The Bachelor of Arts in History is a broad-based program that has specific goals including: (1) engaging the mind and imagination of those who study history; (2) introducing students to worlds, times, places, and cultures – including their own – in ways they have never before considered; and (3) promoting the acquisition of historical knowledge and critical thinking, reading, writing, and research skills. Upon successful completion of the undergraduate history major, students should be able to demonstrate competency in the vital skills of historical explanation, discernment, and synthesis.
The study of the past broadens our perspective and allows us to discover the essential elements of human existence. The term historian covers a broad range of career options and job settings. In general, historians study, assess, and interpret the past to determine what happened and why. They examine court documents, diaries, letters, and newspaper accounts; they conduct research, write, teach, evaluate, and make recommendations. They interview individuals and study artifacts and archaeological evidence.
In addition to providing experience in logical argumentation, history courses offer research, writing, and analytical skills necessary for many fulfilling careers. Graduates with a degree in history often become educators themselves and teach in elementary schools, secondary schools, or in postsecondary institutions. Beyond teaching, historians also work as researchers in museums and local historical organizations that deal with cultural resources management and historic preservation and make valuable contributions to government and private think tanks.
A history degree is excellent preparation for journalists, ad writers, editors and anyone interested in producing multimedia materials and documentaries. Historians have rewarding careers as information managers such as archivists, records managers, and librarians. Finally, training in history creates a strong intellectual foundation for people interested in advocacy such as lawyers and paralegals, litigation support, legislative staff work, and nonprofit foundations. Positions that attract history majors will likely require some of the following qualifications beyond the Bachelor of Arts in History: experience, extensive knowledge of a particular time period or region, and specialized writing and research skills.
History shapes the world we inhabit; it substantially determines the constraints and the possibilities of our experience; it colours the aspirations and aversions that drive us, individually and collectively. We can choose to live in ignorance of history, but we cannot live independently of it. History, in other words, is a burden we all share, but for some of us it is also a resource. It imposes limits but also supplies opportunities.
History is more than mere facts; it is a dynamic discipline built on analysis, debate and interpretation. When you study history, you develop a cultural vocabulary that examines humanity through events, culture and context. Our modern multimedia facilities bring history to life through images, texts, and sound recordings. Our faculty specialize in areas that reflect the world’s diversity. Whether your heart lies in modern Africa, medieval England or contemporary Japan, you will have the opportunity to study the historical periods and geographical locations that capture your attention. Complement your studies with thematic courses such as film in history, gender, the history of peace and war or environmental history.