History is the key to the present. This important fact is sometimes overlooked by some members of America's present-minded society. If one is to understand the present and approach the future intelligently, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the past. 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 that helps 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 or 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 Bachelor of Science (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 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, which includes foreign language study. This degree program is recommended for students desiring a rich liberal arts education or planning to attend graduate school or law school. Recent graduates have entered graduate programs at the Universities of Florida, Nebraska and Texas. Many history majors go on to get their law degrees and practice law in North Dakota and other states.
About 50 percent of our students are in history education. Currently, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that “job opportunities for teachers over the next 10 years will vary from good to excellent.” Students interested in teaching in secondary schools are advised to double major in history and history education with history as their primary major.
Additional career options are outlined on the link titled Career Information on the history department website. 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 degree programs requires basic courses in such areas as English, social and behavioral sciences, and science and mathematics. In addition, each program has a distinctive requirement—an approved minor for the B.S., foreign language proficiency at the second-year level for the B.A. and 30 credits in specified education courses for the history education degree. The curriculum in these degree options includes a variety of courses in North American, European and world history. After taking introductory courses, students majoring in history work with their advisors in selecting an interrelated sequence of upper-division courses.
A total of 39 credits in history are required in each of the options. Each option requires nine to 15 credits at the 100-200 level, a historical research and writing course and at least 18 credits in 300- or 400-level courses. Eighteen of the credits at the 300-400 level must meet geographic requirements. A three-credit senior seminar is required of all history majors as a capstone experience.
Public History Major
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 that has been receiving increasing attention around the country. NDSU's program was the first in this region. The public history major is a 69 to 81 credit professional major (see Public History Fact Sheet).
History faculty incorporate multimedia presentations into many of their introductory classes. Some faculty work extensively with computer-aided teaching in the multimedia lecture halls to increase the visual impact and student learning from their lectures.
Active Learning in Classes
The department encourages active learning in many of its introductory classes by using techniques that include student portfolios, in-class exercises, role playing, computer simulations and library assignments. Faculty make prudent use of technology and encourage the examination of all sorts of primary sources, including films, novels and textiles as well as government documents and memoirs.
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 nonwestern areas, other history classes help students understand how differences in race, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic class have affected people’s lives. Department faculty are also active in numerous efforts to promote understanding of diversity. These include women's studies and NDSU’s antiracism team. The department encourages study abroad, and NDSU historians have designed programs in Vienna and Mexico City.
Each member of NDSU’s active history faculty of ten holds a doctorate from a leading university, ranging from the UCLA to Cornell to UNC-Chapel Hill and Northwestern. Faculty members provide a wide range of academic experience and specialties. They have published books and articles on subjects such as Great Plains and environmental history, pre-colonial Latin America, 20thcentury Indochina, and East Europe under communist rule. History faculty members frequently present scholarly research papers at professional historical conferences in various centers of learning. Faculty members have won college, university, state and national awards for their research. The department also hosts regional history conferences and lectures.
History Department Affiliates
The North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies is closely connected with the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. The Institute collects, organizes and preserves materials on our region's historical heritage. An archival theory and practice course is offered by the department and utilizes the Institute's resources.
Cooperation With Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities
History faculty are active in programs sponsored and funded by the North Dakota Humanities Council. In recent years, faculty have written and presented on genocide in Bosnia, suicide and divorce in the Civil War South, the Dakota War of 1862 and French Colonial policies in Indochina.
General Education Requirements
|First Year Experience|
|1||UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success|
|3||COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking|
|3, 3||ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II|
|3||HIST 390 - Historical Research and Writing|
|3||English Upper Division Writing|
|10||Science & Technology|
|6||Humanities & Fine Arts|
|6||Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|3||Social Science Elective|
|3||Fine Arts Elective|
|Credits||Foundation Core Requirements|
|Select two of the following:|
|3||HIST 101 - Western Civilization I|
|3||HIST 102 - Western Civilization II|
|3||HIST 103 - U.S. to 1877|
|3||HIST 104 - U.S. Since 1877|
|Credits|| ||Major Requirements|
|3||HIST 489 - Senior Seminar|
|9||100-200 Level History Electives|
|18||History Distribution Electives|
|6||Additional History Electives|
This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.
Minard Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)
Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
North Dakota State University
Minard Hall 422
Dept #2340, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802