Courses in the Understanding the Past domain study human life in past societies (primarily pre-1945) as a process of continuity and change over time. Many of the documents that mediate the past to us have considerable aesthetic or intellectual value in and of themselves. However, courses in this learning domain examine texts, art works, and other forms of evidence less for their aesthetic or intellectual value than for their usefulness as tools for reconstructing aspects of the past and building sensible, defensible, and well-informed historical interpretations about the past and about causation in the past. Students generally take two courses in the UP Domain Area.

Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Describe and explain knowledge of prehistoric or historical events, themes, and ideas.
  • Examine and assess historical evidence and interpretations through analysis, evaluation, and/or synthesis of a range of primary and secondary source evidence.
  • Recognize that there are different perspectives on the past, whether historical or methodological in nature.
  • Compose written work that expresses knowledge.
      • Reason effectively in writing.


Below please find examples of courses previously offered for understanding the past domain credit. For information on current offerings, please consult Campus Connection.

African and Black Diaspora Studies
American Studies


Asian American Studies

Catholic Studies

Comparative Literature

Computer Games Development


Environmental Studies 


Graphic Design


History of Art and Architecture
Intercultural Communication


Latin American and Latino Studies

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies

Media and Cinema Studies

School for New Learning