The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA or BGS, as well as a MA and a PhD in History. The history major allows students to explore the richness and diversity of human experience in the past while building skills of analysis, interpretation, research, and communication. All history majors gain knowledge of significant historical transformations that have shaped the world. History majors learn to think critically, to conduct historical research, and to present the results of their research in clear and coherent writing.
Sample of Related Skills
- Demonstrate knowledge of key historical facts, values, and ideas that have shaped civilizations throughout history
- Analyze secondary sources and identify various approaches to historical interpretation through critical reading
- Construct historical arguments based on primary sources and the historical method
- Conduct independent historical research
- Present results of research in both oral and written format
- Develop the ability to examine other societies in a global context and to look at one's own society in the context of other societies
Popular Career Paths
Curatorial and Archival Management: Includes acquiring documents and works, documenting them, and ensuring their preservation.
Education (Classroom and Non-Classroom): Involves educating children or adults on historical information in a variety of settings: museums, schools, libraries, historical sites, camps, etc.
Historical Preservation & Conservation: Works to promote and implement policies and practices to protect and preserve historical sites and cultural resources.
Writing & Research: Utilizes research and writing skills to contribute research, data analysis, and written works to historical organizations/educational institutions, publications (academic journals, magazines, books) or other media/entertainment (television shows, movies, plays).
Information Specialization: Involves the management of books, documents, archives, exhibit pieces, products, etc. with the use of technology.
Business Administration and Management: Allows one to use the abilities to collect and digest information, draw conclusions,analyze data, comprehend and explain facts, etc. in a variety of business settings.
Explore More Career Paths
- Working Your Degree - career ideas for history majors, as well as tips for landing a job in your field of interest
Jobs to Consider
Places to Seek Employment
Chambers of Commerce
Colleges and Universities
Historic Preservation/Conservation Societies
Historical Journals, Magazines, and Publishers
Insurance Agencies: Claims Departments
Local, State, and Federal Government Agencies
Local, State, and National Parks
Nature Centers/Wildlife Refuges
Private Corporations (Records Management)
Study Abroad Offices
TV Networks, Film Studios, & Theatres
View specific employers by state.
- Identify areas of interest in history, so you can focus your academics and experiences toward these fields.
- Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e., advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for HireJayhawks.com and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in history, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as the: Natural History Museum Student Board, Student Ambassadors, and University of Kansas Student Historical Society.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume 1 (pdf), sample resume 2 (pdf).
Job and Internship Search Resources
- A & E Television Networks - job openings with the History Channel and its affiliate stations
- American Association of Museums - job openings within museums
- American Historical Society - various careers, with descriptions, within different industries for history majors to consider; also includes job listings, fellowships, and other professional association. Also provides a directory of affiliated historical societies.
- American Library Association - job listings, career information, ALA accredited academic programs and more
- Idealist.org - local, national, and international internships in non-profit and government organizations
- Internships-USA - internship listings from the Congressional Internship Book, The Museum Internship Book, Washington Internships in Law & Policy, and The History Internship Book
- Jobs in Public Service & Administration - public service job boards separated by industry
- Kansas Historical Society - information on historical activities, educational programs, jobs, and internships
- Makingthedifference.org - "hot jobs" and "cool internships" within the government
- National Museum Salary Survey (pdf) - information on salary in the museum field
- Preservation Directory - comprehensive online directory of historical preservation resources; includes job postings
- Publicservicecareers.org - job and internship resources, career advice and resources, and general information on jobs in public service
- Smithsonian Internships - list of Smithsonian internship opportunities; you can also explore possible career paths and current job openings with the Smithsonian on their website
- Society for History in the Federal Government - a list of internships in the field of history
- Society of American Archivists - contains job postings, email listserves, directory of archival degree programs and other archival associations
- Student Conservation Association - internship programs that include opportunities in historical parks and museums
- The Organization of American Historians - job opportunities in the field of history, as well as programs, events, and networking opportunities
- USA Jobs "Working for America" - information on careers within the federal government, job and internship listings, and more
- Watkins Community Museum of History - local volunteer and internship opportunities, as well as additional links to other local historical organizations