- Why Major in History?
- Undergraduate Programs in History
- History Career Opportunities
- Illinois Social Sciences Certification Test Preparation
- Courses (including Required and Current Courses Descriptions) (Spring 2013) (Fall 2013)
- Activities, Scholarships
- History Tutors
- History (Chicago/Turabian) Citation Guide
- What Can I Do With a History Major?
In 1931, Carl Becker told the American Historical Association that the study of history enables a society to judge "what it is doing in the light of what it has done and what it hopes to do." Sixty years later, William McNeil told the same body, "Historical knowledge is no more and no less than carefully and critically constructed collective memory.... [T]he changing perspectives of historical understanding are the very best introduction we can have to the practical problems of real life." And, in the 21st century, Peter Stearns' answer to the question was "because we virtually must, to gain access to the laboratory of human experience." Analyzing past events, traditions, and experiences strengthens students' understanding of society, culture, and politics; gives them bases for comparing human cultures; and affords students opportunities for informed reflection and writing.
The ability to gather and analyze information is essential to almost every professional pursuit. History majors learn to read and to think critically, and to synthesize their research into understandable English.
Students may choose from several degree options:
- Bachelor of Arts in History
- Bachelor of Arts in History with Departmental Honors
- Bachelor of Arts in History with Option in International Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in History with Teacher Certification in Social Science
- The department also offers a History minor.
The History department offers over sixty courses, ranging from sweeping surveys of long periods to tightly focused seminars on specific topics and countries. Most courses offer students the opportunity to improve their writing skills.
- Students majoring in history must take 15-21 semester hours of required courses:
- History 3600-G**: The U.S. Constitution and the Nation
- History 2560: Early Modern World History
- History 3555: Modern World History
- History 2010: History of the United States to 1877
- History 2020: History of the United States since 1877
- History 2500: Researching and Writing History
- as well as 33 semester hours of electives numbered above 3000, which must include at least 9 semester hours in U.S. history and 9 in non-U.S. history.
- Current catalog is available by using this Dynamic Schedule and consulting Required History course descriptions.
- Suggested 4-Year Curriculum Plan
- The option in History with International Studies requires History 2020, 2560, 3555, 2500, 3600-G, and 21 semester hours distributed between History, Economics, Political Science, and Geography, as well as proficiency in French, German, or Spanish.
- Suggested 4-Year Curriculum Plan (with International Studies Concentration)
- Students minoring in History must take at least 18 semester hours (HIS 2010G, HIS 2020G, HIS 2560, HIS 3555, and two upper-division history electives).
- All History classes (except HIS 3175 and HIS 4800) are Writing Intensive; HIS 2500 is writing centered.
- History majors from Eastern have pursued a variety of professional careers in teaching, business, museums, and politics, including the governorship of Illinois. The study of history also provides excellent background for postgraduate student in history, law, and library or historical administration.
- Two views of "What Can I Do With a History Major" are here and here.
- The History Department maintains an active page of Employment in History advice and links, an annual History Careers Day, and faculty use their professional contacts to assist history students with career guidance. The Department also offers the following advanced degrees:
- Thinking about Law School?
- And check out the following works in Booth Library:
- Great jobs for history majors, 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008). Call Number, copy 1: Ref. D16.9 .D34 2008 Location: Non-Circulating, Reference Room, 3000 Level, Booth Library; Call Number, Copy 2: D16.9 .D34 2008 Location: Bookstacks, 3000 Level, Booth Library
- Great jobs for history majors, 2nd ed. (Chicago: VGM Career Books, 2001). Call Number: D16.9 .G34 2001 Location: Bookstacks, 3000 Level, Booth Library
- Top careers for history graduates (New York: Checkmark Books, 2004). Call Number: Ref. D13.5.U6 T67 2004 Location: Non-Circulating, Reference Room, 3000 Level, Booth Library
- Top careers for liberal arts graduates (New York: Checkmark Books, 2004). Call Number: Ref. HF5382.5.U5 T674 2004 Location: Non-Circulating, Reference Room, 3000 Level, Booth Library
- College majors handbook, 2nd ed. (Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2004). Call Number: Ref. HF5382.5.U5 F644 2004 Non-Circulating, Reference Room, 3000 Level, Booth Library
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (United States Dept. of Labor)
- All students interested in History are invited to join Eastern Illinois's History Club. The club conducts several events each year to expand students' experience of the past.
- Each spring, the department invites outstanding history students to join the EIU chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national History honorary society. Both upper and lower Illinois regional history conferences (Eastern's chapter sponsored one in 1993 and 1996) are held annually, usually in April. Eastern's chapter has been well-represented by both undergraduate and graduate students reading papers every year since 1990. Also, a distinguished scholar addresses the annual indution and awards banquet.
- Students may also choose to contribute samples of their historical research to Historia, the EIU student history journal.
- Accomplished history students can also compete for several scholarships, each of which are open to History majors and have distinct scholarship criteria.
For more information and application materials, contact email@example.com, or:
Dr. Anita Shelton, Chairperson
Department of History
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920-3099