History is the study of where we have been, in order to see where we are going. The History major encourages students to think about the complexity of human experiences across time and space in a way that builds understanding of patterns of continuity and dynamics of change over time. Studying history offers insights into the political, social, economic, and cultural forces that have shaped the world. History majors practice deliberation about evidence and interpretation of the past in context. Our students learn how to respond in nuanced ways to the complex challenges that today’s world presents.
Why Choose History?
History is one of the most valuable tools at our disposal. Through research and study, historical scholars can analyze what we have learned from past events to help society move forward in the future. Whether it is shaping government policies through historical context, preserving artifacts of significance, or researching previous legal cases and regulatory matters, the knowledge of history is not limited to the past in its importance. Historians can also teach in the secondary and higher educational institutions, to ensure that history is not lost. For more information on the value of history as field of study, please read Peter N. Stearn’s essay on Why Study History?
What Will You Study?
You will study the multitude of political, social, economic, and cultural forces and events that have shaped the modern world. The History program is designed to give students an introduction to world civilizations and to the history of the United States. You’ll gain a breadth and depth of understanding through courses in United States History, World History, and American National Government. As a member of the University’s Historical Society, you can develop leadership skills, and learn outside the classroom about history through museums, films, and living historical sites.
Students who major in History can pursue a variety of careers. Our graduates have become teachers, researchers, and journalists. They work in libraries and government agencies including diplomatic service. Others have found opportunities in business where the skills gained in the study of history (research, analysis, and writing) are valued. Many graduates attend law school or have pursued advanced degrees in history. You will find our alumni work at the Smithsonian Institution, Greater Harford Arts Council, the National Archives, the National Security Agency, in Foreign Service, teaching, and at local historical societies.
Clubs & Organizations
In our student-led Historical Society, share your historical interests with your peers, develop leadership skills, and learn outside the classroom about history through museums, films, and living historical sites. Students in the Historical Society organize frequent trips to sites of historical interest, host film discussions, and much more. Many of our students join special interest groups, such as: Historical Society, Honors Program, Model United Nations, and Phi Alpha Theta (national honors historical society). Many of our students also participate in varsity and intramural sports, special interest groups, and student government.
The History faculty is committed to excellence in teaching. We are proud of our three history professors who have won the University-wide Teaching Excellence Award. History faculty members contribute to the production of knowledge through research and publication nationally and internationally. We are dedicated to bringing our research interests in African history, Latin American history, U.S. history, British history, and urban history among others, into the classroom for students to share our excitement in the discovery and interpretation of the past.
Unique Learning Opportunities
Internships and Field Work
History majors have ample opportunities to expand their professional and personal horizons at home, too. Our majors pursue internships with many different organizations, archives, libraries, and government offices. Our students have worked at the U.S. Embassy in Australia, National Constitution Center, Springfield Armory, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Old Sturbridge Village, Hancock Shaker Village, and the Newport Historical Society, among other places.
Study Abroad: Become a Global Citizen
Our shrinking world requires students to think from a global perspective. The College of Arts and Sciences will help you to expand your worldview to think like a citizen of the world. Whether you participate in the London Study Abroad semester, a short seminar course abroad, or in another semester-long trip, the experience will broaden your horizons and help you compete in the global landscape.