In History, students investigate the people and societies of the past (both distant and recent) and develop skills in research, analysis, and expression that are essential to all the Liberal Arts. History majors design their own individual paths of study from a wide variety of course offerings in eight interest fields. Our two newest fields are The Atlantic World and Environment & Health.

The History Department has an innovative Public History Thread within the major that helps students explore “the many and diverse ways in which history is put to work in the world.” (National Council on Public History,NCPH). Students interested in public history are encouraged to participate in community engagement and also to take advantage of our exciting off-campus studies programs.

The backgrounds and interests of the History faculty reflect the value that we place on diversity. Active researchers, our faculty offer courses that engage all aspects of human activity and span the world’s regions and historical periods. They are proficient in a wide variety of world languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Nahuatl, Persian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Uzbek, and Yoruba. 

The Department strongly supports career exploration and planning. Our students pursue a wide variety of career pathways and our alumni consistently report that they actively use the knowledge and skills gained as Carleton History majors. 

For further perspectives on why you might want to study History, please visit the American Historical Association’s Career Diversity for Historians.

Through the careful interpretation of historical evidence of all kinds, the discipline of history ultimately seeks to understand the lives and thoughts of men, women, and communities in other times and places. It is the work of empathy, engagement, knowledge and imagination.