Click the expandable buttons below to find answers to some common questions about being a history major at CPP!

History Program Questions

Go for it! You should speak with the Department Chair, Dr. Daniel Lewis (dklewis@cpp.edu). You can also meet with your academic advisor (see the list of advisors here), who can help you initiate the Change of Major of Option form.

Your advisor (see the list of advisors) or another professor will need to submit a Change of Major or Option form through the Registrar’s Office on your behalf. If you are switching to the Pre-Credential Option, you should also make sure to consult with Dr. Michael Slaughter (manslaughter@cpp.edu) about the requirements of the pre-credential option and the application process for the credential program. (See this page for more information about the pre-credential option).

You will need to meet with the chair, Dr. Daniel Lewis (dklewis@cpp.edu). You should also consult the requirements for the minor.

The CLASS Student Success Center is designed to handle general advising questions (regarding your GE classes, graduation, etc.). Your History department advisor (see the list here) can help you plan your History classes (particularly the core sequence) and help you consider career options.

If you took lower-division GE classes at a community college or another four-year institution, those should transfer without you having to do anything. If you took an upper-division history class at another institution and you would like it to count for credit within the history major, please schedule a meeting with the Department Chair, Dr. Daniel Lewis (dklewis@cpp.edu). Once Dr. Lewis approves the course substitution, you can have Dr. Lewis or your academic advisor initiate the Course Substitution Petition to get the courses to count towards CPP History requirements

Please consult assist.org, the official course transfer and articulation system for California’s public colleges and universities.

You can, but you will need to show proof that you are experiencing especially difficult circumstances that make it impossible for you to continue in the class (e.g. a significant illness or medical issue for you or someone in your family; significant changes to your employment or financial situation that make it impossible for you to continue in the class, etc.). You will then file a petition for Withdrawal for Serious and Compelling Reasons (access the form here, under “Withdrawal Forms”).

Yes! All History majors (incoming first-year students) should plan on taking HST 1100 in their first year (or the first semester of their second year). Community-college transfer students should try, if at all possible, to take HST 1100 their first semester on campus. All history majors should then make sure to complete HST 3300, at the very latest, by the fall semester of their senior year (for transfer students, you should make sure to take HST 3300 in either your second or third semester on campus). It's a good idea to take at least two upper-division history courses BEFORE taking HST 3300 -- that way, you'll have a better sense of what interests you for your senior thesis (which you will begin to develop in HST 3300). You cannot register for senior thesis (HST 4620) if you have not completed HST 3300. You should also plan on taking your upper-division elective courses and your digital history course (HST 4494, 4495, 4496 or 4497) during your junior and senior years.

You should plan on taking senior thesis (HST 4620) during your senior year (ideally, your fourth year on campus, for students who entered CPP as a freshman, and your second year, for transfer students). As a reminder, you can't register for HST 4620 unless you have already completed HST 3300. 

You will need your advisor (or the professor of the course in question) to initiate a General Academic Petition to make sure the course counts correctly. (The professor of the course has to approve it as well, if they are not the person initiating the petition).

Your digital history course is a separate requirement that cannot be counted towards your upper-division requirements.

General Questions

You should probably send your professor a letter asking (politely) if they would be willing to a write letter of recommendation (or serve as a reference)! It’s usually a good idea to remind your professor about the courses you have taken with them (although chances are good your professor will remember, anyway!) You should also describe the nature of what you’re applying for (e.g. grad school, an internship, a job, etc.) Finally, it is a good idea to give your professor plenty of time (at least a month ahead of the deadline if possible).

Please be respectful, and address the professor by their title (e.g. Dr. or Professor). It’s also important, if you’re sending an e-mail, to include an opening salutation in your message (e.g. Dear Professor X or Hi Dr. XX). With e-mail, be mindful that your professors may not respond to you instantly; it’s OK to follow up politely asking if the professor has received your message, but please do not simply re-send your initial e-mail. Finally, when your professor e-mails you or replies to an e-mail, it’s always a good idea to respond with a short e-mail thanking them for getting back to you.


You aren’t required to go to office hours (unless your professor specifically requires that act in their class), but it’s always a great idea to go to office hours, especially if you have questions about course materials or assignments. Even if you don’t have any specific questions,  professors really appreciate students coming to office hours; it demonstrates to faculty that you are engaged in their course, and helps them better facilitate your success at CPP.