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History Major

Let the past be illuminated and the present better understood as you study human history.

Gain perspectives of time and place as you examine the complexities of our human history and experience. Grounded in a disciplined study of the past, you will be well-equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century. History majors and minors take courses on histories from around the world, as well as a field specialization in one region or theme. History students develop sharp reading, writing and research skills, preparing them for advanced graduate study or careers in education, public affairs, law, business and more.

Heart of the Liberal Arts
Preparation for Possibility
Chu History Class.jpg
In class with professor Pey-Yi Chu
In class with Professor Ken Wolf
In class with Professor Ken Wolf
In class with Professor April Mayes
In class with Professor April Mayes

What You’ll Study

    • Five courses in a field of specialization
    • Three courses drawn from western and non-western fields
    • A course on any period before 1800
    • Senior thesis
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In addition to funding from the summer research program, the History Department offers four other grant sources for students.

Student Projects

Gabby Lupola (center) with Chamorro scholars Alfred Flores and Keith Camacho

The Pacific and its Native Peoples

Gabby Lupola ’21 (center) with Chamorro scholars Harvey Mudd College Professor Alfred Flores and UCLA Professor Keith Camacho. Lupola researches the Pacific and its Native peoples in connection to issues of settler colonialism, indigeneity, military-industrial complex, the environment, intermarriage, language and cultural renewal.

Lerick Gordon-Cuevas ’22

Latinx Veterans of U.S. Wars

Lerick Gordon-Cuevas ’22 conducted historical research on Latinx experiences within the U.S. military, ranging from the Vietnam War to the present day. Gordon-Cuevas’ work highlighted the sacrifices of Latinx veterans in the armed forces through their own words and stories.

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Lerick Gordon-Cuevas ’22
Lerick Gordon-Cuevas ’22

I really enjoy the flexibility that comes with majoring in history. Being able to take upper division courses and seminars with little to no prerequisites allows me to choose the classes that truly interest me, whenever I want to take them. And with the wide variety of fields that are offered, I’m able to learn about the histories of people from all around the world during a variety of different historical eras, all while being able to focus on my own specialization within the major.

Faculty & Teaching

The history faculty represents a broad swath of expertise, across time periods, movements, cultures and continents. Their nuanced knowledge of the past and the close mentorship they offer will make a lasting impact on your worldview. 

Professor Tomás Summers Sandoval

I think history is the backbone of the liberal arts. We study the past not just to better understand what happened ‘then’ but to better understand our present world and ourselves. Our diversity is a big part of that. We're a diverse faculty with diverse experiences and interests. That’s how we nurture the critical global perspective students need for life in the 21st century.