History is the heart of a liberal arts education.

Students of history develop an understanding of change—how it happens and why it happens the way it does—that enables them to engage the world they inhabit and to participate fully in civic life. Department of History courses engage the diversity of American life and bring a global consciousness that helps students navigate the streets (and the news) from Iowa City to Berlin to Dar es Salaam.

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Thinking about majoring in History? Did you know that...

  • History majors’ mid-career salaries are on par with those of business majors.
  • Employers in tech, business, law, communications, health care, and public policy want people with humanities backgrounds.
  • Double majoring makes you even more versatile (History BA requires 36 hours; many combine with PoliSci, JMC, IS, ANTH...).
  • Political experts consider historical education to be key to a successful democracy.

Visit the American Historical Association

The New York Times

"Heather Cox Richardson Wants You to Study History"

“Anybody who studies history learns two things: They learn to do research and they learn to write .... What history will give you is the ability to pivot into the different ideas, the different fields, the different careers as they arise.” 

The Guardian

On the dangers of not understanding history: “From Turkey to China, strongmen rewrite the past to suit their ends. But democracies are not immune to this revisionism...Learning about history, and being able to question some of the narratives advanced in the name of politics is as important as knowing where to get reliable news.”

American Historical Association

In times of political crisis, citizens need “not just access to new narratives about the past, but also a broader ability to weigh evidence, balance competing arguments, and consider emotionally charged topics ... Effective teaching can prepare and empower students for their role as citizens in ways that weaken the power of demagogic appeals.”