Skip to main content
Treasure Williams and Jimmy Messemer in the Pit

Undergraduate students in History do not just learn about the past from our faculty: they carry out their own research, producing original historical knowledge. Every major writes a 398 seminar essay, a substantial piece of historical scholarship. For students who want to pursue further research, there are plenty of exciting opportunities in History, including the Senior Honors Thesis program.

The History department isn’t just a place to study the past: it’s a community in the present, formed by our undergraduate and graduate students, the faculty, and the staff. In addition to taking classes and carrying out research, students have other chances to get involved with departmental life. Some of them are listed below. And be sure to swing by and visit the Undergraduate Lounge in Hamilton 551.

The History Undergraduate Association

The UNC History Undergraduate Association (HUA) is a student-run organization for undergraduate History majors, minors, and those just interested in the subject of History. The group hosts events that foster a critical and active engagement with historical studies beyond the classroom. The HUA also provides a network for students who care about history on and off campus. Last but not least, its members can provide mentoring about how to succeed at Carolina and—working in conjunction with the History department’s Career Mentor Coalition—what comes next after graduation.

Questions about the History Undergraduate Association can be directed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Undergraduate Publishing

Our undergraduates are consistently publishing their work in academic journals. One opportunity for publishing is Traceswhich features the work of UNC graduate and undergraduate students. Traces publishes original research by UNC students, book and film reviews, and essays on the historical profession.

For a list of other journals that publish undergraduate essays, click here.

For a list of recent publications by undergraduates, click here.

Study Abroad

According to the UNC Study Abroad Office, the department of History ranks among the top departments on campus in terms of the number of its majors that study abroad. Through the competitive Boyatt awards, the department helps to defray the costs of studying abroad for some of its majors. History faculty commonly participate popular in study abroad programs, such as Honors London, and act as advisors for students with funding that allows them to do research abroad, such as the Robinson Honors Fellowships. If you need academic advising related to studying abroad, contact our departmental adviser, Matt Andrews (

Click here to hear about some History students’ experiences abroad.


Internships play an increasingly important part in the career trajectory of undergraduate students. The History major provides precisely the sort of skills that government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies are looking for in their interns, including the ability to write and communicate effectively, to think critically, and to manage information. Students holding an internship can earn credit via History 493. The History department also offers competitive Summer Internship Stipends to help support majors with unpaid internships that broadly relate to their historical studies.

For a list of internship opportunities for History Majors, click here.

Phi Alpha Theta

The UNC History Department has a chapter of the National History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta. Phi Alpha Theta has a long and distinguished history, as it was founded in 1921 and has 820 chapters nationwide. At Carolina, Phi Alpha Theta sponsors a number of activities related to history throughout the academic year.

The History Department recruits members for Phi Alpha Theta during the fall semester. If you are a History major, you will receive information about joining Phi Alpha Theta through the listserv for History majors. You may also inquire at the Office of the Coordinator for Undergraduate Studies in History, Hamilton Hall 556. To join Phi Alpha Theta a student must have completed at least 12 credit hours of history courses at UNC, have a minimum of a 3.1 grade point average in history, and have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average overall. For more information about Phi Alpha Theta, please go to http:/

Questions about Phi Alpha Theta at UNC can be addressed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Undergraduate Teaching

Working with History faculty mentors through the Honors Carolina C-Start Program  or through the Splash program, History majors don’t just take classes—they teach about history to their peers or area high school students. Interested students should talk to a faculty member who works in a field of study related to their teaching interests.