Major in History

Kierkegaard once wrote that “life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward.”

By using history as a guide, a degree in history from Elmhurst can open doors to a variety of rewarding careers, including jobs in teaching, museums, media and research, all of which utilize the strong foundation of critical thinking skills, research methods and oral and written communication.

Major Requirements

Majors in history are expected to complete a minimum of seven courses in the department, including the Senior Thesis. Those students who plan to teach must complete eight courses, also including the Senior Thesis. Other than the thesis, there are no specific courses required, but it is expected that students will select courses from different periods and areas in order to have a balanced background in the field.

Graduate School Recommendations

History majors who expect to do graduate work for the degree of master of arts or doctor of philosophy, particularly the latter, are advised to study at least one foreign language. The requirements of universities vary, but they usually include a reading knowledge of one or more languages. The necessary languages are determined by the specific areas of history.

Majors planning to attend law school upon completion of a degree at Elmhurst College are encouraged to pursue a balanced program between American and English history. POL 412 Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights is also recommended.

The Minor

Students often choose to supplement their major in another field with a minor in history to help build their perspective and their analytical skills. The history minor is especially useful for students preparing for law school or for careers as teachers.

Requirements for a minor in history are four courses approved by the chair, three of which must be taken at Elmhurst College.

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