Dear Student or Would-Be Student of History:
Most historians believe that the best introduction to the study of history is to do it -- that is, to read it, write it, and analyze its interpretation by informed experts. We think that history can help to make sense of a complicated world. Whether you join us in that enterprise as a history major or simply as an interested student, we hope to show you that it can be rewarding to you as an individual and useful as a citizen.
Of all undergraduate majors at UCLA, history is probably the most flexible and far-ranging. It is excellent preparation for a wide variety of fields -- law, teaching, business, public service, journalism, and even medicine. Increasingly, the professions and professional schools are looking for applicants who have broad interests and backgrounds, and analytical and verbal skills rather than narrow field specialization.
A study conducted at UC Davis, for example, showed that a bachelor of arts rather than a bachelor of science degree "has a strong positive impact on all Medical College Admission Test scores." Extra courses in the humanities and social sciences raised the MCAT verbal and general information scores and thereby improved the odds of admission. This confirms what we have always believed, and makes us think that history in particular, with its breadth of outlook and coverage, its stress on learning how to read critically and write effectively, will stand you in good stead regardless of what you do.
The present guide is designed to tell you of our requirements, courses, and faculty. The latter keep office hours regularly, and by appointment as well, and will be glad to talk to you about their courses before you enter them. Lists of required books for individual courses are available online (click here). The History Department Counseling Office is located in 6248 Bunche Hall. The department undergraduate counselor is Paul Padilla, (310) 825-3720. The UCLA Undergraduate Admissions Office can provide you with information on applying to UCLA.
Welcome and Good Luck!