Knowledge, memory, explanation, and illumination

History is our collective memory. History shapes our identity, informing who we are as individuals, communities and nations. In our modern complex and diverse world, the study of history has never been more relevant. Understanding the origins and developments of institutions and ideas, tensions and conflicts, societies and civilizations improves our social awareness and provides insight into the perspectives of others, allowing us to make informed decisions about future courses of action.

Studying history provides students with a tool box of transferable skills that will serve them well in today’s evolving job market. History students are trained to be excellent researchers, tracking down information and communicating their analysis with clarity and confidence. A History degree at UPEI will hone students’ abilities to weigh and assess evidence and expert opinion, to evaluate causes and consequences, and provide them with a foundation from which to develop practical solutions to contemporary problems. Our History graduates are pursuing successful careers in heritage and conservation, law, journalism, education, medicine, social services, policy analysis, business, communications, and digital information management.

History professors at UPEI are award-winning educators and researchers with a wide variety of historical interests. Our course offerings include studies ranging from the local history of PEI to the history of global exploration; from Antiquity and the Middle Ages to the present; and themes encompassing the impact of wars and revolutions on past societies, the history of science and medicine, and the history of gender relations. Our Public History course provides students with an opportunity to gain valuable internship experience in government, heritage and cultural workplaces.

UPEI History professors work closely with individual students, mentoring them to help them achieve their goals. The History Student Society thrives at UPEI, providing history students with a supportive, socially active university community.

Dr. Edward MacDonald

Dr. Edward MacDonald, professor of history at UPEI, recently won the Canadian Catholic Historical Association’s (CCHA) 2023 Paul Bator Memorial Prize for the best article published over the past four years in the association’s journal, Historical Studies


Need more information about History?

First Name:
Last Name:
E-mail Address:

The personal information requested on this form is collected under Section 31(c) of the PEI Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Read our Disclaimer.

Course Structure

Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.

Note: As per Academic Regulation 1h, all undergraduate degree programs require successful completion of IKE-1040 (new for students beginning or returning after re-application in Fall 2022); one of UPEI-1010, UPEI-1020, or UPEI-1030, and a Writing Intensive Course. 



To be admitted to the honours program, the student must submit a letter of application to the Honours Co-ordinator. Applicants must be registered in, or have completed, the major program. Applications are normally submitted during the fourth or fifth semester. Decisions on admission are made by the department acting as a committee of the whole. Admission decisions will be made on the basis of demonstrated and potential ability to carry out independent research and sustained historical analysis. Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission.

  • Applicants normally must have a CGPA of 3.0 in all previous University courses. Normally, the Department expects an average of at least 80% in all previous history courses.
  • In addition to the courses required for the major, honours students are required to complete History 4970 and 4980.
  • Each honours student must prepare a graduating honours essay under the direction of a supervisor. This essay will be evaluated by a three-person committee, two members from within the Department and one member of which will be from outside the Department.
  • The candidate must take a final oral examination on the essay.
  • Students intending to enter graduate programs should be aware that many such programs require a reading knowledge of a second language. Undergraduate courses in a second language are a useful preparation for graduate work in history.

An honours program is complete when the student completes:

  1. a total of 120 semester hours of course credits with a minimum overall average of 75%;
  2. a total of 48 semester hours of course credits in History (6 semester hours in addition to the minimum required for the major), with a minimum average of 75%.




To register as a major in History, a student must complete History 1010/1020 and six semester hours (2 courses) at the 2000 level. Students are urged to take History 2010/2020 in the first or second year to satisfy the second requirement. Students may take additional 2000-level courses.

  • History 1010/1020, 2010/2020, 2110, and 3120 are compulsory for students in the major program.
  • History 1010/1020, 2010/2020, and 2110 should be completed by the end of the fourth semester.
  • History 3120 should be completed no later than the end of the sixth semester.

A major program is complete when a student has successfully completed a minimum of 42 hours of credit in History (14 courses) of which a minimum of 9 hours (3 courses) must be at the 3000 level, and 9 hours (3 courses) must be at the 4000 level. Majors must complete courses totalling 6 semester hours of credit at the 2000-4000 levels in one of the following areas of study: Britain, the USA, and Global.




To complete a minor in History, the student must complete History 1010/1020 and five other history courses (15 semester hours), including

  • one Canadian history,
  • one continental European history,
  • one course each out of two of the following three fields: British history, USA history, and Global history,
  • one other history course.
  • At least two of the student’s courses must be at the 3000 level or above.
SDU Main Building
SDU Main Building
What can you do with an Arts degree? Anything you want!

UPEI provides a solid education in the liberal arts, committed to rigorous study and inquiry, belief in the value of knowledge, lifelong capacity-building, and the development of the whole person.

Admissions Criteria
What's Required for Arts Admission?

High School Graduates

Canadian High School Equivalency Chart

Successful completion of Grade 12 examinations in a University Preparatory Program with an overall average of at least 70% (75% for Quebec Secondary V students) in the following subjects:

  • English;
  • one Social Studies or Language;
  • any 3 other academic courses. Grade 12 math recommended.
    Note: Grade 12 Math is a prerequisite for some 1st year Arts courses.

Please refer to the UPEI Academic Calendar for complete admissions information.

students in UPEI quad
students in UPEI quad
Millions in scholarships and awards

Each year we award over 3,000 scholarships and awards to qualified students. Our comprehensive program—valued at over $8 million—includes some awards that are equal to full tuition and renewable!

Fees and Funding
Faculty of Arts Programs Tuition

UPEI's undergraduate tuition is the second-lowest in the Atlantic region, and we offer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards.


$6,828 per year, based on 30 credit hours ($682.80 per 3 credit course).
International students pay $8,010 per year in addition to full-time student tuition.

For a complete breakdown of part-time or full-time study as a student in the Faculty of Arts, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

Scholarships and Awards

UPEI supports you and your educational goals. We administer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to our undergraduate and graduate students every year. Depending on your faculty or program, and year of study, you may be eligible for available awards.

Search the complete list of scholarships for information and application forms.  

Celebrating Student Achievement

Including Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships and Academic Excellence Awards, these awards recognize the academic achievements of all students who meet the eligibility criteria while studying towards their first undergraduate degree.

Visit the Scholarships site for complete information.

Faculty Members
Your mentors. Our professors.

UPEI has about 250 faculty—exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors, with more being hired each year as we open new, progressive, and unique programs. But the story isn’t just in the numbers. It’s in the quality of our people. Award-winning faculty from around the globe have made UPEI home. Here, you’ll learn directly from these world-class professors and researchers in small classes where you’ll have easy access to them.