History Major (BA)

A person speaking in front of a whiteboard at Hamline in a history class

Hamline's history courses open windows into how people lived, loved, fought, and thought throughout time. You'll apply your insights gained from studying the past to the challenges of the modern world.

Studying history will develop your research and analysis skills into powerful tools in your life and career. You'll learn about the lives of people from the past and examine political, social, and cultural questions, such as how different societies were organized and how power has been defined and contested over time.

You'll join a community of professors and students who are drawn to the study of the past for the perspectives it provides on our own time, as well as for the intrinsic value of learning about how people in other times and places made sense of their world, and what they did to try to change it. Your classes will focus on thoughtful discussion and help you develop persuasive writing and other communication skills.

Student research opportunities

At Hamline, students participate in research with faculty as early as their first year, something usually reserved for graduate students at other institutions. You'll design and conduct your own research project based on your individual interests and goals.

The list of possible research projects is as varied as our students. For example, picture yourself:

  • Mentoring elementary school students on their History Day projects
  • Researching Prohibition’s roots in Minnesota with a team of students and professors
  • Drafting recommendations for legislation based on research and context from past eras
  • Designing museum exhibits that reckon with momentous events and provoke viewers to consider their own lives in a greater historical context

During your research process, you’ll collaborate with scientists at major research institutions, publish your research in academic journals, and present your work at local, regional, and national conferences.

The writing, presentation, and research skills I learned at Hamline made me a competitive candidate in many career tracks, from marketing to project management. My professors encouraged me to broaden my studies and showed me how a history degree makes you a better innovator.

Laura Ledray '16, communication and media studies, and history; senior project manager at Nextiva

Internships for history students

We make sure you leave Hamline with work experience in the field of history on your resume, and the opportunities are boundless. Whether you want to explore a career in law, journalism, museum work or more, we have internship opportunities for you.

Examples of organizations where past history students have interned:

  • Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
  • Minnesota Historical Society
  • Washington County Historical Society
  • Thomson-Reuters Media Company
  • National History Day Minnesota
  • Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES)

Explore career paths

Our innovative courses and one-on-one mentoring by faculty will give you the tools to succeed in a variety of jobs, such as:

  • History department lecturer
  • Infectious disease policy research associate
  • Museum director of exhibitions and programming
  • Historical society services manager
  • University collection archivist
  • Pricing and product data operations associate
  • Trade relations analyst
  • Climate and energy research analyst 
  • Educational curriculum editor

You can put your skills to work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Legislative research
  • Business consulting
  • Political strategist
  • Immigration law
  • Marketing
  • High school social studies teacher
  • Journalism
  • International diplomacy
  • Museum curation

Take your studies further with graduate school

Our graduates have gone on to graduate schools across the country in the pursuit of master’s and doctoral degrees. Examples of programs and schools include:

  • MA, heritage studies and public history, University of Minnesota
  • Master of Business Administration, San Diego State University
  • Master of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • Master of Social Work, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
  • MA, public administration, Harvard Kennedy School
  • MS, library and information science and archives management, Simmons University
  • MA, history museum studies, Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta
  • MA, international political economy, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • MA, security policy, Georgetown University 
  • MA, history, Syracuse University 
  • PhD, energy and environmental history, Rutgers University
  • PhD, history, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • University of St. Thomas Law School
  • Georgetown University Law School
  • New York University School of Law
  • Yale University Law School
  • The George Washington University Law School
  • University of Oregon School of Law