Beginning this winter quarter, UW Tacoma students now have the option to minor in history. The revised minor is available to students from all different majors — with the exception of those already majoring in history — and allows students to explore various parts of history while complimenting their studies.
The history minor requires 25 credits of coursework, with 10 of those credits for a foundational history core — where students have the option of taking either world history, U.S. history or a combination of the two — and 15 credits of approved upper division (300–400 level) courses listed on the minor’s webpage.
The former public history minor was originally created for students interested in studying history and researching local history projects. The new revised history minor was changed from the public history minor due to its inflexibility of 35 credits rather than 25, and a general decline in interest.
Dr. Julie Nicoletta, history minor coordinator and UWT professor in social and historical studies, first created the original public history minor in response to the lack of majors in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program at the time.
“When I first created the public history minor many years ago, we had no majors in what was then the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program,” Nicoletta said. “… Over time, the faculty created majors in IAS, including a history major. Once that major was up and running, there was a decline in the number of students interested in doing the public history minor.”
Due to the decline in interest, Nicoletta and the other history faculty decided to revise the public history minor and create a new minor that would include a broader range of topics in history that students could study.
“We have many students who take a variety of history courses on our campus who are not history majors,” Nicoletta said. “So, the history faculty decided it made sense to revise the public history minor, making it a more general history minor that students doing other majors (though not the history major) can pursue.”
Students interested in declaring the minor can choose from a variety of courses that best fit their interests. They also have the option of learning about a specific subject or era of history.
“Under the revised History minor, students can choose from a wider range of courses or create their own focus,” Nicoletta said. “For example, Asian history, U.S. history, the history of empires, ethnic history, or public history.”
According to the history minor’s web page, the minor will benefit students who are applying to graduate studies in history, anthropology, art history and library science, or who are interested in careers as curators, preservationists, educators, park rangers, public relations professionals and public policy analysts.
Even though students can no longer minor in public history, they will still be able to study the subject.
“We [will] continue to offer history courses that allow students to work on local history projects,” Nicoletta said. “So Public History is still alive and well on the UW Tacoma campus.”