The Benefits of a History Major
History and history/social studies majors develop not only knowledge of the past, but also a variety of skills, including the ability to analyze and explain complex issues, the ability to research and present new information, and the ability to effectively communicate research and analysis in written and oral form.
History majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a semester, preferably during the junior year. Advanced consultation with one’s academic adviser relative to major requirements is recommended.
The History Department encourages all students to study foreign languages. Students who are planning to attend graduate school are strongly advised to pursue language study.
The History Department is very active on campus, sponsoring the Lambda-Lambda Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, and a student-funded Historical Society. It also hosts a variety of speakers on campus that appeal to the entire Saint Mary's community.
Goals for Our Students
Students demonstrate a strong foundation in historical thinking by successfully completing the history or history/social studies majors whose goals are to develop students' ability to:
Think historically, that is, to use historical methods in analyzing problems
Critically read and analyze historical works (secondary sources)
Find and interpret historical evidence (primary sources)
Construct an evidence-based interpretation of the past and communicate it effectively both in writing and orally
Navigate from the academic world of the university to the world of work, professional development, and lifelong learning