Skip to main content
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Program Website: ryerson.ca/arts
Administered by: Department of English & Department of History
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.

Students in one of the ten BA programs, and Undeclared Arts, can develop a secondary area of study by opting to pursue a Double Major in English and History.

Through scholarly research and thoughtful analysis of historical documents, literary texts, material culture, audio-visual productions, and other sources, students in the English and History Double Major program explore the complexities of human experience by recognizing the important roles that narrative and language play in shaping the world around them.

Admission Information

Applicants interested in the double major program in English and History must apply for admission to one of the ten major programs (Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology or Sociology), or to Undeclared Arts. Students are not admitted directly to a double major.

The Faculty of Arts accepts applications for transfer to a double major program in the second semester of studies. Approved transfer students commence studies in the double major program in second year.  Further details on the process will be provided by the Faculty of Arts during first semester.

Program Overview/Curriculum Information

Students will examine the complex relationships among cultures and peoples, political and economic systems, ideas and issues, and conflict and change. Combining theoretical, historical, and critical knowledge with opportunities for experiential learning, the Double Major encourages students to engage deeply in the widest possible range of verbal, visual, material, and digital texts, and to showcase their understanding of how to put knowledge into action in meaningful ways.

Students in an English and History double major will:

  • have an integrated understanding of the aesthetic, intellectual, and social foundations of literature and culture, including the diversity of identities and expressions in a range of genres and media;
  • demonstrate cultural literacy through a familiarity with the richness and complexity of their literary and cultural heritage.
  • be able to discuss and demonstrate a coherent understanding of the intellectual and other foundations of historical and modern societies, including the interconnectedness of people, ideas, things, and places;
  • identify key historical issues from a diverse spectrum of regions, cultures, and time periods, and distinguish and evaluate overlapping, and sometimes competing, narratives;
  • apply historical knowledge, drawn from a broad range of sources to help interpret contemporary events and issues, whether local, national, or global in character; and
  • (for those engaging in experiential learning components in heritage management and public history) apply theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the contextualization, interpretation presentation, and preservation of historical artifacts in a professional setting.

Students in the English and History Double Major develop proficiency in critical thinking and an enhanced ability to question, research, argue, understand, and communicate – foundational skills in careers that value problem-solving and communication. Graduate career paths may include education, academic research and teaching, law, library and information science, business, the public service, creative industries, and non-governmental organizations. Some graduates move into more specialized careers in museums and the heritage sector or in publishing and editing. Graduates may also continue their studies at a graduate level.

The curriculum builds on a foundational year of interdisciplinary study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, followed by three years of more specialized study in English and History. Students take a combination of 13 required and elective courses in English and 13 required and elective courses in History, as well as 6 liberal studies courses. Students also take a mandatory English practicum in their second year.

The core goals of the Double Major are to graduate students who:

  • have mastered the ability to critically analyze oral, written, and other forms of texts;
  • will appreciate the complexities in various academic interpretations, and will be able to think critically about the normative assumptions governing both particular interpretations and interpretation in general;
  • are capable of developing probing research questions, conducting effective research, and persuasively communicating the results of their inquiry in a variety of oral and written modes;
  • possess a superior set of “career-ready” research, analytical, and oral and written skills, and know how to apply them to professional situations as well as to graduate study opportunities; and
  • demonstrate discipline-specific knowledge and skills by acting as responsible academic and community citizens, both locally and globally.

Semesters One and Two: The first year is a Common Arts Platform, which is shared with the BA programs in Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, and Sociology. Students gain a broad, interdisciplinary base of knowledge, skills, and methodologies. They begin their exploration of the English discipline with two courses in fictional and non-fictional narratives, and take their first two university-level History courses from a number of choices that explore the subject across a range of themes, time periods, and geographical contexts. Students also acquire skills and knowledge in two foundational courses, Academic Writing and Research, and Critical Thinking, and choose additional electives from a broad range of areas.

Semesters Three through Six: In second year, students take their third foundational Common Arts Platform course, Research Design and Qualitative Methods, alongside a more specialized Advanced Research Methods course in English. Students also take the first of the Department of History’s signature Historian’s Craft (or H-Craft) offerings, Reading, Writing and Using History, as well as Hearing, Seeing and Speaking History. Students also select an English practicum course. In the third year, students take two additional Historian’s Craft courses and a course in Literary and Cultural Theory. Additionally, students select from a wide range of electives in History and English and in liberal studies that broaden their educational endeavours and develop intellectual and professional prowess.

Semesters Seven and Eight: In their final year of study, students satisfy any remaining elective requirements and take the required capstone seminars -- one in English and one in History. Electives may include an independent research paper or an advanced practicum course. These capstone courses are designed to develop depth in the disciplines and sharpen students’ professional competencies.

In order to transfer to the English and History Double Major from any of Criminology, English, Environment and Urban Sustainability, Geographic Analysis, History, Language and Intercultural Relations, Philosophy, Politics and Governance, Psychology, or Sociology, students must:

  1. have a CLEAR Academic Standing at the end of the Winter term of their second semester of studies; and
  2. must have successfully completed ENG 110 and one HIS course numbered between HIS 100 and HIS 399 or one of HIS 461, HIS 462 or HIS 490. It is strongly recommended that students complete, in first year, both ENG 110 and ENG 208 as well as two HIS courses numbered between HIS 100 and HIS 399 or HIS 461, HIS 462 and HIS 490.

HST courses may be substituted for HIS courses with departmental approval.

Students must take two lower level liberal studies courses and four upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

English and History courses, CMN 230 and PHL 214 are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

English and History courses are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program

REQUIRED:

ENG 110 Literatures Across Borders
ENG 208 Introduction to Non-Fiction
SSH 105 Critical Thinking I
SSH 205 Academic Writing and Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: Two courses from Table I (Social Sciences).

REQUIRED GROUP 2: Two courses from the following:

HIS 104 Ten Days That Shook The World
HIS 105 Inventing Popular Culture
HIS 106 Technology, Warfare and Social Change
HIS 107 Colonization, Colonialism and Independence
HIS 238 Canada to 1885: Creating a Nation
HIS 248 American History to 1877
HIS 265 Asia: Foundations and Modern Nations
HIS 275 Ancient Greece and Rome
HIS 277 Mediaeval Europe, 400-1350
HIS 279 Europe, 1715-1870
HIS 338 Canada since 1885: Defining a Nation
HIS 348 American History from 1877
HIS 377 Europe, 1350-1715
HIS 379 Europe, 1870-Present
HIS 461 Cradle of Civilization: Ancient Near East
HIS 462 Introduction to the Islamic World
HIS 490 International Relations from 1945

Any two HST courses numbered between HST 100 and HST 499. In total, a maximum of four liberal studies HST courses may be substituted for HIS courses.

PROFESSIONALLY RELATED: One course from Table I or Table III. Course selection must not include ENG or HIS courses.

PROFESSIONALLY RELATED: One course from Table III.

REQUIRED:

ENG 810 Advanced English Research Methods
HIS 401 Hearing, Seeing and Speaking History
SSH 301 Research Design and Qualitative Methods

REQUIRED: One course from the following:

ENG 302 Practicum: Writing in the Arts
ENG 304 Practicum: Making Digital Work
ENG 306 Practicum: Writing Poetry
ENG 307 Practicum: Writing Fiction
ENG 390 Practicum: Open Topics

REQUIRED GROUP 2: Two courses from the following:

HIS 104 Ten Days That Shook The World
HIS 105 Inventing Popular Culture
HIS 106 Technology, Warfare and Social Change
HIS 107 Colonization, Colonialism and Independence
HIS 238 Canada to 1885: Creating a Nation
HIS 248 American History to 1877
HIS 265 Asia: Foundations and Modern Nations
HIS 275 Ancient Greece and Rome
HIS 277 Mediaeval Europe, 400-1350
HIS 279 Europe, 1715-1870
HIS 338 Canada since 1885: Defining a Nation
HIS 348 American History from 1877
HIS 377 Europe, 1350-1715
HIS 379 Europe, 1870-Present
HIS 461 Cradle of Civilization: Ancient Near East
HIS 462 Introduction to the Islamic World
HIS 490 International Relations from 1945

Any two HST courses numbered between HST 100 and HST 499. In total, a maximum of four liberal studies HST courses may be substituted for HIS courses.

PROFESSIONAL: One English course from Table II (English and History Double Major).

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I, Table III, English Table IV or History Table IV. Course selection must not include courses with an ENG or HIS prefix.

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

REQUIRED:

ENG 400 Literary and Cultural Theory
HIS 505 Locating The Past: Archival Research

REQUIRED GROUP 1: One course from the following:

ENG 421 16C Literature and Culture
ENG 422 17C Literature and Culture
ENG 531 18C Literature and Culture
ENG 632 19C Literature and Culture
ENG 634 Romantic Explorations
ENG 635 Modernism

REQUIRED GROUP 2: One course from the following:

HIS 500 History and New Media
HIS 501 Archaeology and Material Culture
HIS 502 Life Stories: Oral History

PROFESSIONAL: Two English courses from Table II (English and History Double Major).

PROFESSIONAL: Two History courses from Table II (English and History Double Major).

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

REQUIRED:

ENG 910 English Capstone Seminar

REQUIRED GROUP 1: One course from the following:

ENG 421 16C Literature and Culture
ENG 422 17C Literature and Culture
ENG 531 18C Literature and Culture
ENG 632 19C Literature and Culture
ENG 634 Romantic Explorations
ENG 635 Modernism

REQUIRED GROUP 2: One of the following:

HIS 902 Thesis Course
HIS 903 Senior Seminar I: Cross-Field Study
HIS 916 Senior Seminar II: Science, Technology and Medicine
HIS 931 Senior Seminar III: Americas
HIS 956 Senior Seminar IV: Africa
HIS 957 Senior Seminar V: Middle East
HIS 958 Senior Seminar VI: Asia
HIS 976 Senior Seminar VII: Europe
HIS 990 Senior Seminar VIII: International Relations

PROFESSIONAL: Two English courses from Table II (English and History Double Major).

PROFESSIONAL: Three History courses from Table II (English and History Double Major).

LIBERAL STUDIES: Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Eileen Arandiga
Director

Worldwide Short Film Festival

Leslie McGrath
Department Head, Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books

Toronto Public Library

Philip Preville
Contributing Editor

Toronto Life Magazine

Helen Walsh
Founder and President

Diaspora Dialogues Co-publisher Literary Review of Canada

Alana Wilcox
Senior Editorial Director

Coach House Books

TBA. Please visit the Department of History website for updates.