History is more than a catalog of events and actors; it is an ongoing process of discovery and interpretation. All facets of human experience have a historical dimension — the power struggles of monarchs and presidents; the working lives of farmers, sailors and seamstresses; the spiritual lives of people who were enslaved; the cultural assumptions of colonizers; the intimate relationships of families, to name only a few. Even the telling of history has a historical dimension, since historical interpretations change over time, and historians often disagree about exactly how things happened and why.
The variety of sources through which we understand history can encompass the full range of human expression as well—written documents, clothing, household items, artwork, advertisements, songs, buildings and public monuments, among others. By studying primary materials and divergent interpretations of history, students acquire and develop analytical and expository skills.
The study of history affords many additional benefits. It expands and enriches our understanding of the diversity of human lives over time across such boundaries as gender, culture, class, race, age, region, and religion. It helps us think about how and why the world we know came to be and about our own places in it. History students learn about the past and develop skills in and beyond the classroom. They engage in community-based learning, conduct independent research projects, complete summer internships, and study abroad.
Our graduates have gone on to careers in banking, business, communications, education, finance, government, information technology, journalism, law, medicine, politics, public health, public history, and numerous other fields. The history major is excellent preparation for anything that require the ability to analyze, problem-solve, and communicate.