Major Requirements and Courses

What is the Study of History?

Most students are required to study history in both elementary and secondary schools. At that level, students often are given the impression that the study of history simply requires memorization of names, dates, and other facts about events in the past. At the college level, however, the study of history facilitates the development of research, analytical, evaluative, and interpretive skills. History majors learn how to locate and access a wide range of sources, to analyze historical evidence, including textual and visual sources, to evaluate historical interpretations, and to develop and support their own interpretations. The quantity of writing and discussion required in history courses also helps students to develop effective communication skills.

Why Should I Consider This Major?

If you like to read, write, and learn about the experiences of people in different places and times, you should consider the history major. No other major prepares students for as many different careers. History majors’ strong communication skills are valued by all employers, including businesses and government agencies. The research, analytical, and evaluative skills that history majors develop prepare them for graduate study in many humanistic disciplines, public affairs, and library science and for careers as journalists, government officials, and attorneys. A growing number of history majors have made careers in the expanding field of public history. They work in museums, archives, and historical preservation.

Learn more about History majors.

If you want to teach history or social studies in a middle or high school, you should consider the History/Social Studies major. However, this major also prepares students for a wider range of careers. The knowledge students acquire and the skills they develop in their history courses and in courses in social sciences prepare them for law school, graduate programs in public policy and international affairs, and careers as journalists, government officials, and attorneys.

Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in Social Studies may choose this major. However, the History/Social Studies degree does not require that a student pursue a teaching certificate. History/Social Studies majors interested in Secondary certification must apply separately to the certification programs, such as those in Woodring College of Education. Students usually apply to Woodring in their senior year or after they graduate.

Learn more about History-Social Studies majors.

If you want to teach in an elementary school and are interested in history, you should consider the History-Elementary major.

Learn more about History-Elementary majors.