Why is History a Four-Year Requirement?


Nhi Duong, Staff Writer

Each spring, students select their courses for the following school year by either filling out a form or having a discussion with their assigned counselor. Having the freedom to choose what class we take is exciting and liberating, except for the mandatory courses. As a graduation requirement, we must complete three credits for math and science and four credits for English and History. Isn’t it odd how only three credits are required for two of the most practical and essential classes in school? Meanwhile, history, a less practical and unnecessary class, unless going into politics/government, is mandatory for four whole years? We, as students, need to discuss this.

History classes provide us with more knowledge of the world and society. For those interested, learning about the world’s history and the American government is beneficial for political majors. However, have we ever considered those who do not find it interesting? Learning a course with little to no interest could take away from how a student performs in the class and negatively impact their overall average. Secondly, because of the required course, most students can have the opportunity to take another class taken away from them, perhaps one that they are interested in or would be helpful in the future.

There is a simple solution: make history courses available as an elective. After taking three years and receiving the three required credits, history class should not be mandatory. There would be less stress among students and a new opportunity to take other classes not previously offered. Those who do enjoy learning about global history may do so accordingly. Each course would offer the same one-year credit.

To support this argument, I thought it was only fair to ask a few students’ opinions. Unsurprisingly, they agreed. The students, who chose to remain anonymous, agreed that four years of history is unnecessary and not practical. One senior, doubling up on history class, stated, “. . . it would only work for us if we are trying to go into a political type of career . . . that should be something you can do in college.” Similarly, a second student claimed they felt the pressure to take it. They felt it would not contribute very much according to their future plans. “. . . [History] is not something you are going to use for the rest of your life.” They went on to express how taking an extra year of science or math is more helpful to their preferred career path.

Overall, the required courses have been proven to be unnecessary for students unless they are going into a specific field corresponding to history. Mandating history classes only creates additional stress and limits students’ time to pursue other fascinating subjects.