History, General

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About the History Major

Renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan said, "You have to know the past to understand the present." History, a multi-faceted and complicated subject found fascinating by many, is far from ever collecting dust. It's a reflection of how diverse the human experience can be. By studying people and societies, major periods, and historical events, students gain insights about how societies and cultures have changed over time. The study of history allows students to step back and view humanity on a vast scale, offering them a great sense of perspective.

Because they have such a broad range of career paths available, life after graduation may be intimidating for some history majors. Students graduate with writing, research, interpretive, and critical thinking skills and other transferrable skills that can be applied to a variety of occupations. Historical research, education, communications, museum studies, library science, business, and law, are among the many fields history graduates choose to enter.

Since students choose classes based on their own historical interests, one unique aspect of the history major is that the curriculum varies from student to student. Courses focus on geographic and cultural areas of interest, specific periods of time, and historical events all over the world.

Regardless of historical concentration, history majors will cultivate their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, with complex historical texts and materials. Through research and writing assignments, students hone their abilities to create arguments based on evidence. History majors who are interested in pursuing careers as history and social studies teachers will be required to obtain a teaching certification.

Students will benefit from an internship or two in their professional areas of interest is. Whether in its historical research, communications, business and finance, or law, students can find opportunities in government and historical agencies, nonprofits, museums, news outlets, and legal firms.

Individuals with bachelor's degrees qualify for a number of opportunities outside the realm of traditional historian jobs, in fields such as communications, publishing, law, business, and journalism. Most positions in museum studies, historical preservation, and archival management require at least a master's degree. For students interested in pursuing careers in historical research and academia as professors and teachers, a master's degree and Ph.D. will be required for advancement.

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