Meet Your 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.

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:

  • Lowell National Historic Park
  • 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, 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    Student archived historical document collection. 

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 adviser
  • Journalist
  • Librarian
  • Museum curator
  • Researcher
  • Teacher

What can I do with an undergraduate degree in history?

What You’ll Take

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, in order to better understand other cultures and conduct research, you must successfully complete two courses in the same modern foreign language at the intermediate level, or starting with the class of 2024 complete two additional approved cognate courses at the 3000 level.

Required Courses (complete both)

HIS 3991 Introduction to Historical Methodology (taken spring of junior year)
HIS 4991W Senior Thesis (taken fall of senior year)

Premodern Survey (choose one)

HIS 1119 The European Experience:  Antiquity to the Reformation 
HIS 1130 World History to the Sixteenth Century

Modern Survey (choose one)

HIS 1120 The European Experience: Early Modern to the Present
HIS 1131 World History Since 1500

European History (choose 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 Europe’s Revolutionary Nineteenth Century
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 (choose at least one)

Choose one:         

(HIS 1106) U.S. History I: From Pre-Contact Through the Civil War and Reconstruction or (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, 1800-1848 
HIS 3525  Environmental History of North America

World History (choose at least one)

HIS 3330      World History Post 1945
HIS 3331 Slaves and Spice: A History of the Indian Ocean
HIS 3335 World Environmental History, 1300-Present

HIS 3550

HIS 3365         

Global Empires, Race, and Nature, 1750-1945

The History of Muslim Communities, 600-1600

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 toward the major requirements. History majors who are also education majors may count both HIS 1106 and HIS 1107 toward fulfillment of their major requirements.

Elective Courses
Choose three additional history electives (3000 level) from the list above, including HIS 3000 special topics courses.   

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.