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Why Study History?

Why Study History?

“Students of history develop an understanding of change – how it happens and why it happens the way it does – that enables them to engage the world they inhabit. Employers value history students’ ability to analyze human and social behavior, to research pressing problems, and to express themselves clearly.”
Lisa Heineman, Professor, UI Department of History

On the dangers of not understanding history: “From Turkey to China, strongmen rewrite the past to suit their ends. But democracies are not immune to this revisionism...Learning about history, and being able to question some of the narratives advanced in the name of politics is as important as knowing where to get reliable news.” The Guardian

In times of political crisis, citizens need “not just access to new narratives about the past, but also a broader ability to weigh evidence, balance competing arguments, and consider emotionally charged topics... Effective teaching can prepare and empower students for their role as citizens in ways that weaken the power of demagogic appeals.” American Historical Association

Thinking about majoring in History? Did you know that...

  • History majors’ mid-career salaries are on par with those of business majors.
  • Employers in tech, business, law, communications, health care, and public policy want people with humanities backgrounds.
  • Double majoring makes you even more versatile (History BA requires 36 hours; many combine with PoliSci, JMC, IS, ANTH...).
  • Political experts consider historical education to be key to a successful democracy.

Visit the American Historical Association (AHA)

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