What Are the Course Requirements for a History Major?

For those interested in studying historical events and eras, a degree in history may be the right choice. Read this article to learn about the course requirements for a history major and what you can do after graduating. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A History Major - The Basics

Undergraduate students who choose to major in history examine important historical developments and civilizations and the global impacts of past events. The coursework of a history major introduces students to the many colorful cultures of the world and the ways in which historical civilizations are relevant to modern culture. History degree programs require students to complete several hours of both general education and core history coursework. Students also have the option of choosing elective courses. And, some schools even offer concentration options in areas like American history or European history.

Bachelor's degree programs in history may be offered in a traditional campus format or online. Graduates may seek entry-level employment or pursue an advanced degree.

Important Facts About History Majors

Concentrations Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Medieval, Pre-Modern Mediterranean World, Russia and Eastern Europe, United States, World and Comparative
Top Three Programs (2014)* Yale University, Harvard University, Princeton University
Possible Careers Teacher, records manager, journalist, museum attendant, librarian, information manager, lawyer, paralegal
Key Skills Analytical ability, critical thinking, oral and written communication skills, problem solving, cross-cultural competency, multitasking, adaptability, excellent recall ability

*Source: collegefactual.com

General Education Coursework

Students in most majors, including history, are generally required to complete a set number of hours of general education coursework. General education courses encompass various liberal arts, humanities and sciences subjects. These courses are designed to provide students with a solid foundation of general knowledge and the ability to think critically, analyze information and rationalize.

History Coursework

The core coursework of a history degree covers a wide range of historical topics, from the Renaissance and African American literature to Latin American history and the Progressive Era. Some of the core courses that may be part of a history major are historical methods, ancient world civilizations, colonial and revolutionary America, modern U.S. history, history of the Middle East, Europe in the 20th century, history of China and World War II.

Most programs also require students to complete a set of elective courses to round out degree requirements. This allows students to study topics that best suit their interests. Concentrating on a particular historical region or era may be especially valuable to a student who wishes to pursue advanced studies in graduate school.

Additionally, history undergraduates may need to complete a thesis or some other capstone project as a graduation requirement.

Career and Continuing Education Information

Graduates of history bachelor's degree programs may be able to find employment working for the government or working for museums performing archival work. They may also become high school history teachers, but they would need to complete a teacher training program and earn state certification before being qualified to work in public schools.

Commonly, history graduates go on to earn a master's or PhD degree in history so that they are eligible for research-intensive careers. Alternatively, they may go into a graduate program in law, education or a social science.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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