As a discipline encompassing every aspect of the human experience, the study of History is essential to a liberal arts education. This study both imparts information critical to a mature understanding of the past and involves students with their teachers in a rigorous process of investigation, discovery, and mutual endeavor.
The discipline of History powerfully instills the practices that structure the arts of inquiry. Persistent questioning of texts, convincing analytical reasoning, research skills, effective oral and written communication: these skills teach students to think constructively about the present by making connections to the past, and they enable students to sustain a fertile life of the mind beyond graduation. A History degree, then, is not only for those who want to anchor their opinions in the deepest understandings of human behavior; it is also for those who desire an expansive range of mind, and for those with the courage to approach even exceptionally entangled problems.
The History major features core courses and either breadth or concentration options in an array of subjects and periods. In addition to American and European studies, the curriculum embraces the non-western histories of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Courses in global topics, such as the twentieth century’s world wars and genocides, are available as well.
Those who believe that one can’t “do anything” with a History degree quite mistake the matter! History’s insistence on clean argumentation, persuasive analytical prose, excellence in oral disputation, and a carefully calibrated understanding of ideas, society, culture, and politics makes a History major the ideal preparation for success in any field of professional endeavor.
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