History

History provides a unique way to study the diversity of human experience across time and to develop skills that enable one to understand the complex ways the past shapes the present and future. Through our courses and programs, we seek not only to train future historians but to produce thoughtful and well-informed citizens. Many of our graduates successfully pursue careers in business, public service, museum work, public history, law, and various other professions. We foster analytical and writing skills that prepare our students to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world and to engage in lifelong learning.

students meeting with history professor

Why Major in History

Hint: it’s flexible, it’s fun!

Majoring in History is like cross-training for the future.
A History degree gives you the broad skill set to take advantage of new fields and opportunities as they open up. Many college graduates will change careers several times over their lifetime. A well-rounded background will help you transition as fields change and new technologies bring new options.

History a good choice for those who want to keep their career options open or who are undecided.
Most post-graduate schools in law, business, journalism, medicine and education accept History Majors. Studies have shown that students who major in a subject they enjoy will graduate with a higher GPA, enhancing their chances of impressing a potential employer or getting accepted by a post-graduate professional program.

History Major requirements at UConn are flexible enough to mesh with many Minors.
History Majors at the Stamford Campus often finish with one or more Minors in English, Political Science, American Studies, Business, and/or Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies.

History is interesting!
History courses explore all classes of society–artists, soldiers, healers,revolutionaries, aristocrats,religious visionaries, presidents, and peasants. Courses traverse the world: you’ll learn about cultures in the US, Latin America and Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Africa. You’ll study life in ancient civilizations and dramatic events of the twentieth century.

Can I Minor in History at UConn – Stamford?
Yes! A Minor in History requires only fifteen credits (five 3-credit courses). See an advisor for details.

Can History Courses count for BGS?
Yes! Many History Courses meet BGS themes. See a BGS counselor for details.
For information on the History Major & Minor contact:
Prof. Joel Blatt (room 354) – joel.blatt@uconn.edu
Prof. Mary Cygan (room 372) – mary.cygan@uconn.edu
Prof. Ricardo Salazar-Rey (room 374) – ricardo.salazar-rey@uconn.edu

What can you do with a Major in History?

Hint: Not all History Majors become teachers.
History Majors can be found working in business, law, the arts, government, journalism, libraries, museums, hospitality, entertainment, advertising and many other fields.

History Majors learn to organize and interpret information. They learn to analyze evidence such as eyewitness testimony, newspaper accounts, legal records, film, photographs, speeches, and letters. They learn to synthesize information from different points of view, to put information into context, to discover patterns, and to draw conclusions. They learn to explain how and why change happens. These skills can prepare you for employment or post-graduate study in many areas. A few are listed below:

  • Journalism and Media – editing and writing for newspapers, magazines, business publications, television and radio
  • Business – researching local and international markets; analyzing industry trends; working in public relations, human resources or any aspect of business that requires clear communication skills
  • Travel and Hospitality industry — promoting state and local tourism; managing a travel agency;leading or planning theme tours
  • Government and Advocacy – working on legislative staff for state and federal government; consulting and lobbying; working with government agencies for economic development or international relations;
  • Education in the classroom – teaching grade school, high school, community college and university
  • Education outside the classroom – curating and interpreting museum collections; designing exhibits; serving as museum docents (guides); researching and writing for documentary films; staffing local historical societies
  • Information Management – working for public and private libraries; managing record collections for businesses, law firms or hospitals

Historical Societies within 20 miles of UConn Stamford

Stamford Historical Society
The website for the Stamford Historical Society provides visitors with links to pages about the history of Stamford, research collections, exhibits and photo collections.

Greenwich Historical Society
The Greenwich Historical Society has been dedicated to collecting and preserving its town’s history since 1931. They have operated out of the Bush Holley Historic Site and have created an online catalogue of the contents of their library.

Westchester County Historical Society
The Westchester County Historical Society’s website contains valuable information about their extensive library on local history as well as digital archives.

Fairfield Historical Society
The Fairfield Historical Society displays many interesting exhibits through the year.

Norwalk Historical Society
The Norwalk Historical Society was founded in the late 1800’s to preserve the history of the town. Today the website provides information about the Norwalk Museum as well as Mill Hill, a collection of three historic properties that have been preserved.

Westport Historical Society
The Westport Historical Society’s website is full of information about accessing the town’s history. The Westport Historical Society also maintains a library and archival collection which is open to the public upon request.

History Research with Social Media

There are a variety of Facebook pages that are affiliated with historical organizations. They inform users of upcoming exhibits, newly discovered sources and various lectures. These pages include:

What to do with a BA in History

Careers for History Majors: A Mini Guide from the American Historical Association
Overview of many professions and fields you can apply for with a History B.A.

Careers in History
UConn Department of History
The American Historical Association and the National Council for Public History have a detailed guide to careers specifically in history– some requiring advanced degrees — such as teaching, historic preservation, historians in federal, state and local history, historical consulting, historians in archives and museums, editing and publishing.

H-Net online History Major discussion group
H-HistMajor is an internet discussion forum of, by, and for undergraduate history majors.

Why Study History by Peter N. Stearns
History Helps Us Understand People and Societies
History Helps Us Understand Change and How the Society We Live in Came to Be
More here.

Who Knew? Famous History Majors
Fun facts

Is a History Major a Waste of Time and Money?

August 5, 2012 by Katharine Brooks, Ed.D. in Career Transitions at psychologytoday.com
“A few years ago I taught a ‘History Majors in the Workplace’ course at UT [University of Texas] and during one of the class exercises I asked my students to describe the characteristics of a “successful” history major. They had no trouble doing this—they described themselves as. . . Read more.

What Color Is Your Parachute

What Can I Do With a History Major?
Catherine Lavender, College of Staten Island/CUNY
Leaders in every industry, from business to the arts, can point to their training as history majors as the starting point for their success. [Here] is a brief examination of the sorts of skills developed by the study of history and various career options available to history majors.

Myths and Facts about Majors and Earnings

Highlights from New York Times career blog by Zac Bissonnette Nov. 3, 2010

  • “A study conducted by PayScale Inc. found that history majors who pursued careers in business ended up earning, on average, just as much as business majors.”
  • “Most people will graduate with higher G.P.A.’s if they study something they are passionate about. High G.P..A’s help graduates land jobs, and there is a fairly strong correlation between class rank and career earnings. “
  • “There is a disconnect between students’ perceptions of what employers want and what employers actually want. “Read the whole article here: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/major/

PayScale Salary Survey ranked the earning potential for full-time employees in the United States with a B.A. — and no higher degree — for 130 Majors. Their chart weighs starting salaries and mid-career (15 years) salaries.

The top forty majors are all in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math).

History Majors and American Studies Majors rank nearly the same as Accounting, Marketing, and Business Majors (ranked 53 – 63 of 130 majors)

See the 2012 data for all 130 Majors here: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/majors-that-pay-you-back

Here are the same Majors ranked according to sense of satisfaction and meaningfulness based on replies from graduates of specific majors who reported that their job makes the world a better place.
http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report-2013/majors-that-change-the-world

Work and Your Wallet: 10 Reasons History Majors Rule the Business World from Nancy Zimmerman’s Blog: Money Coach in Canada, August 2011
“Martha Stewart. Lee Iacoca [Ford]. Tamara Vrooman [CEO of Canada’s largest credit union]. Lord David Sainsbury [CEO of largest supermarket chain in the UK]. Anita Roddick [Founder of Body Shop]. All history majors, and that’s just a cursory check.” . . . [Here’s] “the business case for hiring, promoting and prizing history majors”