Historians critically interpret sources and stories about the people living in the past to provide an understanding of events, cultures, and processes of change. By studying the past, we are better able to understand issues in our contemporary world.
People trained in history develop strong research and critical skills, creative methods for recognizing patterns of information, and techniques for clear and persuasive writing. No other discipline better prepares you to deal with and understand the present—from many professional perspectives—than history. Students graduating with a History major will:
- understand the forces, ideas, and actions that have shaped human history;
- understand how people have used history in the past and continue to use it, and be able to evaluate its use;
- understand how historical arguments work and produce their own on the basis of evidence;
- know how to conduct historical research and present it in writing, oral communication, or another medium;
- understand how skills developed through the study of history can be used in a variety of contexts and jobs.
In addition to a full range of course offerings from internationally recognized scholars, IU’s History Department also offers the following opportunities:
- Internship Program offering advice and academic credit for internships during the academic year and the summer holidays, in Bloomington and beyond;
- Our spring essay competitions, which provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable professional feedback while competing for an award that will strengthen a job résumé or application to graduate or professional school.
- Our Honors Program, a major source of satisfaction and opportunities for our students.
- The Faculty Mentor Program, accessible to interested students who want to discuss their major with a faculty member.
In addition to the opportunities offered through the History program, Indiana History majors themselves run an online history journal, Primary Source, an opportunity for undergraduates from all over the country to show the world their ideas.