Welcome to the web page for the undergraduate program in History at the University of Oregon. By clicking on the sidebar, you can find out about the History major, the History minor, honors options in History, and other information of interest to undergraduates.
We recommend that every student interested in the History major should contact a member of the faculty and/or consult with
Professor Robert Haskett, Undergraduate Advisor
Office: McKenzie Hall 355
Phone: (541) 346-4836
Elsewhere on the site you will find a list of the courses we offer (together with sample syllabi in many cases) and profiles of the faculty members who teach them.The B.A. or B.S. in History is an incredibly versatile degree. Besides paving the way to careers in government, law, journalism, business, and education, the study of history cultivates critical skills useful in all walks of life. Among these are the ability to communicate verbally and in writing, to conduct research on virtually any topic, and to analyze, interpret, and synthesize large quantities of information. The history major cultivates the kinds of learning and skills that we regard as crucial for historical thinking and, more broadly, as integral to a liberal arts education.
The UO Career Center offers a number of resources for those wondering what to do with a major in History. History majors who want to become middle and/or high school teachers may also want to consider the five-term teaching licensure program offered by the UO School of Education.
What kind of content do we expect history majors to learn?
- Depth: All history majors must take a preponderance of their classes for the major at the upper-division level, particularly in 400-level classes specialized enough in scope so that students can both attain a degree of mastery of a period or topic and learn to appreciate the complexity of historical experience.
- Geographical breadth: All history majors are required to become broadly familiar with at least three geographical regions of the world, an invaluable experience in an increasingly interconnected world.
- Chronological breadth: All history majors should acquire substantial historical knowledge of premodern as well as modern history because acquaintance with societies and cultures that are remote in time challenges the historical imagination and unsettles assumptions.
- Cultural and linguistic breadth: All history majors should be challenged to encounter at least one culture other than their own by learning its language.
What skills do we expect history majors to develop?
- Historical argument: All history majors must learn how to understand historical arguments and assess them critically, including evaluating conflicts of interpretation, examining the use of evidence, and learning how explanations are constructed in historical writing.
- Inquiry: All history majors must learn how to read primary sources and analyze them critically; each student will eventually define a historical problem, identify primary sources relevant to that problem, and develop a research strategy to address a historical question.
- Writing: All history majors are expected learn how to synthesize information from a variety of sources, construct cogent arguments, and express them in clear, convincing prose.