Students wishing to major in history should acquire as broad a background as possible in subjects related to their historical interests. Both secondary school and community college courses in history should be supplemented with courses in other social sciences and the humanities. Students interested in the history of science should emphasize studies in physical and biological sciences.
The discipline is broad in scope and methods. Faculty members believe a logical and systematic selection of courses in other disciplines will complement the study of history. They encourage prospective majors to consult with them in preparing an integrated course of study.
Career Implications of the Bachelors Degree
The bachelor of arts degree in history provides students with general preparation for a wide range of occupations. Most majors follow business and professional careers and receive benefits both personally and professionally from the development of analytical skills and examination of relevant subject matter in history courses. A common misconception is that the only thing available after graduation is to teach history. That is a possible path, but certainly not your only option.
Among the many jobs you can consider are: advertising, analyst, archivist, broadcaster, campaign worker, consultant, congressional aide, editor, foreign service, foundation staffer, information specialist, intelligence, journalist, legal assistant, lobbyist, personnel manager, public relations. . . the list is almost endless. It sounds cliché, but the career path for a history majors is limited only by your imagination.
More specifically, with your degree in history you can work as an educator (primary, secondary or post-secondary schools, historic sites and museums); as a researcher (museums, think tanks, cultural resources management, preservation); as a communicator (writers, archivists, librarians); as an advocate (lawyers, legislative staff, foundations,); and in business (contract historians, non-profits, corporation staff).
Why so many opportunities? Consider this: the study of history trains us how to think—not in a small or proscribed way, but in an analytical way. In our courses, you will discover that a flexible and perceptive mind is the most practical tool imaginable. You will become excellent writers and communicators with the ability to analyze complex problems with dexterity and finesse, a skill that will help you regardless of your chosen career path. Beyond this—and this remains a much less practical concern—as we hope you discover, history is more than names and dates. At best, the study of history can be a cure for ignorance, prejudice, and provincialism. And at the very least, it is an interesting story about who we are as a community, a nation, and a people.
If your interests remain in the academic world, know that our students have gone on to many top-flight colleges and universities. Recent UMKC history majors have pursued graduate study at the state universities of Virginia, Texas, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Mississippi, Kansas, Kentucky, Florida, Michigan, and California-Berkeley as well as Ohio State, Southern Methodist, Marquette, Notre Dame, Washington University, University of British Columbia, Texas Tech, Georgetown, Northwestern, London School of Economics, NYU, Queen’s College-Belfast, King’s College-London, and Cambridge.
Individuals seeking careers as teachers and professional historians may pursue advanced degrees on this campus. The department offers the master of arts degree and participates in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. Students interested in graduate studies should contact the principal graduate advisor, Miriam Forman-Brunell , or for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, contact Andrew Bergerson .