIST 470. Teaching History - Capstone Pedagogy Maj. (2).

This class is dedicated to forging better history teachers for the secondary schools with explorations of pedagogical techniques for teaching American and World history. Includes observation time in the classroom. (spring).

HIST 472. History Capstone Senior Thesis. (2).

A seminar and intensive study of an important historical issue or topic based on research in primary sources and culminating in the production of a significant research paper. Rotating topics. Senior Majors Only. (fall).

HIST 482. Selected Topics. (4).

HIST 482C. ST: Select Topic (core). (1-4).

Select Topic approved for core requirement.

HIST 485. Travel Seminar: Japan's Ancient Capitals. (4).

This course covers the history of Japan's ancient imperial capitals, Nara and Kyoto, the successive centers of Japan's politics and culture from 500-1600, as well as the Tokugawa Shogunate's capital of Edo (now called Tokyo), from 1600-1868. Course topics will emphasize the adoption of Chinese civilization and its adaptation to indigenous culture by considering imperial institutions, Shinto and Buddhism, the role of the capital as the center of civilization and culture, as well as the wane of imperial authority with the rise of samurai power that culminated in the shift of Japan's political and cultural center from Kyoto to Edo. Students will also participate in a 2-week instructor-led travel study of Japan's capitals, thereby enabling students to incorporate observations and experiences in Japan with the subject matter acquired from lectures, readings, and student research. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

HIST 490. Independent Study. (1-4).

HIST 492. Internship. (1-4).

(graded P/NC only).

HIST 496. Directed Research. (1-3).

HIST 497. Departmental Honors Seminar. (2).



Christopher Kimball, Ph.D.

Michaela Crawford Reaves, Ph.D.

Associate professor

David Nelson, Ph.D.

Assistant professor

Sam Claussen, Ph.D.


David Livingstone, Ph.D.