About History

Knowledge of the past provides the perspective and context necessary for our understanding of contemporary society.  As we look at the past, we are better able to identify the significant issues of the present and better prepared to cope with the challenges of the future.  Training in this discipline develops many analytical skills and approaches to problem solving, which will be useful in future careers and encourages life-long learning.  History faculty work directly with students not only in the classroom but also in special departmental projects, programs, and high impact experiences such as internships, research with faculty, civic engagement, and study away opportunities.

The study of history provides an excellent pre-professional background.  Graduates have entered a wide variety of fields including

  • Teaching (at the elementary, secondary, college and  university level)
  • Historic Preservation, Museum, and Archival Operations
  • Law
  • The Ministry
  • Government
  • Journalism
  • International Relations
  • Communications
  • Social and Human Services
  • Business
  • The Armed Forces
  • Writing

Since a History major is only thirty-three credit hours, students often pursue History alongside other majors and minors, such as Business, International Affairs, Pre-Law, or Criminal Justice.  Students interested in a history major should contact the department chair (Dr. Hilton- lhilton@muskingum.edu) at the earliest opportunity to ensure fulfillment of all degree and pre-professional requirements for completing a major in history and preparing for a related career.


Through the study of History, students learn how to read, contextualize, and analyze a wide variety of historical documents, including primary sources (written, visual, audio, statistical) as well as scholarly articles and monographs.

Speaking and writing about History requires students to synthesize information in order to create unique papers, presentations, and digital media that summarize and explain their ideas.

History encourages the recognition and appreciation of diversity in past cultures.  It makes students “more human,” connects them with stories and people from the past in order to better understand their present and be engaged with their future.

Students learn and hone life-long learning skills, especially reading comprehension, writing, constructive thinking, and oral communication skills.

Through their coursework, multiple opportunities for student-designed research projects, and hands-on internships (both on and off campus), History majors learn how to locate, organize, evaluate, and present information in a clear and professional manner.

By introducing students to multiple career paths and providing targeted career-oriented workshops and visits to historical sites, archives, and museums, the History major provides students with a firm foundation for employment after graduation.

Through the study of the past, students learn how to connect choices and actions to ethical decision-making, a key skill in navigating the modern world.


History is at the heart of liberal learning.  It equips students to:

  • Participate knowledgeably in the affairs of the world around them, drawing upon understanding shaped through reading, writing, discussions, and lectures concerning the past.
  • See themselves and their society from different times and places, displaying a sense of informed perspective and a mature view of human nature.
  • Read and think critically; write, speak, and listen clearly and fully; and conduct research effectively.
  • Exhibit sensitivities to human values in their own and other cultural traditions, and, in turn, establish values of their own.
  • Appreciate their natural and cultural environments.
  • Respect scientific and technological developments and recognize their impact on humankind.
  • Understand the connections between history and life.

Along with these skills, faculty engage in intentional and careful advising - which leads to greater student opportunities.

Program Learning Goals

  • Majors will develop a broad competency in the general themes of world and U.S. history.  This broad competency will serve as the essential backdrop for life-long learning skills for a variety of careers that require critical analysis and oral and written communication skills.
  • Majors will be able to apply critical reading and analysis skills to a variety of sources.
  • Majors will learn to “think like historians:” to identify, evaluate, and develop arguments and become content creators, with the ability to write across multiple platforms.
  • Majors will master the basic skills required to conduct independent research and to produce an original historical work.  These skills include mastering research methods, proper citation, disciplinary writing conventions, and effective use of primary sources.
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