Historical study provides the basis for effective, responsible, and articulate membership in society and for success in a wide variety of careers. The skills one learns in History – how to find and analyze information, how to synthesize and communicate that information, how to write and speak persuasively, how to use evidence to support assertions – are essential for succeeding in many professions. Understanding the historical origins of contemporary issues is pivotal to making good decisions for the future.
NIU History graduates have gone on to law and other professional schools; museum and archival work; government, military, and private sector employment; teaching; and graduate school in a variety of disciplines. Study of history opens many possible professional doors, rather than preparing students to do one thing.
The History faculty has a distinguished record as active scholars and as committed teachers. We provide solid coverage of major historical periods and regions as well as topical courses in diplomatic, intellectual, religious, urban, ethnicity and immigration, legal and policy history, women's history, and public history. Many of our newer courses have a global and comparative thematic focus.
The undergraduate program emphasizes the development of skills in socio-historical analysis, research, and writing, and a course of study that allows students to pursue subjects of personal interest, while gaining a broad and comparative perspective on human history.
Every History major who graduates from our department has an opportunity to engage in independent historical research and writing, via the HIST 495 Senior Thesis course.
Liberal Learning and the History Major from the American Historical Association