History

 

The History Department offers

History course descriptions
Public History course descriptions
History concentrations

Why study History?  What can one do with a History degree?

Many students enter the History Department believing that the only thing one can do with a History degree is teach History.  However, students of History also gain skills, attitudes, and other competencies that are critical for success in any career, for example, the ability to think clearly and critically, to understand contemporary events in historical and global contexts, to solve problems that require historical perspectives, to do independent historical research, and to express ideas in lucid and concise writing.  For example, major newspapers like the Cleveland Plain Dealer often say that they prefer to hire journalists with History degrees rather than journalism majors.  Likewise, law schools recommend History as a course of study rather than legal studies. 

The following is an incomplete list of career possibilities for History majors:

  1. Secondary school teacher
  2. College or university professor (requires graduate school, preferably a Ph.D.)
  3. Federal Government
    • Aide to Congressional representatives--aides do research, write policy recommendations to suggest how law-makers should vote, and may even draft legislation to be proposed
    • Library of Congress researcher
    • Historian's Office researcher
    • State Department policy analyst, intelligence officer, or researcher
    • Defense Department military historian or researcher (see BW's National Security Track)
    • USAID researcher, policy analyst, or field worker
    • FBI or CIA agent, researcher, intelligence officer, or policy analyst (see BW's National Security Track)
    • Government Printing Office
    • Society for History in the Federal Government
    • National Park Service historian or researcher
    • National Register of Historic Places
    • Environmental Protection Agency researcher
    • Archivist
    • Lobbyist
    • Why not run for office yourself?  See BW's Leadership Studies minor.
    • If you are interested in government work, you may want to consider the Presidential Management Fellows Program.  This is a program to recruit people with higher degrees into the Federal Government.  Candidates must complete a Master's Degree or higher.
    • For government positions, please see BW's International Affairs Track.
  4. State or Local Government
    • Aide to State Congressional representatives
    • State Historic Preservation Offices
    • Public policy analyst
    • Archivist
      For government positions listed above, see BW's International Affairs track..
    • Why not run for office yourself?  See BW's Leadership Studies minor.
  5. Non-Profit Organization researcher, field worker, grant writer (Do you want to save the world?  This option might be for you.)
  6. Law Firms
    • Lawyers (requires law school)
    • Litigation support, researcher into areas that are common causes of litigation
  7. International Business consultant (provide cultural information for employees doing business overseas).  See BW's International Studies program.
  8. Grant agency foundation researcher, grant reviewer, or writer
  9. Museums and Archives
    • Curator
    • Art historian
    • Archivist
  10. Journalist
  11. Editor for newspapers, historical journals, books
  12. Writer for corporations (instruction manuals, corporate histories, marketing)
  13. Librarian (not just for a library--all businesses and organizations above a certain size need information managers.  This can be a very profitable career!)  You may need to get a Master's Degree in Library Science.  Also see BW's program in Information Systems.
  14. Web designer
  15. Business researcher, public relations expert, or marketing expert
  16. Human Resources manager for a business.  See also BW's Master's of Business Administration in Human Resources.
  17. Historical consultant for businesses 
  18. Historic Preservation consultant for local governments, construction companies and urban renovation programs
  19. Archivist or information manager for corporations, law firms, hospitals, religious and cultural institutions, major museums and libraries
     

History Department Mission Statement

The Department of History views the purposes of teaching history to be: (1) to supply the student with an understanding of the past upon which the structure of modern society is built; (2) to present a historical background for the arts, music, literature, religion, philosophy, the sciences, social sciences and business of the present; (3) to provide students with a sound foundation in history in order to teach their subject; (4) to prepare students for graduate school, government service or professional school; and (5) to assist students in developing skills in problem solving in their field of study.

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