What Can I Do With a Major In History?

Katy Hinz WCIDWAMI
Connect with:
Katy Hinz

Career Counselor
katyh@umn.edu
katyh.appointments.umn.edu
612-624-7577

Major Information

The study of history is a distinctive and vital part of a well-rounded liberal arts education. It is essential to understanding the complex interplay of continuity and change over space and time; to explaining the development and decline of cultures, institutions and ideas; to illuminating not only how past worlds become our present but also what is possible for our future. History provides concrete and sometimes sobering lessons, but it is also a source of inspiration and hope.

The History Department at Minnesota is a great place to pursue the study of the past. We are unusual in the range and variety of courses we offer, from the ancient and medieval to the history of the recent past, all around the globe. We also offer many ways to learn outside the classroom through hands-on research opportunities, internships, foreign study and service learning. As a history major, you'll acquire important critical analysis, research, and writing skills that are applicable across all disciplines and in a variety of professions. As a major, minor, or student in a single course, historical study will give you the skills, context, and perspective you need in order to think about and understand ourselves and our world. As a history major, you'll identify an area of concentration where you'll dig deeper into historical questions through primary source analysis with faculty mentors to guide your intellectual development.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and history majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Critical thinking and flexible problem-solving skills
  • Extensive understanding of history and historical patterns
  • Analysis and research skills, attention to detail
  • Ability to formulate clear and persuasive messages
  • Cross-cultural knowledge and understanding
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively

Interest code: SEI

Internship & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Professional Organizations

Graduate Programs in History

  • Master of Arts, History Museum Studies, State of New York College at Oneonta. Post grad job: Director, Mill City Museum
  • Master of Arts, History, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Post grad job: Public Programs Specialist, Mill City Museum
  • Master of Arts, Art History, University of St. Thomas
  • PHD, History, University of Pennsylvania

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although keep in mind that there are history alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for History majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Government, Law, Public Policy, & International Affairs

Internships

  • Intern, Minnesota State Senator Mike Jungabuer
  • Intern for Latino-Latina Community, Minnesota DFL
  • Immigration Services Intern, International Institute of Minnesota
  • Congressional Intern, U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison
  • Intern, Office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

Entry-Level

  • Paralegal Specialist, United States Army Reserve
  • Legislative Assistant, Minnesota State Senator John Pederson
  • Paralegal, Lofstrom Law Firm LLC
  • Legislative Assistant, Minnesota House of Representatives

Experienced

  • Research Law Clerk, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium
  • Foreign Service Officer, Department of State*
  • Senior Public Health Specialist, City of Minneapolis*

Graduate Programs

  • JD, Law, University of Chicago. Post grad job: Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
  • JD, William Mitchell College of Law. Post grad job: Law Clerk, Office of the Commissioner of Human Services, Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Master of Arts, Public Policy, University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Post grad job: State Representative, State of Minnesota
Arts & Culture

Internships

  • Oral History Intern, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Intern, National Museum of Ireland
  • Creative Engagement Intern, Weisman Art Museum
  • Curator Intern, James Ford Bell Library
  • Evaluations Intern, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Museum Studies Intern, Exhibits Development Group

Entry-Level

  • Historical Interpreter, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Historic Site Interpreter, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Oral Historian, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Museum Evaluator, Minnesota Historical Society

Experienced

  • Associate Director of Planned Giving, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Interpretative Programs Assistant, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Project Associate for Newspaper Digitization, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Communications & Brand Manager, Bell Museum of Natural History
  • Visitor Services Supervisor, The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Arts, Museum Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Business, Consulting, Marketing & Sales

Internships

  • Intern, Danfoss Inc.

Entry-Level

  • Loan Documentation Specialist, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Merchandise Coordinator, Macy’s
  • Financial Educator, Wells Fargo
  • Recruiter, Pro Staff
  • Personal Banker, Wells Fargo
  • Broker Account Executive, UnitedHealth Group
  • Assistant Promotion Director, MNN Radio Networks
  • Business Development Associate, CEB

Experienced

  • Team Lead, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Sourcing Specialist, HealthPartners
  • Organization Effectiveness Training Coordinator, Target
  • Senior Recruiter, Cargill
  • District Manager, Wells Fargo
  • National Renewal Account Executive, UnitedHealth Group
  • Project Coordinator, Infinity Promotions
  • Business User Consultant, Target
  • Senior Merchandise Specialist, Target
  • Workflow Coordinator, Deloitte

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Business Administration, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Post grad job: Manager Talent Acquisition, Ecolab
  • Master of Business Administration, University of St. Thomas
  • Master of Science, Human Resources Management, Capella University. Post grad job: Recruiter, HealthPartners
Nonprofit, Human Services, & Social Justice

Entry-Level

  • AmeriCorps Program Coordinator, Rise Inc.
  • Rise Fellow, New Sector Alliance
  • Archives Technician, Minnesota Public Radio
  • Youth Development Specialist, YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis
  • Administrative Assistant to Vice President of Finance & Administration, Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Summer Institute Intern, World Without Genocide

Experienced

  • Human Resources Assistant, Leadership, Empowerment and Development (LEAD)

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Arts, Gender and Women's Studies, Brandeis University
  • Master of Arts, Philanthropy and Development, Saint Mary's University. Post grad job: Director of Development, Major Gifts, University of Minnesota.
Education

Entry-Level

  • Principle Office and Administrative Specialist, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Student Personnel Coordinator, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Program Associate, Events and Communications, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Literary Leaders Program Assistant, The New York Public Library

Experienced

  • Program/Project Specialist, University of Minnesota-College of Liberal Arts
  • Assistant Director of Business Development, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Arts, Educational Policy and Administration in Higher Education, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Master of Library & Information science, Dominican University
  • Master of Education, Social Studies, University of Minnesota
  • Master of Arts, Multicultural College of Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota

*Further education and/or training is often required