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History at Ryerson

You can study History at Ryerson in our innovative History BA program or as a History Major in the interdisciplinary Arts & Contemporary Studies program.

Additionally, you can also study History as part of a double-major with either English or Philosophy.

You can also complete a Minor in History or take a wide variety of History courses to meet your Liberal Studies requirement in another Ryerson program. 

I am privileged to have many faculty mentors within the department and across the university. I have also gained valuable work experience serving in various capacities such as: teaching and research assistantships, an internship, serving as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Law Practice Program, and even as a guest lecturer.

Rabiah Choksi, History Major

Ways to study

Ryerson’s BA in History degree is a four-year program. It is comparable to a ‘Specialist’ degree in History at other Ontario universities. Students take 40 one-semester courses:

  • 20 History courses
  • 3 first-year Faculty of Arts ‘Common Platform’ skills development courses
  • 6 Liberal Studies courses
  • 11 electives

History students can also take a Minor in another subject within this 40-course matrix.

In your first year of study, you will take foundational History courses alongside courses in the Bachelor of Arts ‘Common Platform’ with students from other Ryerson programs such as Politics and Governance, Geographic Analysis, and Philosophy.

In your second year, you will begin taking specially designed classes in the ‘Historian’s Craft’ (‘H-Craft’). These classes introduce you to the ways history has been used – and abused – in the service of ideology, politics, and governance by historical actors such as nation states, empires, political leaders, reformers, and corporations. You will also learn how to analyze non-written historical sources such as oral traditions, performance, and sound studies, as well as contemporary methods of making and maintaining cultural memory through forms such as storytelling, performance, and visual arts.

In the third and fourth years of your degree, you will take your research, analytical, and communications skills to a higher level through advanced History courses, senior seminars, and more specialized ‘H-Craft’ courses. These courses include archaeology and material culture, the history of the internet, and the impact of new technologies and digital media on historical research. You may also choose a thesis option to deepen your understanding of a topic that particularly interests you, or undertake a work placement to gain experience of a potential career path.

BA History students can develop a secondary area of study by opting to pursue a Double Major with either Criminology, English, Philosophy, Polictics and Governance and Criminology. The Double Major consists of 13 required and elective History courses, plus an additional 13 required and elective courses in the second subject major. Students can transfer into one of the double majors options as of second year. 

Please contact the Program Administrator for more information.

Students can take a History Option (12 credits) within Ryerson’s interdisciplinary Arts and Contemporary Studies (ACS) degree program.

Students in the Faculty of Arts ‘Common Platform’ can transfer between Arts programs at the end of their first year.

The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education offers a wide range of History courses for part-time and full-time students.

Note: Part-time students may take History courses for credit in other university programs; however, the History BA program is open only to full-time students.