Studying History at NDSU
History is the key to the present. This important fact is sometimes overlooked. If one is to understand the present and approach the future intelligently, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the pasL Indeed, the present is the direct result of the past and the great issues of the day can be dealt with competently only by use of the perspective provided by the past.
History is the keystone to a liberal arts education because everything is intimately related to history. It acts as a unifying agent which helps to link other liberal arts courses together in a meaningful whole. But for many students who have an intense interest in history the crucial question remains, "What is the job outlook for a history major?".
The skills and attitudes fostered by a history-oriented education can lead to careers in business, law, industry, government and teaching. These skills and attitudes include the ability to analyze, communicate, relate, reason and think critically. They help provide insight into the complexity of human behavior.Many students who major in history at North Dakota State University combine their history courses with an approved minor and pursue the B. S. degree. Graduates have found jobs in such business fields as insurance and retailing. Opportunities also exist in banking, health services and local and state government.A second option is the B. A. degree. This degree program is recommended for students interested in attending graduate school or law school. Recent graduates have entered graduate programs at the University of Florida, Nebraska and Texas. Many history majors go on to get their law degrees and practice law in North Dakota and other states.
History graduates are in demand for teaching positions. Currently, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that openings for teachers will "increase faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2005." Students interested in teaching in secondary schools are advised to pursue the history education degree program offered through the School of Education.Additional career options are outlined in the handout, Careers for Graduates in History which is available from the History Department. Current information on career opportunities in history can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Each of the three degree programs requires basic courses in such areas as English, the social and behavioral sciences and science and mathematics. In addition, each program has a distinctive requirement-an approved minor for the B.S., 14 credits in a single language for the B.A. and 27 credits in specified education courses for the history education degree.
The history curriculum in these degree options includes year-long courses in U.S., European, Latin American and Asian history as well as social, intellectual, economic and regional history. After taking introductory survey courses, students majoring in history work with their advisers in selecting an interrelated sequence of upper-division courses.
A total of 36 credits in history is required in each of the three options. Each option also requires three credits in 200-level and 21 credits in 300- or 400-level courses. A three-credit senior seminar is required of all history majors.
Public History Program
In 1982 the Department of History launched a Public History program which introduces students to such fields as archival and museum work. This is an area which has been receiving increasing attention around the country. NDSU's program is the first in this region. The Public History program requires a 60-credit professional major (see Public History Fact Sheet).
Active Learning In Classes
The department encourages active learning in many of its introductory classes by using techniques which include: student portfolios, in-class exercises, role playing, exhibits, websites, documentaries, and library assignments. In addition, the department offers a tutorial program in connection with the large sections of the introductory U.S. history courses. This program is conducted by faculty or graduate students and has proven helpful to many students.
International Perspectives And Cultural Diversity
The department is strongly committed to helping students understand the diversity of human experience. In addition to the specific courses in nonwestem areas, other history classes help students understand how differences in race, gender, ethnicity and social and economic class have affected peoples' lives. Department faculty are also active in numerous efforts to promote understanding of diversity. These include women's studies and a faculty exchange program with the tribally controlled community colleges on North Dakota's Indian reservations.