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/ Academics / Departments & Programs / History / Academics History Major

Degree Overview

A history major prepares you for a wide range of pursuits. You might pursue a career in teaching, public service, graduate or professional school (such as law or medicine), media, ministry, and business. You'll acquire strong skills in writing, research, critical thinking, and public speaking, while you engage with a broad range of cultures and eras.

After framing your coursework with a survey course in global history, build research and writing skills in our Research Methods of History course. Then choose from a wide range of electives to explore your own interests, all while opening doors to your career goals. Finally, bring it all together in our capstone course as you reflect on vocation as a Christian historian.

Program Distinctives

Gifted faculty - Collaborate with highly respected faculty who are published experts on topics ranging from the Ottoman Empire to the contemporary African American church. They’re committed Christians who prioritize your learning and are personally invested in your success.
Open doors - You’ll learn about history through small classes, internships, off-campus programs, and independent research projects. You’ll learn more than just historical facts—you’ll learn how to uncover information, appreciate different perspectives, test your own theories, and communicate your findings.
Future leaders - Join a legacy of history majors who are in high demand in a wide range of professions. Our students go on to success in many fields because they think deeply, write clearly, and work effectively in any career they pursue.
Combines well - History can readily be combined with a minor or second major, or with a pre-professional or professional track such as pre-law, pre-medicine, public health, or business.

Degree Information

  • Overview

    Students majoring in history will design programs of study in consultation with their departmental advisor. Such programs will reflect the students’ interests within the field of history and in related departments, their anticipated vocational goals, and the demands of the historical discipline. Students are asked to consult with departmental advisors early in their collegiate years concerning their choice of a foreign language and, if secondary teaching is their goal, concerning the various types of programs leading to certification.

    Students pursuing certification for secondary education must earn either a double major in History and Social Studies, or a major in one of these two disciplines with a minor in a different discipline. Those who choose to major in Social Studies alone must choose a minor in one of the following disciplines: Economics, Geography, or Political Science. Those who choose to major in History alone may minor in any other discipline they wish.

    Students intending to pursue graduate studies are advised to take HIST 390 (independent research project) or HIST 390H-HIST 391H (Honors thesis), and to take at least two semesters of a foreign language even if they have already met the language requirement.

    Students desiring a high-impact experience in a non-academic setting are advised to apply for the History internship (HIST 393) in the spring of their junior or senior year.

    You can take one upper-level interim course as an elective in any of the History majors or minors.

  • Courses
  • Overview

    Learn to think historically in any major, adding historical methods of research and analysis skills, along with academic credit for chasing down your interests through electives.

  • Courses

A healthier society

Historical insight can help you thrive in fields like disease prevention, health advocacy, and public policy. Calvin’s public health program can be a great companion to your history major.

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Related Centers & Programs

Explore archaeology, the medieval world, the African diaspora, and more through degrees and programs that combine well with a history major. Learn more »

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