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Undergraduate Program — History Major

boston college


You are making a wise choice. History is a major that prepares you for any of a broad spectrum of possible careers. Our majors have graduated and found employment in areas as diverse as education, law, museum studies, editing and publishing, archival research, journalism, historic preservation, public service, library science, and records management.

It may surprise you that both the communications media and firms involved in banking, corporate finance, insurance, marketing, and public relations also find history an attractive major for prospective employees. Why? Because history majors have learned to look for connections between the past and present, and they understand cultural traditions different from their own. Most importantly, history majors read and think critically, and they know how to write persuasively. A report by the American Historical Association makes this compelling argument for the study of history:

Studying history as a discipline requires one to engage one's mind with the facts, ideas and interpretations conveyed or suggested by historical evidence; to give contexts to discrete pieces of evidence and to devise plausible explanations and judgments based on the evidence. Such engagement compels one to sift, sort and arrange what one sees in ways that help one make sense of it. The discipline of history equips one to extend facts, ideas and interpretations into new realms. One must weigh the validity of arguments, assess the soundness of historical judgments and otherwise practice the art of critical thinking characteristic of discerning minds. (M. Marty, et al, Liberal Learning and the History Major. [Washington, D.C., 1990], p. 10.)

Put simply, the study of history will make you a better thinker. This fact alone explains why the history major offers both flexibility and diversity of career choice.

Learning Outcomes of the History Major

  1. Students will gain an understanding of the processes of historical change and a depth of knowledge in at least one historical period, geographical area or topical field.
  2. Students will be able to critique the use and interpretation of evidence in historical works.
  3. Students will be able to develop their own historical research questions and research hypotheses and carry out an historical research project.

For additional information on the history major, please click on the specific topics listed on the left.