Academic Planning - History

Why Should I Major in History?

A major in history will broaden your knowledge of the world and deepen your understanding of the past in all its complexity. You will work with internationally recognized teacher-scholars whose teaching and research expertise runs from the United States and American; Latin American; Greek, Roman and medieval; German and modern European history to Russian and Eastern European; Chinese and East Asian; and Islamic and Middle Eastern history. You will examine archival and published primary sources and become familiar with research methods and interdisciplinary approaches drawn from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. You will improve your analytical writing and critical thinking skills through a range of lecture, discussion and seminar-based classes. You will also be encouraged to study foreign languages and cultures, including the pursuit of study abroad opportunities. Finally, you will bring these experiences together in researching and writing a senior research project of your own choosing.

Learning By Doing

If you major in history at Stetson University, you will have many opportunities to apply the skills you learn in doing history beyond the classroom. Internships for history students are available in summers and during the semester.

Our majors have received internships with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and worked in the colonial apothecary shop; interned at The Navy Museum in Washington, D.C.; spent a semester as a research collaborator with a journalist from the Christian Science Monitor; interned in local history with the West Volusia Historical Society; and worked as editors on ICON (The International Journal for the History of Technology).

Other history students have had their research published as articles in the Florida Historical Quarterly and the Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and the Soviet Union.

The Major

A major in history at Stetson University consists of ten units in history courses. These courses include two in the history of civilizations or American history (one Early and one Modern), which are usually taken in the first or second year (students may receive credit for these courses through exemption examinations, such as Advanced Placement). Each history major also takes two research seminars, usually in the second or third years.

An individualized senior research project in history (HIST 499) is required for graduation. This project is usually conducted in the fall semester before graduation.

In order to have variety and breadth in the study of history, a major must take at least one course chosen from a list of courses designated as nonwestern history and one course chosen from a list of courses designated as premodern history. We encourage history majors to develop literacy in both traditional and online research methods and technologies; to consider learning a foreign language and studying abroad; and to pursue at least one internship opportunity. Such skills and experiences are very useful not only in completing the senior research project, but in applying to graduate, law and business school as well as pursuing various career opportunities.

Because of the sheer diversity and interdisciplinary nature of the history major, our students often consider a minor or double major in a variety of disciplines, including: Russian, Latin American studies, international studies, English, psychology, sociology, anthropology, environmental science and political science.

The Minor

A minor in history consists of four units of history courses, one in the history of civilizations and two at the 300-level or above.

Further Reading

For a list of requirements for the history major, please see the Stetson University Catalog.

Life After Stetson

A wide range of professional opportunities are open to history graduates because of the rigor, interdisciplinary nature and international breadth encompassed by historical study. Many students who enjoy historical inquiry are drawn to law and business, journalism, university and secondary school teaching, public service, and museum and library work. Recent graduates have also found work in the foreign service and the military, corporate management and banking.

Indeed, history majors tend to perform exceedingly well on the Law School Admissions Exam (reference), Graduate Management Admission Exam in business (reference) and have one of the highest admissions rates of any major to medical school (reference). Recent majors have been accepted to graduate and professional programs at Harvard University, Oxford University, The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, The University of Virginia and The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, among others.

The resources of Stetson University's Office of Career Development and Academic Advising are available to assist you in setting specific career goals, and to help you develop the skills needed to implement these goals.