History Department Courses

The Department of History offers a wide variety of undergraduate courses at all levels, and graduate courses at the 5000, 6000 and 7000 levels. Please note that we do not offer every course listed in University’s full Course Catalog every semester, and with the exception of History 1011, 1012, 1015, 1025, 1800, and 3020, courses are not offered on a predictable basis. In any given semester, course offerings are determined by faculty availability and preference.

If you are looking for syllabi from History Department courses, most are available online: http://syllabus.colorado.edu/. Undergraduate courses are numbered from 1000-4999. Graduate courses are numbered 5000 and above. For information on our Graduate program, go to the Graduate Students tab.

Always check the current Schedule of Courses to find out which courses will be offered in a specific semester. (Note: The link takes you to the Office of the Registrar website where you can search the current Schedule of Courses.) For your convenience, below are .pdf files of our current History Department course schedules. Keep in mind that courses with low enrollments are subject to cancellation, and courses may also be cancelled due to unforeseen staffing issues.

NOTE: Sometimes small restricted-entry sections of our regular courses are offered by programs such as the Residential Academic Programs (RAPs) and HonorsThese sections are open only to students who are enrolled in those programs. These courses can be identified by the three-digit section number which follows the course number. A section number between 700 and 899 indicates that it is a programmatically restricted section. Example: HIST 2222-880 would be a section restricted to students enrolled in the Honors program. HIST 2222-729 would indicate that it is being offered by the Sewall Residential Academic Program, etc. Please do not contact the department requesting that you be registered for one of these restricted sections.


Certain individuals who are not registered students may be able to audit regularly scheduled classes with an audit card. Auditors must get permission from the professor to audit a class prior to purchasing the audit card. For more information, visit Community Auditor Registration or contact the Division of Continuing Education at 303-492-5148.

Colorado residents aged 55 or older, visit CU Boulder Alumni Association for information about the senior auditor program. 

Not all History courses are auditable! Please be aware the History Department only allows auditors in most 1000, 2000 and 4000 level courses. You may not audit HIST 1800, 1830, any of our 3000-level courses, or Graduate level courses. In addition, you must request permission from individual faculty before auditing their courses.

Undergraduate Course Levels in the History Department

History’s Undergraduate courses have a unique numbering system in comparison to most departments on campus.

Lower Division History Courses

1000-level courses are designed as entry-level surveys and are generally open to all students regardless of college or major. (History Majors are restricted in the number of 1000-level courses they may apply to the major.)

2000-level courses are lecture-based and more narrowly focused in topic than the 1000-level surveys. They are open to all students regardless of college or major but are designed primarily for non-majors(History Majors should consult their advisor before registering for one. If you think you may want to major in History but have not declared yet, you should probably not take multiple 2000-level courses before talking to the History advisor.)

Upper Division History Courses

3000-level History courses are restricted to Junior and Senior History Majors(This level restriction is unique to the Department of History.) They are research seminars and the final project will require the writing of a research paper. The department requires that anyone registering for a 3000-level seminar course must have completed WRTG 3020 first, and the two courses cannot be taken simultaneously. History Majors who have not taken the prerequisite course will not be able to register for a seminar. Due to the small class-sizes and high demand, majors usually take only one seminar course in their career. Space in seminar courses is limited and registration is  on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to register as early as you can in the registration period in order to get the section you want. Auditors are not allowed in these courses due to pedagogical concerns.

4000-level History courses are topical lecture-based courses designed primarily for History Majors, though most of them are open to students in any major or college with Sophomore standing or above who meet the course prerequisites. Some 4000-level courses do have further restrictions as to class-standing and major, students should consult the Course Catalog to determine whether additional restrictions may exist for a specific course they are interested in taking.

4020: History 4020 is a unique Comparative Topics course open only to Senior History Majors. The course is taught collaboratively by two or more History faculty and the topic varies from term to term. Check the current Schedule of Courses to determine the current topic. Auditors are not allowed in HIST 4020 for pedagogical reasons.

Graduate Courses

Courses numbered 5000 and above are graduate level courses and you must be enrolled in the History Graduate Program or have permission from the instructor to take one.