Message from the Chair

The knowledge and skills that students gain as History majors are vital for preparing for the challenges facing us in the 21st century. Today’s problems—epidemic disease, racial oppression, political unrest, violent extremism, environmental crises, economic inequality—also confronted people in the past, and historians’ efforts to understand how they faced these threats provide valuable insights for us today. Our faculty, made up of dynamic teacher-scholars, offer courses that afford students a fascinating glimpse into how societies in the past sought to overcome these threats and how they changed in the process. Likewise, the History major equips graduates with valuable skills for launching successful careers after graduation.

The History major provides students with a skillset that employers value in today’s rapidly changing, information-based economy. Our students learn how to build and defend arguments based on evidence, evidence they have collected, evaluated, and analyzed, a crucial skill employers covet. Studying history also helps students hone their research, writing, and oral communication skills, abilities that are also highly valued in today’s workplace. As a result, our former students have gone on to launch exciting careers after graduation, working in museums and archives, public relations firms and publishing houses, law firms and courtrooms, and schools and universities. Others have landed exciting jobs with major corporations, the federal government, or international non-profits. In today’s rapidly changing environment, the ability to think and write clearly has a real, long-term value, whatever your eventual career.

History is a core field in the humanities, a field of human inquiry designed to give human beings the tools to live life to the fullest. History—the study of human beings in the past—teaches us to understand the present and to imagine the future. Knowing where people come from is key to understanding where they’re going. History gives warnings but also inspires. Contact me at coyj@cofc.edu if you’d like to talk about becoming a History major.

Jason Coy
Department Chair