What can I do with this major?
Broadly trained and enlightened students have the basic skills for success in almost any imaginable vocation. In particular, students develop skills in research, critical thinking and writing. These skills are marketable in many career tracks.
History can be used as a double major, supplementing any other major by providing a historical perspective and research skills.
With regard to graduate education, students have many options. The most obvious is graduate education in history. Yet students often successfully pursue graduate studies in theology, law, humanities and other fields. This opens doors to many careers: One can work in ministry, law, politics, education and business, to name a few. Even students who do not pursue a graduate education find myriad opportunities.
Recent graduates are working in business, law offices and web management companies. The three skills noted above are in demand and are often not developed in more vocationally focused programs. In effect, they translate well into many fields, and thus equip history students to explore many options and plot their course in life.
What are some interesting classes offered in this major?
- Medieval Europe: This course introduces students to the contours of medieval Europe between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the dawn of the Renaissance. It traces the spread of Christianity to the furthest northwestern corners of Europe and narrates the profound effects that Christian faith had on European culture, from Francis of Assisi to the Crusades. It examines the migrations and invasions that shaped the continent, explores the rise of the great European monarchies, investigates the idea of chivalry and knights, and introduces the intellectual, artistic and philosophical movements of the high middle ages. The course also examines some of demographic and social changes that created both economic hardship and prosperity, including the Bubonic Plague.
- Historiography I/Social Studies Research: The first of two sequential capstone courses which address the making of history. This will examine philosophy of history, select historians and schools of interpretation, a Christian worldview of history and pertinent professional issues. It will entail initial topic development and primary and secondary research for a major original research project.
- Historiography/Social Studies Research II: The second of two sequential capstone courses which address the making of history. This will build upon the first course, employing the knowledge, skills and preliminary work from that experience to complete a major research project based upon intensive primary and secondary research. This will culminate with the proper writing and presentation of such research
What internships or partnerships are available with this program?
- Museums (ex: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum; Coopersville Farm Museum)
- Archives (ex: Grand Rapids City Archives; H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies)
- Libraries (ex: Lincoln Township Library in Indiana)
- Non-profit organizations (ex: St. Cecelia’s)
- International service organizations (ex: Women at Risk International)
- Archeological projects
- Law offices
What are grads doing now?
Graduates are pursuing a number of careers. We have several in graduate school studying in the “typical” fields of history, ancient studies, and library science, but there are also graduates in fields such as law and business. We’ve a number of recent graduates in a wide array of careers; one is on staff at a major research library, another does content management for a major medical organization, another works for an insurance company, to name but a few examples. Other graduates may be middle and high school teachers.