US History Certificate

About the Certificate

Students who earn this certificate will finish with a well-rounded knowledge of US History as well as tangible proof of their expertise. The US History Certificate can be applied to further graduate study in history and used as accredidation for employment in museums and other organizations. Many of the credits can be earned online, giving students flexibility and diverse course choices. 

Teachers in the CU Succeed in History Program may also benefit from this certificate. CU Succeed Program in History is a highly successful statewide program in which qualified high school teachers teach college-level history courses to their juniors and seniors. In order to qualify for the program and maintain their accreditation, these high school teachers have to take a certain number of graduate level courses in their field of study. This 12-credit program would allow teachers to earn a tangible certificate on the way to that larger goal.

Learning Outcomes 

Graduate US History Certificate students will:

  • develop a creative, focused, and manageable question for historical research in US History
  • synthesize evidence representing a variety of perspectives
  • explain the challenges of constructing historical narratives using incomplete and contradictory evidence
  • formulate a thesis and conclusion substantiated by primary and secondary source analysis
  • critique alternative conclusions

Graduate US History Certificate students will:

  • identify and analyze the central issues, arguments, and points of view in primary and secondary sources pertaining to US History
  • evaluate authors’ arguments and assess their evidence and conclusions
  • critique their own and others’ assumptions and the contexts in which they develop those assumptions
  • use the concept of historiography, in order to compare and contrast a variety of scholarly texts
  • analyze the ways the histories historians write are products of particular historical contexts

Graduate US History Certificate students will:

  • establish the context, audience, and purpose of their written assignments
  • master the conventions of historical writing, including: clear paper organization (thesis, evidence, conclusion); logical paragraph organization; clear, direct, and engaging language; proper citation methods, using Chicago style
  • compose papers employing narrative, descriptive, and analytical writing to convey their historical knowledge and analytical skills

Graduate US History Certificate students will:

  • determine the types of sources that are relevant to a research question in US History
  • locate and evaluate appropriate materials for historical research, using book catalogs (Skyline, Prospector, WorldCat), article databases (particularly America: History and Life, Historical Abstracts, and JSTOR), and interlibrary loan
  • demonstrate understanding of the ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of published and unpublished materials, including what constitutes plagiarism and how to cite sources


This certificate consists of 12 credits/4 courses in US History. 

HIST 6013: Introduction to the Professional Study of History*

(*In consultation with the Graduate Advisor, a student may be permitted to substitute HIST 6013 with another 6000-level course)

  • At least one 6000-level course in which the student completes a research or historiographical essay relating to US History, and,
  • Any other 6000-level course, or any of the following 5000-level courses: 

5201 Core Themes in U.S. History

5209 Race, Religion, and Belonging

5210 The American Revolution

5212 Civil War and Reconstruction

5216 History of American Popular Culture

5217 Consumer Culture

5220 U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1912

5225 Urban America: Colonial Times to the Present

5226 Capitalism in America

5227 American West

5228 Western Art and Architecture

5229 Colorado Historic Places

5230 Women in the West

5234 Introduction to Public History

5236 Colorado Mining and Railroads

5238 U.S. History Through Fiction

5240 National Parks History 5242 Oral History

5243 Public History Administration

5244 Interpretation of History in Museums: Exhibits and Education

5245 Heritage Tourism

5260 Digital Studies and Strategies

5306 Survey of Feminist Thought

5307 History of Sexuality

5343 Crime, Policing, and Justice in American History 

5491 United States History, 1865-1919

5492 United States History, 1919-1945

5493 United States History, 1945-1973

5494 Red and Blue America: U.S. History, 1973-Present

How to Apply

Candidates for the US History Certificate should send the Graduate Advisor, Ryan D. Crewe, the following materials:

  • Complete undergraduate transcripts (unofficial dicuments will suffice)
  • Resume/CV - Including personal contact information
  • Personal Statement - two pages maximum describing your interest in the certificate 
  • Writing Sample - three pages maximum 

Candidates for the US History Certificate need not have a background in history but should have a healthy interest in the topic. Applying for the certificate is not the same as applying for graduate school at the University of Colorado Denver. Students who are already accepted into the Master of Art in History Program should speak to their advisor about getting their credits to count toward this certificate as well as their masters degree.