Putting Your History Degree to Work
History is a major that prepares students well for a variety of occupations and post-university experiences. Our students develop skills in critical thinking, analytical reasoning, eloquent writing, thoughtful reading, and the management of complicated projects requiring the integration of various forms of information. Above all, we encourage students to appreciate the complexities of the lived experience and the broader context in which individuals, institutions, and societies operate.
This is an approach that, we believe, not only enriches our students’ lives but also allows them to become sophisticated decision-makers. It is no surprise that employers, law schools, other professional schools, and graduate programs in a wide variety of fields look so favorably upon history graduates.
Leveraging Your History Degree
Across the board, our students insist, and our graduates have discovered, that there is SO MUCH you can do with a History degree. It teaches you a new way of thinking, one that comes with a carefully calibrated tool kit and a large collection of portable skills. History encourages you to question assumptions, do research, think critically, write, have compassion, understand people from different backgrounds, and be more culturally aware. It also provides you with lots to talk about, and a powerful way to understand the world. Most importantly, perhaps, it is precisely all of this non-quantifiable “stuff” that teaches you that you and your thoughts matter.
Our graduates go off to do amazing things—in law, business, journalism, teaching, non-profits, advocacy, government, the arts, and so on. They also become engaged citizens, using their training to help them think through the issues of today and tomorrow.
Career Quick Links
Internships can provide opportunities to discover and experience real-life career fields while you gain marketable job skills. They can help you make networking contacts and meet mentors who may be instrumental in your career path. In addition to providing summertime work, experiences outside the classroom can often help you make key decisions about your future. The College of LSA's Opportunity Hub helps connect students with valuable internship experiences.
Students who find historically relevant internships may be able to combine their experience with independent academic work, under faculty supervision, and receive credit through our History 395: Independent Study Course.
The History Department's Michigan in the World initiative is a paid May-June intership program for undergraduates. It provides the opportunity for students to create online, public exhibitions based on archival reseach about the history of U-M and its relationships with the wider world.