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History Major

As a history major, you’ll discover that studying the people and places of the past will enrich your perspective on the complex and interconnected world of today.

It will enhance your ability to see repetitions, disruptions and innovations in human society and culture throughout the world and across time.

Combining your knowledge of history with advanced writing and reasoning skills will open the door to a wide range of career opportunities. As a bonus, your research-intensive senior thesis will make you an expert in your area of interest.

Meet Your Major

Through our program, you will:

  • Acquire a deep and broad knowledge of history.
  • Sharpen your critical thinking and oral and written communication.
  • Deepen your understanding and appreciation of different human cultures.
  • Understand continuity and change in past societies.
  • Identify history’s most pressing questions and come up with research strategies to answer them.
  • Develop a method for gathering, analyzing, ordering, combining and interpreting evidence.

Hands-On Learning

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in meaningful internships to help you get a job. It’s your chance to gain real-world experience. Some internship opportunities our history students have participated in include:

  • Intern, USS Constitution Museum
    Student provided research for “Life at Sea” exhibit focusing on the lives of the crew during war of 1812, and the design, construction and purchasing of the ship’s armaments.
  • Intern, Lawrence City Attorney’s office
    Student conducted research in Land Court issues.
  • Intern, Office of former Congressman Marty Meehan
    Student provided research for press releases and housing issues.
  • Intern, New England Quilt Museum in Lowell
    Student gathered information from quilt owners, scanned slides of quilts and documented the background and interpretation of quilts in the museum’s collections.
  • Intern, Historic New England organization
    Student assisted with magazine publishing.
  • Intern, Corinthian Yacht Club
    Student archived historical document collection. 

Professor Tess Bundy will work with you to help find an internship and evaluate your work.  

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the History program, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career in historical research, education, law or business. Positions may include:

  • Archivist
  • Government policy advisor
  • Journalist
  • Librarian
  • Museum curator
  • Researcher
  • Teacher

What can I do with an undergraduate degree in history?

The Curriculum

You will take a combination of core and elective courses to satisfy the requirements of 38 credits and 10 courses minimum. To graduate, you must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 in your history courses. In addition, you must successfully complete two courses in the same modern foreign language at the intermediate level.  

Required Courses

HIS 3991 Introduction to Historical Methodology
(taken spring of junior year)
HIS 4991(W) Senior Thesis (taken fall of senior year)
Premodern Survey (select one)
HIS 1119 The European Experience:  
Antiquity to the Reformation 
HIS 1130 World History to 150
Modern Survey (select one)
HIS 1120 The European Experience:
Early Modern to the Present
HIS 1131 The History of the World
After 1500
European History (select at least one)
HIS 3350      Ancient History 
HIS 3355 Barbarians and Holy Men:
The History of Late Antiquity
HIS 3360 Medieval Civilization
HIS 3370 Renaissance, Reformation
and Exploration
HIS 3376 Era of the French Revolution
and Napoleon
HIS 3378 History of Modern Britain
HIS 3380  Science, Technology, and Society
HIS 3390  Modern European Social History
HIS 3391 Women in Modern European History
HIS 3401 Nineteenth-Century Europe
HIS 3410 Twentieth-Century Europe 
HIS 3412 Hitler, Mussolini, and the Fascist
Challenge in Europe, 1900-1950 
HIS 3470 History of Imperial Russia
HIS 3471  From Lenin to Putin:  
Russia in the Twentieth Century
United States History
United States History (select at least one)
One of the following:           
  • HIS 1106 U.S. History I: From Pre-Contact through the Civil War & Reconstruction
  • HIS 1107 U.S. History II: From Reconstruction to the Present
HIS 3320 The American City
HIS 3325 History Outside the Classroom:  The Practice of Public History
HIS 3326 Building America:  
A History of American Architecture
HIS 3425  Contemporary United States History
HIS 3426  African-American History from
Slave Trade to the Present
HIS 3434 Revolutionary America, 1760-1800 
HIS 3435 The Peoples of Early America
HIS 3437  Civil War and Reconstruction
HIS 3438  History of the Early American Republic,
HIS 3525  Environmental History of North America
World History (select at least one)
HIS 3330      World History since 1945
HIS 3331 Slaves and Spice:  
A History of the Indian Ocean
HIS 3335 World Environmental History, 1300-Present
HIS 3365          The History of Muslim Communities,
HIS 3366 History of the Modern Middle East
HIS 3439 Slavery and Race in Early Modern
Atlantic World, 1400-1800
HIS 3440 Survey of Latin American History:  
From Pre-Contact to the Present 

Note: Up to eight credits of History internship (HIS 4986 and HIS 4987) can count towards the major requirements. History majors who are also Education majors may count both HIS 1106 and 1107 towards fulfillment of their major requirements.

Elective Courses

Choose three additional history electives (2000 or higher) from the list above.   

Capstone Experience

This rigorous requirement includes two courses:

  • HIS 3991 - Introduction to Historical Methodology
    • You will take this in spring of your junior year.
    • You will learn composition, bibliography, historiography and research methods.
  • HIS 4991W - Senior Thesis 
    • You will take this in fall of your senior year.
    • In addition to doing advanced historical research and preparing a seminar paper, you will critique other students’ work.
    • You will learn to formulate a clear argument and follow the conventions of historical citation.
    • You will analyze sources and combine large amounts of information. 

Studying Abroad

We encourage you to study abroad. Please visit the Office of Global Education or contact the history department for more information. 



More Info

Erin Madden
Administrative Assistant
Sullivan 304


Sally Shockro

Associate Professor and Chair, History