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History: The UDC Edge

You can’t find a better place to study history, particularly American and urban history, then in the heart of the nation’s capital. Students in UDC’s bachelor’s program in history have the opportunity to use the District as their own learning laboratory with multiple opportunities to conduct field work and visit museums and historical building, locations, and archives.

In 2010, the history program launched an oral history project to help preserve the history of communities in the District of Columbia. Students participate in interviews with local residents ranging from civil rights activists to Tuskegee Airmen, as well as their own family members. As part of this project, UDC is also the only institution in the country to offer a course on the history of the District, providing students with the chance to learn more about the nation’s capital and potentially their own neighborhoods.

Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in History

Here in Washington, D.C., we can’t avoid history. It shapes our skyline, borders our streets, and is ingrained on our buildings. Yet, it is one thing to be surrounded by history, and another to understand the role that history has played in shaping who we are as a society today.

At the University of the District of Columbia, we teach you to understand history from a community, national and international perspective—helping you to develop a greater self-awareness in the process. Through close mentorship by faculty, research opportunities, and immersion in the D.C. community, UDC makes history a living, relevant discipline that has value for a wide range of career paths.

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Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC History Program

Students in the bachelor’s program of history at UDC must complete a 120 credit hour plan of study to earn the degree, including 39 credits of history courses. Innovative course areas include:

  • Philosophy of history
  • Qualitative research and oral history methods
  • History of Black America
  • D.C. History
  • Women of the World

The curriculum for the bachelor’s degree in history also includes new courses on public history to help prepare students for career opportunities in this growing, in-demand field.

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC History Program

Students are encouraged and assisted to pursue service-learning and community-based research with community organizations, non-profits, schools and other groups. Students in the history program have interned with organizations such as the African American Civil War Museum, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Frederick Douglass home and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House.

Students can also join the Political Science & History Students Organization (PSHSO). This student group organizes events such as panel discussions and guest speakers on relevant political topics, as well as off-campus trips such as the annual visit to the United Nations in New York City. Students also have the chance to present at national conferences with fellow students and faculty.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC History Program

Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber, assistant professor and program director, has focused her scholarship on disability history. She has researched, documented and interpreted the history of the African-American deaf community. Jowers-Barber received the 2006-2007 College of Arts & Sciences Junior Faculty Award and the National Black Deaf Advocates Community Bridge Builder award.

Dr. Mohamed El-Khawas, professor, has researched and published extensively on topics relating to southern Africa, including two books. He has received the District of Columbia Distinguished Public Service Award, and co-chaired the education community mobilization task force for the 30th Anniversary of the March on Washington in 1993, among other honors.

Career Pathways and Prospects

A history degree from the University of the District of Columbia will prepare you for any career or graduate program requiring skills in research, critical thinking, argumentation and writing. UDC history students typically pursue careers as lawyers, archivists, teachers, politicians, government workers, policy analysts, higher education administrators and journalists, just to name a few. For those who want to make their passion for history into a career, there is no better place to earn a degree than Washington, D.C.

Contact info:

Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber, Program Director
E: sjowers@udc.edu | T: 202.274.5797 | F: 202.274.5589