Program Overview:

Undergraduate History Major

There is no better laboratory for studying the capacities and interactions of human beings than history. The major in history is built on an extensive and varied course of study, with topics ranging from the Renaissance in Europe and the effects of American slavery to the Vietnam war and twentieth-century China, and methods from reading novels to using economic models. Study of history is one of the best foundations for a broad liberal education and acquiring essential intellectual skills. Courses in the major emphasize rigorous historical inquiry and debate and cogent writing through discussion and engagement with both primary sources and interpretations of various forms of scholarship.

The study of history is an essential preparation for any profession that requires knowledge of humanity and society or that demands facility with the organization and communication of knowledge. In studying the human past, history majors learn to research, analyze and interpret complex events, write clearly and persuasively, and to think meticulously. Students who study history are well prepared for further education in graduate or professional schools - law, business, medicine, education, library science, public policy, or the liberal arts – and for a limitless number of professions and fields. A small sampling includes business, consulting, finance, communications and media, information management, law, medicine, philanthropy, politics, public service, publishing, research, and education.

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Examine and evaluate written or material evidence within a historical context
  • Demonstrate understanding of change over time and the roles of human agency and large-scale forces in causing change
  • Articulate historical themes, approaches and interpretations and primary and secondary sources
  • Analyze information effectively and to construct cause-and-effect relationships from disparate data sources
  • Write persuasively and communicate effectively
  • Work independently and conduct independent research


Distribution Requirements

History Major Requirements