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History, General

Program Description

Just the Facts

History, General. A program that focuses on the general study and interpretation of the past, including the gathering, recording, synthesizing and criticizing of evidence and theories about past events. Includes instruction in historiography; historical research methods; studies of specific periods, issues and cultures; and applications to areas such as historic preservation, public policy, and records administration.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Additional Information

If you're a fan of shows like Biography and Ancient Mysteries, why not dig even deeper into the past by majoring in history?

Studying history requires a lot of reading and processing information. History students also write many papers, so they need good communication skills.

Bryan Le Beau is a history professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He says students should have excellent critical reading skills and solid writing skills to express themselves clearly and efficiently.

History professor Jacqueline Murray agrees. Successful students have "the patience and initiative to find [information] that moves beyond the conventional or obvious," she adds.

The ability to think independently and to back up your conclusions with solid evidence, as well as an ability to read a language other than English, are other qualities of a good history student, Murray says.

Most history students take survey courses during their first and second years. These courses survey entire sweeps of history, such as European history from ancient to modern times, or the history of science.

More specialized classes come in the third and fourth years. At Murray's school, students study social history, labor history, women's history, political history, medieval history, ancient history, local history and other areas.

Le Beau says other classes that are often required include historical research methods and a senior seminar.

Focus on completing a broad high school education. Take history and social studies courses as well as English, politics, current events and theater.

"Individually, students who have read broadly have an advantage," Murray says. "Any activity that helps to develop discipline and commitment will help a student develop skills useful to an historian."

Also, consider joining local historical societies.

Besides tuition, textbooks are the only major expense.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Social Scientists, Other

Talking History
Hear Bryan Le Beau's weekly history show

History Net
Learn about the past


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