Why Study History?

Historical study instructs how societies came to be and examines cultural, political, social, and economic influences across time and space. It also builds the personal understanding of how we as individuals are the sum of a vast range of past experience and actors ourselves in the process of historical change. 

In short, the study of the past helps lead to greater personal insight and comprehension of each person’s place in the grand sweep of the human story.  The study of history unveils the complexity of human existence in the past and supplies insight into the present and future.

History majors learn not just about the past and its relevance to today, but they also learn to think, write and speak analytically - skills that may be applied in many careers.  

Consider these key features of this program:

  • The history major provides a broad background in American, European and world history and the ability to choose specialized courses.
  • History majors must complete historical research and writing in a sophomore-level seminar.
  • A history minor is also offered.
  • Our department offers a social science major for teacher preparation.
  • Social science is an interdisciplinary major, the primary purpose of which is to provide licensure for students.
  • Our department has two honor societies: Phi Alpha Theta and Pi Gamma Mu.
  • We are home to a distinguished group of faculty.
  • Several study abroad opportunities are available to our students. 
  • A wide variety of internship opportunities are available, including: McConnell Archivist Internship, Glencoe Museum, The Wilderness Museum, Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Art Center, Salem Museum and Historical Society, History Museum of Western Virginia, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Science Museum of Western Virginia, The Harrison Museum of African American Culture and Smithfield Plantation.

Career Options

Graduates of the history program at Radford University will find career opportunities in a variety of areas, some of these may require additional education. Typical History careers may include:

  • Judiciary and law. Our graduates are involved in court reporting, legal assistance, legal research and administration.  After attending law school, they may become an attorney.
  • Teaching. Graduates can teach in colleges and universities, high schools, public agencies and grant-funded research organizations.
  • Governmental agencies. Our graduates are able to work in government agencies such as the CIA, FBI, intelligence analysts and foreign service workers.
  • Public relations/communication. Graduates may work in the field of public relations and journalism.
  • Business. Our graduates become stock brokers, bankers, and entrepreneurs.
  • Museums. Students who have graduated with a degree in history may become museum curators, conservators, and archeologists.
  • Librarians. Graduates may find job opportunities as librarians and library directors.

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