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Best colleges for history majors?

gluestick2gluestick2 2 replies8 threads New Member
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Replies to: Best colleges for history majors?

  • merc81merc81 10590 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2
    As a sampling, research the programs at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Williams, Hamilton, Colgate, Bowdoin, Georgetown, Columbia, Brown, Virginia, Kenyon, Bates, Trinity.
    edited December 2
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78992 replies701 threads Senior Member
    It can depend on what areas of history you are interested in. Different history departments have different emphases, depending on faculty interests. If you look at history course listings at various schools, you can get an idea of what the departments' emphases are.

    Some history topics may also be offered in other departments. For example, economic history may be in the economics department, and history of math may be in the math department. Area, ethnic, or gender studies departments may also have relevant history courses.
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3408 replies170 threads Senior Member
    This is like asking what college has the best English department. I can't think of a single T50 college or university with an arts and science divison that wouldn't have a strong history department. Wesleyan has over 21 professors on its roster for a student body of 3,000.
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  • warblersrulewarblersrule 10057 replies172 threads Super Moderator
    ucbalumnus wrote:
    It can depend on what areas of history you are interested in. Different history departments have different emphases, depending on faculty interests.
    I was going to write the same thing. Each school has particular strengths in certain regions, time periods, and subfields of history (e.g. military history at Ohio State). That said, I agree with Circuitrider that history is a core discipline at virtually every top college, so you can hardly go wrong with any of them. It is better to begin with other characteristics that distinguish them like size, location, selectivity, and cost/scholarships.

    If you are thinking about a graduate degree in history - which I do not recommend - then you should make sure the college offers foreign languages in your areas of interest. Applicants to PhD programs in Chinese history should have a background in Chinese, applicants to ancient history programs should know Greek and Latin, etc.
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  • happy1happy1 23038 replies2275 threads Senior Member
    I would think that most every reputable college will have a good history department. IMO it is incumbent on you to do some research on schools that match other criteria you are looking for (ex. affordability, size, geographic area, competitiveness of admission etc.). Here are a couple of ways you can seek out information about history departments at various schools:
    -- Look at online course catalogs and see what history courses are offered and if they are sufficient offerings in any area of interest.
    -- Look at the backgrounds of professors in the department online and see what their specialties/areas of interest are.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5680 replies1 threads Senior Member
    At the risk of pointing out the obvious, I think that for any major where a job is not obviously available after graduation, one very important criteria is to choose a university or college that will not leave you with any debt after graduation.
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  • TheodenTheoden 227 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2
    I depends on what you want to do with a History Major.

    If you want to go to grad school and/or get a PhD, then pick a school that offers you opportunities to do research and has a good record of getting it's history majors into grad school. Preferably one that has a senior thesis/capstone/independent study. A lot will depend on what kind of history you want to study.

    If you are looking to go right into business, marketing, management training, etc and you just like to study history (which is a great generalist discipline to go into corporate work) then look for a school that gives you opportunities to do *internships* that will give you excellent real-world work experience. You might also consider minoring in something that increases your marketability like Economics. Finance, Business, Math, Marketing, Computer Science, Information Systems, etc. Also check our their career services and alumni network.

    If you are thinking of a distinct pre-professional track like Law, a history major is excellent, as long you are steady and up-to-speed on you college's pre-law advisement track.
    edited December 2
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