Majors & Minors



Every student in the Bachelor of Arts program must eventually declare a Major. A Major is the particular subject the student decides to specialize in. Typically, half of the courses you will take in completing your degree will be in you major. Completing a Major demonstrates you have considerable depth and breadth of knowledge in your area. Humanities offers the following Majors:

Bachelor of Arts - Major in History
The study of history at Mount Royal University provides you with a broad base of knowledge in Canadian, European and American history. It also develops an understanding of the methods of historical research and analysis and historical reasoning that distinguish history as a branch of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences.
Mount Royal history students have exciting opportunities for hands-on experience, including:

  • innovative assignments that take you out of the classroom
  • field courses that incorporate travel
  • involvement with faculty research
  • volunteer work with organizations such as Heritage Park

In addition to the intrinsic value of historical study, it is also excellent preparation for graduate studies in history, as well as careers in areas such as teaching, law, archival studies, international affairs, journalism and public administration.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts - Major in History curriculum and courses.

If you're interested in graduate studies or would like to engage in a serious intellectual exercise, you should consider a Bachelor of Arts - History with Honours. It's an opportunity for you to select a topic, engage in systematic study under the supervision of a faculty supervisor and produce a scholarly finished project. Please note, the History Honours Program is not for everyone - you will have greater success if you have strong time-management skills, self-discipline and works well independently.

Important Dates

  • Applications for admissions to the History Honours Program are accepted from March 1 to May 1 of each year. You must complete 20 courses by May 1 to apply.
  • Completed forms must be submitted by May 1 to the Chair of the Humanities Department in EA3147.
  • You will be notified by June 15 if you have been accepted to the program
  • You have until June 30 to notify the History Advisor if you accept the offer to join the History Honours Program

The Honours Program is an in-depth experience with the discipline of History. You will complete a two-course sequence in your last year of study (HIST 5110 and HIST 5120). During these courses, you will define a topic, conduct a literature review, and produce a thesis or project based on original research. The completed thesis will range between 50 and 60 pages of text, not including footnotes and bibliography. Less commonly, you may - with the approval of a sponsoring faculty member - choose to do a project based on your research rather than a traditional thesis. In addition, the general graduation requirements for Honours vary somewhat from the general graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Arts - History. For instance, you must take a minimum of 20 History courses instead of a minimum of 16 History courses. If you are enrolled in the Honours Program, but fail to satisfy all the requirements for an Honours degree (for instance, you do not complete the thesis), but has satisfied all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts - History, you will receive a BA - History degree upon graduation.

Admittance to the Program is competitive, you must have a 3.0 GPA in your last ten courses to apply. History faculty members determine which of the qualified applicants will be admitted into History Honours Program. Once admitted, you must maintain a 3.0 GPA in your major courses, as well as an overall 3.0 GPA

Students may apply to the History Honours Program after completing 20 courses. Your application must include the following items:

  • The Mount Royal University Honours application form obtainable from the History major advisor.
  • The History Honours application form obtainable from the History major advisor.
  • An unofficial transcript of all college/university courses including courses completed at other post-secondary institutions.

Applications are due by May 1 - no exceptions. Application materials must be submitted to the Chair of the Department of Humanities located in EA 3147. You will be notified by June 15 if you have been accepted to the program and you will have until June 30 to notify the Associate Dean of Arts if you accept the offer to join the Honours Program in History.
Potential Supervisors


Are you interested in many time periods in American and U.S. history, as well as numerous areas of historical inquiry (environment, technology, social, agricultural/rural, public history)? Joe Anderson's publications include: studies of post World War II farming in the American Midwest, the American Civil War home front, technology, food production and consumption, and the relationship between universities and the public. Should you work with Joe, you will begin your projects the summer before you enroll in HIST 5110.

You are expected to select your own Honours topic, however, here are some possible areas of study:

  • Changes in land use and farming techniques
  • Extraction, processing, and consumption of natural resources
  • The American Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Depictions of race and gender in popular media
  • Conceptions of health, nutrition, and diet
  • The Cold War and the American home front
  • Historic sites, museums, and historic preservation

David Clemis is a historian of early modern Europe (1500-1800) with particular interests in the social, cultural and political histories of Britain and France. His current research focuses on medical, legal and moralistic perspectives on addiction and intoxication in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. David's other areas of scholarly expertise is in the history of early modern Britain and France are: the history of cities; the history of crime and morality; political history and theory; history of ideas about the self, the body, and personal identity; and history of emotions (the social, cultural and institutional contexts of the expression of emotions and human behavior).

Examples of subjects you might investigate include:

  • The impact of the slave trade on eighteenth-century Bristol
  • The insanity defense in eighteenth-century criminal trials
  • The drinking culture of the British Army, 1650 to 1783
  • The punishment of crime in France, 1760 to 1814
  • The idea of 'childhood' in the Enlightenment
  • 'The Psychology of the Crowd' in eighteenth-century London
  • The justifications of war in the age of the Enlightenment

Shawn England's past research focused on civil-military affairs in Latin America, particularly Mexico during the tumultuous period between the outbreak of the Revolution in 1910 through the creation of the Institutional Revolutionary Party by the 1940s. Currently, he's examining various cultural and political challenges facing Indigenous populations of the Americas (including the United States) during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has taught courses on Latin America in both the colonial and national periods, as well as courses about US history. Shawn would be very pleased to help any Honours student interested in writing about various aspects of Latin American or US history, particularly in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries.

Here are just a few examples of possible thesis topics:

  • US Military Interventions in Latin America
  • Anarchist Movements in the Americas
  • An Analysis of Indigenous Assimilationist Policies in Modern Nation States of the Americas
  • Political Extremism in the United States
  • Far Right Politics in Mexico during the Revolutionary Era
  • Twentieth Century American Moral Panics and Anti-Vice Crusades

Emily Hutchison specializes in the political culture of late medieval Europe, in particular, the political interactions and cultural dynamics of the early fifteenth-century French civil war. One dimension of her doctoral and published work has centred on the use of propaganda during the French civil war, including the integration of political thought with broader, more populist rhetorical themes, and the use of non-textual forms of propaganda and communication. The second dimension has centred on factionalism and identity during this same conflict. The monograph she is working on at present examines the wider patterns of factionalism and violence across the French realm among nobles and non-nobles alike, and the political engagement of the Third Estate (the non-nobles). Finally, her more recent work has focused on the cultural norms shaping acts of violence during war, such as honour and shame, reputation, and vengeance. Her teaching expertise ranges from Ancient Greece and Rome to fifteenth century Europe.

However, Emily is primarily interested in supervising Honours theses relating to medieval Europe, and particularly topics connected to the list below:

  • War and society
  • Medieval communication
  • Violence
  • Social tensions, rebellions and riots
  • Political culture, including political thought and power politics
  • Chivalric culture
  • Gender and sexuality
Scott Murray specializes in the history of modern Europe, with a focus on Britain and Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. He teaches courses on various topics in modern European political and intellectual history, the Industrial Revolution, representations of the Holocaust, and the Historian's Craft. His research interests include 19th-century British political, diplomatic, commercial and intellectual history; European liberal nationalism and internationalism; and genocide and Holocaust studies. Scott is interested in supervising honours theses on appropriate topics in the political, diplomatic and intellectual history of Britain and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Carmen Nielson 's areas of specialization are gender and politics in nineteenth-century Canada. She is able to supervise honours theses on any aspect of gender, sexuality, or body history, social history, visual culture, or political history in Canada in the period 1780-1900.

Kirk Niergarth 's research focuses on the relationship between culture and politics in Canada between 1920 and 1945. Most of his work concentrates on visual culture of the Depression era, but he has also published work on Canadian immigration policy in the early 20th century and on the development of political policing in post-Confederation Canada. He has taught courses focusing on Canada in the Cold War era, Canada in the 1960s, and the history of Canadian workers. He is interested in supervising honours theses on a wide variety of topics in 20th century Canadian history, particularly topics in political, cultural, labour, or intellectual history.

Just a few possible topics:

  • Pulp fiction in Maclean's magazine, 1919-1939
  • Cultural politics and the politics of culture in Western Canada during the 1930s
  • Anti-semitism in Alberta: 1919 -1947
  • Calgary and the On-to-Ottawa Trek, 1935
  • Canadian Intellectuals and the 1930s: The cases of Northrop Frye, Marshall McLuhan, George Grant and Harold Innis
  • 'Thanks to my wife': Academic wives and cultural production in Depression-era Canada
  • Canadian Documentary Film and the Second World War

Specific Graduation Requirements
You must meet the general graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Arts - History with Honours, as indicated in the Mount Royal University calendar. In addition, as a History Honours student, you must meet the specific History course requirements outlined below:

  1. You must take at least four introductory (1000-level) HIST courses, including one 1000-level course each in Canadian, American and European History. If you declared a major in History as of Fall 2011 and onwards, you must take HIST 1100 - Introduction to History and at least three other introductory (1000 level) HIST courses, including one1000-level course each in Canadian, American and European History.
  2. You must take at least 14 HIST courses at the 2000 level or higher. In satisfying this requirement, you must also satisfy the following requirements:
    HIST 2202 - The Historian's Craft
    HIST 5110 - Honours Project I
    HIST 5120 - Honours Project II*

    Minimum six HIST courses at the 4000 level or higher (including HIST 5110 and HIST 5120)

    *You are strongly advised to select a topic for your Honours Project from subject areas in which you've taken a minimum of four courses, at least one at the 4000 level.

    You must take a minimum of 20 HIST courses (not including courses taken in the fulfillment of the General Education requirements).
  3. You may take a maximum of 24 HIST courses (including electives, courses taken in the fulfillment of the General Education requirements, and non-HIST courses** specified as satisfying the requirements of the History program).

    **The following courses can be used to satisfy HIST course requirements: CNST 1131, CNST 2233, HUMN 2219 and HUMN 2221.
  4. You must achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last eight History courses completed in the program.

    If you are enrolled in the Honours Program but fail to satisfy all the requirements for an Honours degree (for instance, maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA in your last eight History courses), but has satisfied all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts - History degree you will receive a BA - History degree upon graduation.


A Minor represents some degree of specialization in a particular subject matter, but lower than that of a Major. Students complete Minors for a number of reasons, including a passion for the subject matter or that it complements their Major. Unlike Majors, students are not required to complete a Minor in order to graduate. Completion of a Minor appears on your graduation transcript, and demonstrates a level of expertise.
Unlike courses used to complete a Major, courses used to complete a Minor may also be used to satisfy General Education requirements - students can double dip!
Minor in Ancient and Medieval Studies Minor in Art History Minor in Canadian Studies
Minor in History Minor in Humanities Minor in Indigenous Studies
Minor in Linguistics Minor in Teaching English as a Second Language Minor in Philosophy
Minor in Religious Studies Minor in Women's & Gender Studies