Prospective History Students at Eastern Illinois University
1. Why study History?
- The short answer is that it is interesting and rewarding. Here are two fuller answers on why history is important and has so much to offer.
2. What can I do with a History major?
- While over half of our majors go into teaching at either the secondary or college levels, nearly half pursue other professions. Here are some paths that our graduates take:
- Public history, such as museums and archives
- Government, local, state and federal, from legislative research to FBI
- Publishing, both print and web
- Documentary films
- For more discussion of the above, see What Can I Do With a History Major
3. Are there jobs for teachers in history?
- You bet! The Illinois State Board of Education estimates that over 40% of all social science teaching positions will come open and have to be filled in the next five years. Every single high school in the state of Illinois teaches history. And all EIU history majors seeking teacher certification will also be certified to teach all of the social sciences, not just history. Those facts, combined with EIU's long-standing reputation as the region's premier producer of history and social science teachers mean that our History with Social Science Teacher Certification majors will be highly marketable!
4. Why should I come to EIU's History department?
- Quality. For example, EIU's History department has been chosen three years in a row (along with English and Biology) as one of EIU's three First Choice programs in the Graduate School. Our student journal, Historia, is a two-time winner of "best student journal" in a nation-wide competition sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honors society.
- Faculty. Our faculty are true scholar-teachers. All have Ph.D.'s and are active in their fields of research. With over twenty faculty and around two hundred and fifty students in all our programs, we are able to maintain small classes of ten to forty students at the most. This means there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one interaction. And all of our classes are taught by the professors; we do not use graduate assistants to teach classes. We also have quality centralized advising.
- Curriculum. Our faculty includes specialists in the history of the United States, Europe, Russia, Asia, Africa and Latin America, on periods from the ancient world through the Vietnam War, so you will have a wide range of classes to choose from.
- Extra-curricular activities. We have an active History Club that sponsors field trips, book sales and film festivals, as well as Epsilon Mu, a regional chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (the national history honors society), which sponsors conferences and competitions. We also publish an annual student journal, Historia.
- Scholarships. We offer over a dozen scholarships for students in History from those for incoming freshmen and transfer students to those earmarked for advanced juniors, seniors and graduate students.
5. Do you have a graduate program?
- Yes, in fact we have two. The M.A. in History is a one-year academic program that is especially suitable for teachers seeking an additional degree, or for those who intend to go on into a Ph.D. program in History or other advanced professional degrees. The M.A. in Historical Administration is an applied program for those who would like to work professionally in public history (museums, archives, living history sites, etc.). This program requires two semesters of coursework and a six-month internship.