History analyzes the course of human affairs through evidence and reason. It sheds light on our present by showing how individuals and groups in the past made decisions, exercised power, and responded to changes through revolution, migration, war, ecological disturbance, and globalization.  History also explains how people understood and sometimes exploited class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality, and how they conceptualized the world through religion and ideology.  

The Major in History also offers courses in public history (such as the National Parks, documentary films, and historic preservation), a Social Studies Teaching concentration, and as of Spring 2021, a new concentration in Digital and Public History, which gives students the opportunity to apply twenty-first century tools and technologies to understand and interpret the past.

The Major in History is designed to enlarge students' knowledge about the past, improve their ability to think logically and critically, and sharpen their powers of written and oral expression. It is an outstanding choice for students planning further professional study in law, medicine, ministry, academia, business, and many other fields.

Learning Outcomes

Students in History courses:

  • Analyze and interpret historical materials, such as documents, material artifacts, and images;
  • Engage in chronological reasoning to understand causation and change over time;
  • Examine critically how people in the past understood their own history in scholarly works and in popular forms such as myths, memorials, and other public commemorations;
  • Interpret, write, and speak about the past using evidence and according to the standards and expectations of the historical discipline, including honest use of evidence, openness to multiple perspectives, and historical empathy; and
  • Analyze both change and continuities over time by considering how events such as revolution, migration, war, ecological disturbance, and globalization changed societies as well as how structures like class, ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality, climate and religion shaped societies over a longer time horizon.

Potential Occupations

  • Government official in foreign service, national security, military, cultural resources management, and other areas;
  • History teacher in public and private schools;
  • Any professional occupation in business or public service requiring a liberal arts education and skills in research, writing, and the analysis of information;
  • With additional graduate training: lawyer, physician, social worker, minister, librarian, museum curator, archivist, professor, educational administrator, or other professional.