The study of History provides an exciting, open-ended path to knowledge about other people, our past, and our own time. Historical insights and perspectives create an all-important framework for understanding the complex experiences of our own lives as well as the events and conflicts of the contemporary world.
History is therefore an essential component of a liberal arts education.
The History major at UNC-Chapel Hill offers a strong foundation for careers in law, journalism, education, business, public service, museums, and international commerce. Our alumni go on to distinguished careers in all of these areas (and others) because historical education helps students develop skills that are needed in every profession: the ability to analyze conflicting information and viewpoints, write clearly and communicate ideas, find reliable evidence for judgments about human actions and motives, and place particular events in a wider context or historical pattern.
The History Department thus seeks to prepare students for future careers, for the responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society, and for the challenging ambiguities that everyone encounters in their relations with others—no matter what they do or where they go in the world. Our courses encourage a comparative, analytical approach to diverse cultures, historical eras, social conflicts, famous events, influential ideas, and fascinating human lives. History offers an imaginative entry into every kind of human activity because everything that people do has a history.
I invite you to explore the links on this web site for information about the Department’s undergraduate and graduate programs. You may also contact individual faculty members if you have questions about specific fields in our curriculum or specific areas of historical research. We welcome communication with anyone who wants to participate in the on-going processes of historical inquiry and conversation.