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  • Why Major in History?

    Speaker Daniel Howe

    The best reason for majoring in any discipline is having a passion for it, a genuine curiosity and hunger to know more. Any subject you devote the largest single portion of your college career to studying should be something you care about.

    A major should also contribute to your full intellectual and personal development. History does that. It is not merely about an interest in the past. History as a discipline helps you develop skills that will be valuable for your career—and for life in general.

    “The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.”—James Baldwin

    As a History major, you’ll learn how to think like a historian: how to find, evaluate, and use evidence, how to make persuasive arguments grounded in facts. The foundation of the major is a research methods class that introduces you to the skills essential to the craft of history. Those skills equip you not only for the study of different times and places in upper-division History classes, but for many and varied future careers. History is much more than learning about past events.

    The seven historians in the Wofford History Department teach a wide variety of courses, ranging chronologically from the ancient world to modern times and geographically covering five continents. 

    In addition, the Department has a program unique at Wofford: The Lewis P. Jones Visiting Professorship. Every year, the Department hosts a distinguished historian who teaches one course not usually offered by the department that is offered exclusively to History majors. Previous Jones Professors include a Pulitzer Prize winning author, a past president of the American Historical Association, a recipient of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 1977 for his contribution to French culture, recipients of Fulbright Professorships and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a winner of a U.S. National Book Award for Nonfiction.

    Since the History major only requires 24 credit hours beyond the General Education requirement (21, if you satisfy the Cultures and Peoples requirement with a History course) many History majors also find that they can double major with ease.

    Courses in History also contribute to the following programs: African/African-American Studies, Classics, Gender Studies, and Nineteenth Century Studies. That means it is a simple matter for you to combine a History major with any of those programs.

    The History Department is also fortunate to have two scholarship funds, the Lewis P. Jones Scholarship and the William H. Brabham Scholarship, which allow us to make significant financial awards to History majors every year. Once you have declared as a History major, you are eligible for a scholarship award for the following academic year.