What To Do With History Major?



Why study History?

Why study History? A degree in history provides the necessary skills and abilities for a variety of careers beyond secondary education and produces a strong foundation for future studies.  It is designed to give the student solid skills in critical thinking, research, and writing.  Drawing on the principles of a liberal arts education, students develop useful skills, including critical thinking, analysis and research skills

What can you do with a History degree?

A History degree provides an excellent background for teaching, graduate work in History or Law, or public service. With the growth of Public and Digital History, our department’s graduates have found positions in museums, historic preservation, and the administration of historic sites. History majors often combine their studies in History with other fields of interest, such as business or international studies. History is also an excellent preparation for teaching Social Studies in schools and can be taken simultaneously with an education major.  The website of the American Historical Association has more information on careers available to history majors and can be found at:  http://www.historians.org/pubs/Free/careers/Index.htm.

What History is taught at NDSU?

The Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies offers a broad variety of courses in all periods of time, areas of the world, and topics. Thus, you can find classes on ancient Rome and early modern Germany; on the Civil War, the Russian Revolution and the Civil Rights movement; on Vietnam, Mexico, and Australia.  In addition, our department offers cutting edge coursework in Environmental, Digital, and Public History.  Check the NDSU Course Catalog for a full listing of faculty and courses and look at the Schedule of Courses each semester for current offerings.

How do I major in History?

You may register as a History Major by going to the Bison Connection counter in the Memorial Union or the Office of the Registrar in Ceres Hall, where helpful staff will walk you through the process.  If you would like to change your major to History, or add History as a second major, you may do so by completing the Major, Minor, Certificate, or Adviser Change Form located at https://eforms.ndsu.nodak.edu/imagenowforms/fs?rdtoken=1377111869892.

How do I find an advisor in History?

You are assigned an advisor once you are registered as a history major. If you have met a faculty member whom you wish to have as an advisor, let the Head of Department or relevant faculty member know; if you have identified the area of your major interests in History, ask for an advisor in that area. Your advisor will have office hours each week and will be happy to help you register each semester and change schedules as needed. When you are within a year of graduation, review all graduation requirements with your advisor and with the University registrar to make sure you are on track for your anticipated date of graduation.

How do I meet History instructors?

The Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies is located in Minard Hall. The main office is located in Minard 422, and the telephone number is (701)231-8654. Faculty are located in the 422 office suite on the 4th floor of Minard Hall. Office hours are posted on their doors. Graduate Assistants are in 422Q Minard Hall.  You may also contact History staff via email.

What if I have special needs?

Students with any sort of disability or handicap should speak to the Office for Disability Services, either by visiting the office located in Wallman Wellness Center 170 or by calling (701)231-8463. This office will notify instructors of the need to make all reasonable accommodations for your disability. Speak to your instructors at the beginning of each semester about your needs. Special accommodations cannot be made without the authorization of the Office for Disability Services.

Are there other services available to me?

Several services and programs can be helpful in your education.  The Center for Writers, located on the lower level of the Main Library, offers free, one-on-one writing assistance to NDSU students by appointment and can be reached at (701)231-7927. Student organizations represent a wide array of interests, including a History Club, Philosophy Club, and Phi Alpha Theta for History majors.  The NDSU Counseling Center is located at 212 Ceres Hall and is open every weekday to assist students with family or personal issues, stress management, and a variety of other needs in a confidential setting.  The Counseling Center can be reached at (701)231-7671. 

Rules of Student Courtesy

Try to keep appointments that you make with instructors. Seek out faculty during their official office hours. Never enter an office where an instructor is speaking on the telephone or with another person. Avoid questions like: “I missed two weeks of class; did you cover anything important?” In class, avoid talking during lectures, surfing the web, playing with cellphones or other handheld devices, or reading non-course material. Try to organize your semester so that your creative energies are not expended inventing excuses for missed deadlines.

When and how do I study?

Successful students find regular periods of time when they can be undisturbed in studying. Instructors expect that students spend two hours studying for each class hour each week. For History courses, you must read in advance of lectures in order to get the most out of the class. Ask instructors for study questions for exams or guidelines for papers, and don’t be afraid of making an appointment early in the semester to get their advice on how you can best progress in the course. Make notes as you read texts and assignments; have them on hand when you take lecture notes.

What about my future?

Good study habits and a good academic record should be priorities from the start. You probably cannot afford to “blow off” a semester, and replacing poor grades with better ones by taking courses again is an expensive and inefficient use of your time and energies. Some day you will need recommendations from your instructors: being prepared for and participating in class will help ensure that your instructors remember you fondly and are willing to invest in your post-graduate future. Advance preparation will help you with the Graduate Record Exam (taken in October of your senior year) or the Law School Aptitude Test.

What about cheating?

The NDSU policy on cheating is spelled out in Section 335 of the Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct, and can be read in its entirety at http://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/policy/335.pdf

Put simply: do your own work. No form of plagiarism, cheating, collusion, or any other form of academic dishonesty will be tolerated.  Students are expected to uphold and support the highest academic standards at all times.  Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty will fail the assignment in question, may fail the entire course, and could be subject to disciplinary action by the University. Ignorance of policy or practice is not an excuse, so if you are ever unclear about what constitutes plagiarism or academic dishonesty, please ask.

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