History is the study of the human past, interpreted with artifacts, written evidence, and oral traditions. It is an inquiry into human experience, considering the diversity and complexity of human experience across time and place. It recognizes the particularity of different historical actors in the past, as well as the larger scale of those experiences. As a discipline, history requires a deliberative stance towards the past; the sophisticated use of information, evidence, and argumentation; and the ability to identify and explain continuity and change over time. Historical study is essential to active citizenship.
Why Choose History?
The History program enables students to consider the forces that have shaped world societies. History students learn to assess past evidence and conflicting interpretations about the past. History classes provide opportunities to engage critically on sources produced in the past and about the past. History students learn how to combine different kinds of evidence to make coherent arguments. They learn how history has been used as a tool of other interests. History students engage in respectful debate, achieve perspective, and analyze the magnitude and significance of events and ideas in the past.
What Will You Study?
Our department focuses on doing history rather than simply memorizing it. Our courses introduce students to the history of the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the world. Our intermediate and advanced courses consider these regions within specific frameworks of historical understanding, including class, gender, ethnicity, race, culture, society, religion, art, architecture, politics, technology, war, and more.
History students develop the skills of well-informed people with habits of mind, critical reasoning, and perspective who are prepared for a variety of jobs and professions involving research, analysis, and communication. Our graduates pursue careers in business, government, social services, journalism, and more. Others pursue advanced degrees in history, education, and the law. Our alumni work at the Smithsonian Institution, Greater Hartford 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 bring our interests in archival research, oral history, and public history about Africa, Germany, Britain, Latin America, and the U.S. into the classroom to share with our students the excitement of interpreting 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
Today’s workforce needs professionals who see the big picture. The College of Arts and Sciences will help you to become a student of world cultures and histories as they relate to your studies while making valuable contributions in your explorations. Whether you participate in a faculty-led summer seminar course or spend a semester at an international university, the experience will broaden your horizons and help you compete in the global landscape.