Study the Past, and Chart a Prosperous Future

If you're dedicated to learning about history, the key to unlocking your future career could be studying the past at Michigan Tech. The Bachelor of Arts in History blends traditional history course work and many specialized subjects, offering an excellent liberal arts education.

The history curriculum is adaptable to your personal interests and needs. You will choose an area of historical focus and study what you're most passionate about, such as American or European history, the history of technology, environmental history, or industrial archaeology and history. A number of electives are reserved for courses that support your interests in other disciplines, such as business, communications, or the arts.

Because our degree provides a strong foundation in the liberal arts, you can expect exposure to broad topics that will expand your horizons in both the social and natural sciences. You will diversify your studies with course work in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) and laboratory science.

Become a historian, and help others realize that comprehending the past fosters an informed present and a prosperous future. For a classic statement from a past president of the American Historical Association, see William McNeill, "Why Study History?"

Degree audit forms with a breakdown of required and elective courses can be found here

History (BA) Learning Goals

The goals of the history program are for students to increase their level of competency in the following areas:

  1. Historical Knowledge. Identify major themes, issues, and developments in American history and in the historical experiences of other world regions; identify how those developments compare with larger historical patterns.
  2. Historical Engagement and Critical Analysis. Understand and engage in interpretive discussions and/or debates about major societal changes, demonstrating a grasp of basic historiographical issues.
  3. Historical Research. Work independently and conduct effective historical research using both primary sources and appropriate secondary sources.
  4. Historical Interpretation, Synthesis, and Presentation. Develop the ability of students to present the results of historical research effectively in both written and oral form using varied and appropriate technologies.

The History Program also helps students achieve competency in all sight areas identified by MTU University Student Learning Goals as implemented in general education and majors.

Material Assessed

Each year three faculty members assesses all 1-credit 4000-level research projects written by students during the previous academic year. These are research reports that students can attach to any 3000-level history course. All students in the History Program (starting with those who entered the program in Fall 2013) will take two 1-credit 4000-level courses in which they formulate a research question, examine the relevant primary and secondary sources, and construct an argument that addresses the research question based on their interpretation of the sources. Typically, this research project is in lieu of a course project/assignment. 

About the Program

  • Take a look at history through the lenses of different cultures: archaeology and anthropology courses are integrated into the history curriculum. Economic and environmental history are key to many of our faculty’s innovative approaches.
  • If you’re passionate about the social sciences, but you also have an affinity for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math), there’s no need to choose between them. You’ll study the natural sciences as part of the history degree program, or you can even declare a double major.
  • You can count on small class sizes—and great opportunity for student participation and active class discussion. Virtually all social sciences classes are taught by faculty members, who are experts in their fields.
  • Get to know your instructors personally. Our department’s low student-to-faculty ratio (12:1) equates to more individualized attention and academic advising.
  • We offer hands-on research opportunities for undergraduate students. Our faculty are always willing to undertake independent study projects with students. Many of our students have participated in SURF, Tech’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program.
  • During the archaeology summer field school, history majors work alongside faculty and graduate students. Currently, we are studying the ruins of the historic Cliff Mine, the area’s first profitable copper mine. The focus of this ongoing research project is to thoroughly document the Cliff Mine site, with the goal of reconstructing the evolution of the industrial process during the mine’s heyday (1845-70).
  • You’ll have access to a well-equipped archaeology lab that gives you experience in the processing and classification of artifacts.
  • Gain even more real-world experience with an internship or the Enterprise program. We will work with you to develop a personalized internship in your field of interest. Additionally, our students have participated on Enterprise teams aiming to restore and renovate historic buildings.

About the Area

Several historically interesting sites occupy Michigan Tech’s backyard. Michigan’s wildly beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula has a rich mining history from prehistory to the twentieth century. The setting of the country’s first copper boom in 1843, the Keweenaw boasts the world’s largest deposit of native copper. The region also has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, with ethnic groups from all across Europe settling here in the second half of the 19th century and a wonderful collection of turn-of-the-century architecture.

Career Pathways

The well-rounded undergraduate education offered by our history program sets up students for success in graduate school, law school, management, and a myriad of professions, allowing you to set your sights high and follow your passion.

What could I do with a degree in history?

A bachelor’s degree in history prepares students for careers in teaching, law, the ministry, business, governmental administration, journalism, archival and museum work, and historical preservation.

Which professions have our alumni chosen?

History alumni have landed diverse positions including

  • Head Librarian
  • Law Firm Administrator
  • Archivist, US Government
  • Executive Officer, US Army
  • Strategic Intelligence Officer, Department of Defense
  • History Teacher
  • Attorney
  • Technical Writer
  • Self-Employed Business Owner