The History Department at CU provided me with an engaging and rewarding educational experience. Faculty members are passionate and prepare students to think critically, globally, and with empathy.
History students at the University of Colorado Boulder will take courses on the premodern and modern history of Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the United States of America. Students have the chance to take courses that explore history through the thematic lenses of colonialism and decolonization, diplomacy, the environment, gender/sexuality, and pop culture. Students have the unique opportunity of studying human society from broad perspectives in courses like "Introduction to Global History" and "A Global History of World War II," while also having the opportunity to engage in focused thematic and chronological classes like "Epidemic Disease in U.S History" and "Islam in the Modern World." History students learn to think comparatively and gain the skills they need to understand historical change.
For questions about the History Undergraduate program which are not covered on this website you can contact History Student Services at SS-History@colorado.edu
WHAT CAN I DO WITH A HISTORY DEGREE?
Public Sector Career Possibilities
The government is one of the largest employers of students with training and degrees in history and related fields.
- In cabinet-level departments and in independent organizations within the federal government: Analyzing policy performance, long-range trends, etc.
- Preserving, editing, and organizing public and institutional records
- In the historical offices of state legislatures, the Senate, and the United States House of Representatives:
- Performing staff and committee investigations Serving on study commissions
- In the United States Supreme Court Curator’s Office and various historical offices, projects, and regulatory agencies:
- Collecting and preserving records Analyzing policy
- Writing reports and various office correspondence
- Managing museums and archival and records centers for the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard
- Preparing institutional histories, etc.
The Foreign Service
- Duties include researching and writing on the diplomatic, economic, political, social, and cultural history of various areas. A test is required for entrance and placement analysis.
- Duties vary according to location and particular job. A test is required for entrance and placement analysis.
National Archives and Records Service
- Managing archives, manuscripts, records, and collections
- The public sector offers many other possibilities, such as: Working in libraries, historic sites, museums, community history education centers, etc.
- Working in areas of policy history, oral history, public administration, cultural resource management, genealogy, and family history, public works, land-use management, urban history and development, demographic history, environmental history, archaeological projects, etc.
Non-Profit Sector Career Possibilities
In addition to the appointments within the United States government, the non-profit sector offers a wide array of professional positions in research, administration, education, and exhibition design. Many historians hold appointments and work in fundraising for these organizations:
- Historical commissions, associations, and societies, scholarly and professional organizations, galleries and museums, colleges and universities, research foundations and institutional “think tanks,” service institutions, other philanthropic organizations that provide educational, social, and cultural services to the public.
Private Sector Career Possibilities
The private sector offers many opportunities for students with a history or liberal arts background. Listed below are numerous examples of businesses and industries that rely on employees who can research, document, analyze, synthesize, and communicate effectively.
- Researching public and private archives and records collections
- Developing support material from historical evidence
- Producing historical financial, economic, and political risk analyses
- Researching policy issues
- Researching and evaluating case histories
- Preparing studies of policy matters Performing legislative analyses
- Performing research and analysis for companies that specialize in the purchasing, issuing, and selling of corporate equity (such as brokerage firms and investment banking houses)
- Researching and writing historical documentaries and narratives
- Providing information and archival services to motion picture firms, networks, cable television companies, and digital media
- Researching historical records Interviewing with oral history techniques
- Writing and editing for newspapers, news, trade, and professional (scholarly) journals, historical and popular periodicals and magazines, textbooks, books, and new media
Marketing and Advertising, Publishing, Public Relations
- Researching and analyzing public trends
- Presenting clients’ activities based on historical interpretation
- Managing company archives
- Analyzing markets, finances, economics, and political risk over time
- Training staff in corporate history and foreign cultures through diversity and multiculturalism workshops
Industries in General
- Performing analysis studies
- Writing public relations, educational materials, and corporate communications
- Managing archives and information retrieval services
Mineral Extraction Industries
- Analyzing political risk and key political figures with reference to economic implications for business
- Researching claims and geographical and land-use history
- Reviewing local issues and concerns Carrying out policy and management studies Performing historical analysis
Career Possibilities in Education
If teaching is what you would like to do, appointments can be found in:
- Public and private elementary and secondary schools Community colleges
- Small and large undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities
Career Possibilities with Small Firms and Independent Enterprises
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit and wish to get involved with a small firm or start one of your own, fields where a history major will come in handy include the following:
Consulting: Cultural Resources
- Preservation and cultural resource management policy
- Researching and preparing cultural resource statements for environmental impact reports
- Selecting structures for legal protection
- Preparing and teaching preservation education programs
- Preparing histories, etc.
- Searching and researching public and private records
- Performing legal and policy research service
- Interviewing and transcribing for oral histories
- Historical editing and indexing
- Searching, researching, and preparing reports on family and community histories
- Working in firms offering preservation/restoration services
- Rehabilitating historically accurate buildings and artifacts
Writing (as professional writers, editors, journalists)
- Author your own historical books, pamphlets, articles, and research papers
The past is intelligible to us only in the light of the present; and we fully understand the present only in the light of the past. To enable man to understand society of the past and to increase mastery over the society of the present is the dual function of history.”
— E. H. Carr