Studying the past for a better future

History

History—understanding the past is vital to unlocking the future.

By studying history, we can change the present and affect the future for the better. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Remembering history means we can make wise decisions as we find our place in the epic story of humanity.

History, though, doesn’t stop at memorization. As a history major, you’ll see the connections between “now” and “then” and apply the lessons you learn to current issues. This knowledge will give you clarity in the midst of the complexities of the modern world.

Why study history?

  • A history degree is excellent preparation for careers in law, politics, anthropology, museum management and teaching.
  • Learn critical thinking, investigative and problem solving skills that employers highly value in the workplace.
  • Learn cultural literacy and sensitivity and the ability to see a viewpoint from multiple angles—a skill vital to success in today's world.

I feel that Union College prepared me well for graduate school at a national top-20 law school and also for my profession today. In addition to providing a solid academic education, the professors at Union College sincerely care about their students. I was never made to feel that they were too busy to answer my questions—quite the opposite. I am so grateful for the education they provided.

Sara-Beth Swanson
1996 history graduate, now practices family law at Swanson Law Office, which she opened in 2007.
photo Sara-Beth Swanson

Experience great preparation for graduate school.

You’ll build a base of knowledge at Union that will serve your future well. The experience, research and professional support you’ll receive will all work together to make you a capable, confident individual in your field. 

If you have graduate school on your mind, know that Union will offer you top-notch preparation. A degree in history can lead to many important fields, such as law, library science, anthropology, archaeology, museum management and teaching. Whatever you choose to specialize in, Union will give you the preparation you need.

When you have the kind of training Union provides, you’ll feel ready to tackle grad school—and grad schools will take notice. 

Why study at Union College?

  • Dynamic and enthusiastic lecturers who are passionate about what they teach.
  • Small class sizes that allow for great discussions and individualized learning.
  • World-class writing instruction.

I chose my majors in English and History because I admired the professors in those divisions and felt that broadening my perspective, honing my writing skills, and learning to frame arguments would be the most useful general professional skills.

Jeremy Cornforth
graduated in 1997 with degrees in English and History and is currently working as a foreign service officer in Washington, D.C.
photo Jeremy Cornforth

Majors and minors

Union College offers the following degrees in history:

History—a four-year bachelor of arts degree - Guide PDF

History Education—a four-year bachelor of science degree
Even Guide PDF | Odd Guide PDF

Career options

High school teacher

Teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.

Job outlook
8% growth (average)

Median pay
$59,000

Historian

Research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past by studying historical documents and sources.

Job outlook
6% growth (average)

Median pay
$59,000

Anthropologist and archeologist

Examine the cultures, languages, archeological remains, and physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world.

Job outlook
4% growth (slower than average)

Median pay
$62,000