The History Program provides students with analytical and communication skills that are vital for their future success and for that of our society. It empowers them to put those skills into practice through rigorous coursework and a variety of optional internships in public and private sector jobs. History students critically examine past decisions, look for patterns, and make decisions accordingly. These skills are sought after in business, law, public policy, government, education, non-profit organizations, museums, journalism, and the ministry.

All History classes at UMD are taught by faculty who are experts in their fields and who have published books and articles at top tier presses and journals. UMD History majors not only have the opportunity to work directly with their professors on research projects, but they also have the option to participate in internships at museums and other cultural heritage organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as overseas in Ireland.

The History Major

Students who major in History at UMD enroll in one of four subplans, each of which caters to different students based on their own unique interests and future career goals.

Global History gives student the flexibility to specialize in an area or time period of their own choosing while also providing a foundation of courses spanning a wide range of geographical, thematic, and chronological topics. It provides students with the skills to work critically with a diverse array of source materials in different media and genres. This track prepares students to succeed in an increasingly global society and marketplace, both in public and private sector fields like business, education, government, and law.

Public History gives students a background in traditional history while training them for work in a variety of applied fields that bring history to audiences outside of the classroom, from museums and historical archives to historic preservation and cultural resource management. Students on this track are placed as interns at cultural heritage organizations throughout the Northland, Minnesota, and even overseas in Ireland.

History and Social Science prepares students for civic-oriented careers such as education, law, and public service. This track complements in-depth training in the content and methods of History with a range of courses in the Social Sciences, including anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology. Students who wish to earn their secondary education teaching license are encouraged to pair this major with the Teaching Social Studies – History Subplan offered by UMD’s Department of Education.

Specialist History is intended for students plan to pursue advanced graduate work in History and related fields. This track allows students to create a customized degree plan focusing on a specific theme or area. It culminates with the completion of an original research project in the student’s chosen field under the direct supervision of a History professor. Students may apply for admission to this plan after completing 16 History credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a History major GPA of at least 3.3.

In addition to the History Major and the History Minor, the History Program at UMD also offers the Museum Studies Certificate. This Certificate can be combined with any major at UMD (including all four of the History major tracks) and provides the basic scholarship and functional training to equip students with the skills necessary to assume professional entry-level museum positions.

The History Program also houses UMD's African and African American Studies Minor, an interdisciplinary program designed to promote a vigorous understanding of the worldwide historical and current experience of African Americans and people of African descent.