Planning Your History Degree at McGill

Students at McGill have the option of graduating with a Minor, Major, Honours, or Joint-Honours programme in History. Course offerings vary per year, but throughout your degree, every class will most likely be offered at least once, with many classes rotating every three years.

As of Fall 2020, a Minor consists of 18 credits; a Major consists of 36 credits (including at least 6 at the 400- or 500-level); an Honours Major consists of 54 credits (including HIST 399, at least 6 credits at the 400- or 500- level, and additionally a 6-credit Honours seminar or tutorial); and Joint Honours Major consists of 36 credits (including HIST 399, at least 3 credits at the 400- or 500-level, and additionally a 6-credit Honours seminar or tutorial).

Though Honours seminars are intended for Honours and graduate students, select professors exceptionally allow non-Honours history majors to take their seminars−we recommend contacting instructors directly to receive approval. Non-Honours students may also consider taking “HIST 498: Independent Research” should one wish to gain further research experience−this requires the approval of both a supervisor and the History Undergraduate Program Director. Approval forms can be downloaded here.

Official degree planning forms are located below, and we encourage you to check out the official McGill websites for the most up to date information about each programme and the courses being offered. You can access information about the undergraduate history programme and information about the Department of History at McGill at: 


Degree Planning Sheets

Degree Planning Worksheet− History Minor

Degree Planning Worksheet− History Major 

Degree Planning Worksheet− Honours History Major 

Degree Planning Worksheet−Joint Honours History Major 


Writing Resources 

While History papers can vary immensely in terms of objectives and content, there are several professor-approved general guidelines which can improve your overall writing and grades.

Below you’ll find both online and physical resources hand-picked by the Department which address both style and structure, aiding you in crafting a masterpiece every time you write. 

Revising Prose (reserve your copy at the McGill Library here) – Richard Lanham
Steering the Craft – Ursula Le Guin

Online Resources:

The McGill Writing Centre offers a number of resources which may benefit students:

Max Sebald’s Writing Tips

Routes of Writing

Guide for writing a history paper (PDF)