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History provides knowledge about the human condition and enriches cultural literacy. History readies you for a deeper engagement with the world, and it gives you skills that are in high demand.
Leaders in American professional and business life, and leaders in foundations, government and nonprofit institutions are imploring colleges to teach students to read efficiently, write clearly, reason logically, and analyze problems against a background of wide-ranging societal information. The national and world economy increasingly will reward these generalist skills of literacy, reasoning, and synthesis over training in particular job categories. No major is more effective at cultivating those skills than a history degree.
At a more fundamental level, historical knowledge is vital, and historical ignorance is dangerous. In individuals, amnesia is a shattering condition; if we do not know where we have come from, we cannot know who we are or where we should be headed. The same is true for societies: ignorance or willful distortion of the past is closely linked to injustice, war, and catastrophic miscalculations.
In short, history majors acquire an education that promotes knowledgeable, effective citizenship and personal enrichment, while preparing them for a wide range of professional career goals. Our history program can lead to graduate or law school as well as public service and private sector careers.
Opportunities include law, appointive or elective political office, Congressional staffing, historical societies and museums, business, television, public relations, social work, teaching, journalism, and professional genealogy. Additional career information is available from the American Historical Association. Internship opportunities are available.
History, Philosophy and Political Science Department
The Columbia College Catalog outlines the courses you will need to take to complete your degree program. This includes required courses in your major and general education requirements, as well as elective classes you will select.
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