History Degree for Transfer


The History Program is designed to confer an Associate in Arts in History degree for Transfer upon successful completion of all requirements. The degree guarantees transfer to a California State University (CSU) as a junior.

See Taft College’s Transfer Center. Our Transfer Admission Guarantees include many other schools. Check with your Counselor to see if this degree can transfer to other four-year schools.

This Program provides students with the academic foundation in history, in the broad sense, and studies all human experience. It examines the people, institutions, ideas, and events from the past to the present. The study of history contributes to cultural literacy and develops critical thinking and other useful skills, while helping students understand the present and plan for the future. This curriculum provides a solid foundation upon which to build a History major at a four-year school.

Historical study provides a solid, fundamental preparation for careers in business, industry, government, and education. It also serves as excellent preparation for law school, anthropology, archaeology, Foreign Service, historical consulting, international relations and diplomacy, library science, and urban affairs, among others.

Earnings Potential

Career options are in a diverse range of fields and typically require a minimum of a four-year degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment in the collective field of anthropologists and archaeologists, geographers, and historians is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2021 to 2031, driven by growth in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry. Anthropologists who work as consultants will be needed to apply their analytical skills and knowledge to problems ranging from economic development to forensics. A growing number of anthropologists also will be needed in specific segments of the Federal Government, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, to assess the regional customs and values–or “cultural terrain”–of a particular society in various parts of the world. Employment growth of archaeologists will be driven by higher levels of overall construction, including large-scale transportation projects and upgrades to the U.S. infrastructure. Historians often enjoy jobs in policy or research; however, historians’ skills can be applied to many different occupations because they typically possess broad training and education in writing, analytical research, and coherent thinking. As a result, those with a history background can find work in niche areas with titles, such as researcher, writer, or policy analyst. They may find increasing opportunities for preserving and restoring historical sites. Furthermore, according to the BLS, the top employing occupations for those with a history degree are lawyers, postsecondary teachers, management analysts, secondary and elementary school teachers, and managers.1

An associate degree in history offers you the salary potential of $26,406 two years after graduation from Taft College, with expected increases to $43,351 at five years, based on five-year studies of graduates by California Community Colleges. These do not reflect salaries with a four-year degree.2

The mean annual wage is $61,910 for anthropologists and archeologists; $64,180 for librarians and media collections specialists; $63,940 for historians; $61,400 for elementary school teachers (except special education); $61,820 for high school teachers; $80,850 for postsecondary teachers; $50,120 for museum curators and archivists; and $127,990 for lawyers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2021. They project job growth from 2021 to 2031 in all of these examples to be at least four percent, with several as much as 22%.3

1 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 8 Sept. 2022. www.bls.gov/ooh. Accessed 19 April 2023.

2 California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Salary Surfer. 2021. https://salarysurfer.cccco.edu. Accessed 19 April 2023.“Occupational Outlook Handbook.” 8 Sept. 2022.

3 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” 8 Sept. 2022.

Program Requirements

To earn an Associate in Arts in History degree for Transfer (AA-T), students must complete: (1) all course requirements with a minimum grade of “C” in each course; and (2) must complete the General Education Breadth pattern for CSUs with an overall GPA of 2.0. There are no local graduation requirements associated with this degree.

Additionally, students shall be deemed eligible for transfer into a CSU when the student meets both the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units that are eligible for transfer to the CSU, including both of the following:
    1. The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University General Education Breadth Requirements.
    2. A minimum of 18 semester units or 27 quarter units in a major or area of emphasis, as determined by the community college district.
  2. Obtainment of a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Program Learning Outcomes

After completing the History for Transfer major, a student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical thought regarding the nature of historical interpretation, the variety of historical sources, and the structure of historical argument and be able to apply that understanding to answering historical questions.
  2. Interpret primary and secondary sources and compose an argument which explains their historical significance in western, non-western, and ancient societies regarding the following: race, class, gender, and ethnicity; technological and scientific developments; political trends; attitudes, conflicts, and events; and social and cultural developments.

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