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Become a History Major

The History Department is looking for undergraduate and M.A. students who are educational adventurers - "Ed-Venturers" with the same spirit of curiosity in seeking new discoveries, experiences, and opportunities as the early pioneers who passed through the Gateway to the West. Every student and all academic subjects have a history, and our department's innovative new curriculum appeals to majors and non-majors alike who seek to know how their present lives have been shaped by the past, giving them greater confidence and understanding in dealing with the future. Not knowing the events that influenced family, community, nation, and the world before a person's birth can be as confusing as joining in the middle of a conversation about an unfamiliar topic.

The History curriculum at The University of Missouri - Saint Louis covers local, regional, national, and transnational subject matter, providing the contexts for understanding a variety of cultures and countries on every continent across many centuries. The historians at the largest public metropolitan university in the region are particularly qualified to "Teach St. Louis" - its people and its past - because of their original research and significant publications on a variety of regional topics in every era. "Everything throws light on everything," a Yale professor observed in 1828, and our History classes are far more enlightening and even exciting than often boring high school courses taught from a single textbook.

As history detectives who travel through time to solve old mysteries, our professors develop student skills of archival research, critical thinking, reading comprehension, analytical writing, and articulate oral expression that are essential to success in a variety of professions. A recent report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University revealed that the average salary for history majors was the highest of all graduates in the humanities "and better that students in a majority of the other fields."* But aside from career preparation, majoring in history has "practical" value with regard to personal fulfillment in the love of learning for a lifetime. Once they appreciate how and why professional historians research and write, our graduates continue to read scholarly books for pure enjoyment.

Amid the growing criticism of public education and polls that reveal the ignorance of U.S. history among high school students and even political candidates, a knowledge of our national past is essential for fostering effective citizenship and preparing leaders in an interdependent global society. The History Department is committed to serving general education students, secondary school teachers, and M.A. students with senior faculty members engaged in effective teaching, as well as internationally respected research, who share their expertise with organizations and institutions in our vibrant, diverse, and progressive metropolitan area.