History is “what happened” — but as a History major, you’ll learn to think critically about those events, sort fact from myth, and understand what the past can teach us about building a better future.
Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future.
You’ll develop employer-valued skills in analytical thinking, communication and working across cultures. Writing, teaching, law, museum curation, international business and diplomacy, and government all draw on the skills you’ll develop.
Take courses about the civil rights movement. Wars of the 20th century. Chinese history. Radicals and reformers. Intern with an Austin museum, archive or research library. You’ll learn critical and creative thinking and the importance of becoming an engaged citizen and making your voice heard. Whatever your career path, as a History major, you’ll understand the big picture.
What do our graduates do?
History majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Archivist for the Texas State Archives and Library Commission
- City attorney
- Graduate student in the Master of Arts in Museum Studies at George Washington University
- English Teaching Assistant in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program
- Law students at The University of Texas at Austin and Duke University
- Teach for America corps member
8 Reasons to Choose St. Edward’s
St. Edward’s is the No. 8 Best Regional University in the West in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report college ranking. In honor of our ranking, we share the top reasons to become a Hilltopper.
The Classroom and Beyond
As a History major, you’ll learn about particular places, cultures and eras of the past, but you’ll also learn research, analysis and communication skills and develop a strong sense of ethics about how information is used. At St. Edward’s, you’ll have multiple opportunities to get into the field and use Austin’s amazing archival resources to conduct your original research.
Introduction to Historical Methods and Senior Research Seminar both invite students to use local archives, such as those at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the Briscoe Center for American History, the Texas State Archives and the Austin History Center. In these classes, you’ll engage with materials produced by the people in the era you are studying. You’ll learn how to use original documents from this time period to inform your own historical projects.
SEU to You
By studying periods of changes from the past, we have tools that can help us make sense of our own age, in which change is happening before our eyes. Students in Professor of History Christie Wilson’s Fall 2020 course study the ancient world through the 20th century to understand the complex ways that societies are transformed.
As you discover which topics intrigue you most, you’ll have the chance to conduct research supervised by one of your professors to present at the St. Edward’s Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression or at a professional conference.
By interning with an organization focused on the preservation and teaching of history, you’ll improve your research and organizational skills and get a firsthand look at the complex decisions that are part of historical interpretation. St. Edward’s students have recently interned at the following:
- Texas Historical Commission
- Washington Center Internship Program
- Texas General Land Office
- Texas Military Forces Museum
Major Requirements: The Bachelor of Arts in History requires 37 hours of History major courses, which include introductory courses in U.S. and World history, and advanced courses in U.S., European, and World History. Through these courses students build skills that help prepare them for future interests in a broad range of career fields.
Electives: In addition to History classes, students complete 29 hours of elective courses in any area of study they choose. These courses do not have to relate to the History major.
General Education Requirements: The History degree requires 54 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for our History major (PDF).
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- Introduction to Historical Methods – This class is designed to introduce students to how historians think, argue, research and write. The course will engage in a shared research project which will vary by semester.
- Civil Rights and Social Wrongs – This course is a survey of post-WWII movements for Civil Rights in the United States. The course explores issues of power, race, gender, and class in U.S. society.
- Wars of the 20th Century – This course will investigate causes and consequences of conflict focusing on how people understood a particular conflict and how it impacted different populations.
I approach each class with a keen sense of responsibility and opportunity: the responsibility to provide a well-designed, informative course through which students can improve their analytical and writing skills, and the opportunity to introduce students to a broader perspective to see and interact with the world.
– Dan Glenn, Associate Professor of History
Together with students in class, I explore our history as we come to understand the human condition more fully, considering how our world is connected and the complexities of peoples and societies in the past. By thinking and writing critically and considering the perspectives of people in different times and places, students develop skills that prepare them for professional life in which they use the wide range of skills developed in the classroom.
– Christie Wilson, Professor of History
About the Minor
Students who wish to broaden their knowledge of history are encouraged to pursue a minor in History. Take the
Introduction to Historical Methods class and 15 more hours of courses on topics of your choosing, 9 of which are upper division.
To get a History minor, students must complete 18 total hours of coursework.
Required Coursework (18 hours):
- Introduction to Historical Methods (required)
- Five History elective courses, with at least three upper-division courses