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Why study history?

Students who study history learn to think critically, make connections between past and current events, conduct research, and communicate their findings in clear, persuasive prose. These skills will serve them well beyond the college classroom, setting them up to succeed in whatever field they choose to pursue. Students have many options with a degree in history.

Many graduates go on to become educators in elementary, middle, or secondary schools, community colleges, universities, museums, and national parks. Because historians are trained to analyze sources, they are also good candidates for careers as researchers. For some students this means pursuing a higher degree in order to conduct research in a historical field of interest. Others put their research skills into practice at local, state, and federal government, non-profit institutions, and historical organizations. Still others see these research skills as the first step toward a career in library science, for example as manuscript curators or archivists. The writing instruction students receive in the program might lead them to careers as journalists, authors, grant writers, and editors. Learning to make arguments and to support those arguments with reliable sources provides many students with the foundation necessary for a careers in law and policy. 

To read more about how history majors have used their degrees, read our alumni stories below and visit the American History Association Blog

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Olga Casaretti, Immigration Case Worker, International Rescue Committee in Dallas, TX

“USU has definitely helped me develop writing and research skills. My training has been particularly instrumental for grant writing. As a legal provider, I must support my claims with evidence-based sources. USU has provided me with solid research skills that can be applied to any field of life.”

Read Olga's full story.


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David D. Vail, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney

“My time at USU was crucial—fundamental to who I am as an historian. I am a first-generation student, so my first semester at USU carried a steep learning curve. The amount of care and investment I received early on from my professors continues to shape how I teach students and pursue research interests.”

Read David's full story.