2012-13 ADVISORS



STUDENT ADVISOR for History major/minor, History Teaching major/minor, Social Science Composite, BIS minor

      Dr. Stephen Francis


      801 626-6781

STUDENT ADVISOR for Public History minor:

                                                                                                Dr. Kathryn MacKay


                                                                                                801 626-6782


STUDENT ADVISOR for Asian Studies minor:

                                                                                                Dr. Greg Lewis


                                                                                                801 626-6707


HONORS ADVISOR:  Dr. Stephen Francis


                                 801 626-6781




                                               SS 248 

                                               801 626-6710

The History Department wants to help you turn your degree into a career.  The following information might aid you in accomplishing your future goals.   We also have several handouts available in the History office.

Recent graduate's success:

Heidi Orchard working at the State Historical Society, Chris Hansen received his MA and is employed at Utah State Historic Preservation office, Liz Heath currently in MA program Public History at ASU, Michelle Braeden teaching AP History at Ogden High School, Brandon Morgan pursuing Ph.D at University of New Mexico, Dan Jones, pursuing Ph.D at Yale, Rebecca Mueller pursuing Ph.D at University of Arizona

Why students choose a History degree

MORE AND MORE STUDENTS CHOOSE HISTORY for degree study at colleges and universities (History Today, August 2000). Why do so many students choose History and so make it a popular choice? Those who have studied some History and have moved away from simplistic mono-causal explanations will not be surprised that there are several reasons. 

  • History is interesting. It deals with human beings and the human story, our past. It helps toward a perspective on, and understanding of, the present and satisfies a basic human trait, our curiosity about our world. As Liam Hudson pointed out years ago in his book Contrary Imaginations, students of History tend to be more complete human beings.


  • Many students choose History because they are good at it and, because they are good at History, they enjoy the subject. In turn, if a subject is enjoyed then study is less burdensome and their mastery increases further and they enjoy their study still more.


  • A History degree develops the skills and capacities, especially of judgement, analysis and refined articulation, which lead to success in many careers. Unlike subjects like Languages and Mathematics and, to an extent, the Sciences, History requires no particular aptitudes. The only essential skills are the ability to read and write and free rein to your curiosity.



We have compiled the following information, good job sites and other relevant information from around the web.  This information is by no means a guarantee of finding a job but does offer some good references and websites that may assist you or reference other sites to visit.

Some Famous History Majors

U.S. Presidents

  • Theodore Roosevelt (Harvard University)
  • Woodrow Wilson (Princeton University)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (Harvard University)
  • Richard Nixon (Whittier College)
  • George W. Bush (Yale University)

N.B. Teddy Roosevelt (in 1912) and Woodrow Wilson (in 1924) also served as president of the American Historical Association.

Others in Politics

  • Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (Harvard University)
  • Sen. George McGovern (Dakota Wesleyan University)
  • Sen. George Mitchell (Bowdoin College)
  • Rep. Newt Gingrich (Emory University)
  •  Justice Antonin Scalia (Georgetown University)
  • W.E.B. DuBois, co-founder of the NAACP (Fisk University)

N.B. (1) DuBois was also the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard (in History). (2) Before becoming Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich also earned a Ph.D. in Modern European History from Tulane University and taught history at Western Georgia College.


  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (UCLA)
  • Ken Dryden (Cornell University)
  • Jackie Joyner-Kersee (UCLA)
  • Grant Hill (Duke University)

The Media

  • Chris Berman (Brown University)
  • Wolf Blitzer (SUNY-Buffalo)
  • Seymour Hersh (University of Chicago)
  • Charles Kuralt (University of North Carolina)

The Business World

  • Carly Fiorina (Stanford University)
  • Lee Iacocca (Lehigh University)
  • Martha Stewart (Barnard College)


  • Katharine Hepburn (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Conan O'Brien (Harvard University)
  • Lauryn Hill (Columbia University)
  • Steve Carell (Denison University)
  • Edward Norton (Yale University)
  • Ellen Barkin (Hunter College)
  • Jimmy Buffett (Auburn University)
  • Janeane Garofalo (Providence College)
  • Michael Palin (University of Oxford)

N.B. Michael Palin is not the only member of Monty Python with an interest in history. Terry Jones has written on the history of chivalry and has hosted a History Channel series on the Middle Ages

A few other famous people with history degrees:

  • Ken Burns (filmmaker)
  • Edward Norton (actor)
  • Howard Springer (CEO Sony America)
  • Salman Rushdie (author)
  • Mira Sorvino (actress)
  • Chris Martin (bandmember for Coldplay)
  • Sting (singer, songwriter, and former History teacher)
Sources: and


Jobs & Careers

American Historical Association

As the primary professional association for historians in the United States, the AHA serves as the main clearinghouse for information about jobs, careers, and employment for the historical profession. These services range from advice for the history major pondering their first job out of college to advice, information, and job listings for history PhDs.

For the history major, we offer Careers for History Majors, a short guide to some of the job prospects for anyone wondering what they can do with a BA in the field.

For those interested in continuing their studies further and entering the ranks of professional historians, we offer Careers for Students of History. This site, co-sponsored with the National Council on Public History, and authored by faculty and students in the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina, discusses employment options in the classroom, museums, the publishing industry, archives, historic preservation, and government.

For the aspiring history PhD, the AHA offers detailed information about where and how to apply to history PhD programs and an annual job center . AHA members also enjoy access to the most comprehensive list of current job listings in the field.


For the past 40 years, Perspectives on History (published as Perspectives—ISSN: 0743-7021—until December 2007 ) has been the principal source for news and information about the historical profession. Published monthly during the academic year, Perspectives on History offers articles and commentary on teaching, computers and software, history in the media, museum exhibitions, and archives and research. Also includes the most comprehensive current listings of employment openings and historical activities, both within and outside academia.

Perspectives on History (ISSN: 1940-8048) is published nine months out of the year (September–May) by the American Historical Association. Material from the printed version appears in Perspectives Online (ISSN: 1556-8563), the electronic newsmagzine of the association.

American Association for State and Local History

AASLH began in 1904, under the wing of the American Historical Association. Then called the Conference of State and Local Historical Societies, AASLH broke out on its own in December of 1940 to become the American Association for State and Local History.

Now, 100 years after the first organization was created in support of the burgeoning field of state and local history, AASLH is still the only comprehensive national organization dedicated to the field at large. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH is proud to provide a home for those who work and volunteer in the field of state and local history.

Office of Personnel Management

U.S. Department of State 


What Can I Do With a History Major?

Prepared by Professor Catherine Lavender
Department of History
The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York

 Only a small percentage of history majors go on to be historians; most go on, instead, to become lawyers, librarians, businesspersons, writers, archivists, researchers, teachers, politicians, and even entertainers. Leaders in every industry, from business to the arts, can point to their training as history majors as the starting point for their success. Below is a brief examination of the sorts of skills developed by the study of history and various career options available to history majors. By examining the varieties of approaches historians use, the discussion below seeks to identify the advantages of historical study in fostering well-rounded intellectual development as well as developing valuable career skills in research, writing, argumentation, and documentation.

What are the skills one learns as an historian?

One of the key ways of thinking about what a history major prepares you to pursue after graduation is to focus on the skills one acquires as a history student. These include:

Effective writing skills--vital to any job for which a college degree is a necessity, effective writing means the ability to successfully and precisely communicate one's ideas in text.

Critical analysis skills--vital to the decision-making process for any job, critical analysis means the ability to analyze a situation and come up with creative and practical solutions.

Research skills--vital to any job, research skills mean the ability to understand past practices and policies and to trace the roots of any issue, to find new information which bears on that issue, and to incorporate that information into one's analysis of an issue.

Interdisciplinary thinking and training--vital to any position, interdisciplinary thinking and training means the ability to think about a problem in a multitude of ways, to analyze it using multiple tools, and to provide solutions which draw from different traditions of thought.

Curiosity and inquisitiveness--vital to any position, curiosity and inquisitiveness mean the desire to learn more and to continue learning, to examine reasons beneath issues, and to come to understand them as part of a continual, life-long, education process.

What are some of the careers paths which history majors commonly follow?

Historians as Educators:

Many history majors go on to become educators, focusing on the communication of their ideas. Educators include teachers in Elementary and Secondary education. They also include Higher Education on many levels, including teaching at community and junior Colleges, undergraduate colleges, and universities. But educators are also important members of other educational institutions that you may not think of as immediately as schools. These include historic sites and museums, where history majors can become docents, education directors, curators, guides, and interpreters. In addition, there are other forms of teaching than standing up in front of a classroom. These include work as historical consultants, contract archivists, public historians, writers, and even filmmakers.

Historians as Researchers:

Many history majors go on to careers as researchers, emphasizing their skills in evaluating and analyzing documentary evidence. Historians as researchers include public historians as well as policy advisors, who serve as planners, evaluators, and policy analysts, often for state, local, and federal governments. In addition, historians often find employment as researchers for museums and historical organizations, or pursue additional specialized training to become professionals in cultural resources management and historic preservation.

Historians as Writers and Editors:

Because success as a history major depends upon learning to write effectively, many historians become writers and editors. They make their living as authors of historical books, or more commonly, they work as editors at a publishing house. Many historians become print and broadcast journalists, and others become documentary editors who oversee the publication of documents such as those produced by government agencies.

Historians as Information Managers:

Because history majors must learn to deal with documents, many pursue a one- or two-year graduate program in library studies (commonly, a Master of Library Science, or MLS, degree) or archival management and enter careers as information managers. With this additional training, they enter the fields of archives management, information management, records management, and librarianship.

Historians as Advocates:

Many history majors find that historical training makes a perfect preparation for Law School, as historians and lawyers often do roughly the same thing--they argue persuasively using historical data to support their arguments. Many history majors become lawyers; others undertake careers in litigation support as paralegals. Others enter public service and become policymakers, serve as legislative staff at all levels of government, and become officers of granting agencies and foundations.

Historians as Businesspeople:

Most people overlook the value of a history major in preparing an intelligent person for a career in business. Yet, historians track historic trends, an important skill for those developing products to market or engaged in corporate or financial planning. Many history majors enter banking, insurance, and stock analysis. Historians also learn how to write persuasively, and this training gives them an edge in advertising, communications media, and marketing. Finally, many industries depend on an intimate knowledge of government policies and historical trends; thus, history majors have found their skills useful in extractive industries and in public utilities.

Recommended Reading: Barbara Howe, Careers for Students of History (Washington DC: American Historical Association and the Council on Public History, 1989). (To order, contact the American Historical Association)

Go to Career Information for History Majors, which provides links and information about job searches for History Majors



History degrees lead to a variety of career options. Teaching, legal work and operations management are all common jobs for history majors. Consider all of your interests, and then take a look at PayScale's list of most popular jobs for history majors.



Popular Jobs for History Majors (national median pay)

Secondary School Teacher


Editorial Assistant


Financial Aid Counselor


Paralegal / Legal Assistant


Data Entry Operator


Intelligence Analyst


Office Clerk, General


Legal Secretary


Insurance Claims Adjuster


Technical Writer


Retail Store Manager


Data Analyst


Administrative Assistant


Retail Store Assistant Manager


Operations Manager


Elementary School Teacher




Office Manager


Program Manager, Non-Profit Organization


Human Resources (HR) Manager



History degrees wrongly are known to many as being a non--vocational degree. This misconception keeps many students from the major, but there are, in fact, many fields in which a history major can be marketable. With hard work and willingness to search, history majors can find great jobs that they will enjoy.


Supplement your degree with an internship or work study. History graduates with related practical experience are for far more marketable than ones without. Completing an internship takes a lot of extra effort and patience because oftentimes they are unpaid. Put in your best effort to find a paid internship, but if an above average one becomes available and is unpaid, know that it will pay off in the long run. Plenty of internships for history majors are listed online (see resources).

    • 2

Capitalize on the skills that you have developed as a history major. Remember that your major required you to research, analyze, write about and present the material that you covered. Add these skills to your resume. Do not exaggerate them beyond the truth, but leave modesty to the side. Many employers are looking for skills like these, so do your best to prove that you have them.

    • 3

Educate yourself as to what options your degree presents. Often graduates will use their degree to get into law school or to become a teacher. If either of these professions appeal to you, look no further. If you were hoping to do something else, think of teaching or defending as a fallback. There are plenty of other options out there for history majors.

    • 4

Research other fields that would suit history majors. Entertainment, business, politics, and publishing all have need for good writers, researchers and trend followers. Find out what other history majors are doing to get some ideas. Any company requiring good writing or research is a potential employer. Jobs that history majors commonly fill include journalist, intelligence agent, diplomat and consultant.

    • 5

Apply to graduate schools to complete a master's or PhD. With a post-graduate degree, you can teach at the high school and university level. You will also get to focus on a subject that interests you while you get your degree. You could study sports, Vikings, World War II or any other subject that is appealing.

Read more: How to Use a History Degree |


A history degree is not the useless liberal arts degree many may claim. Instead it is a degree with versatility. People with history degrees will need to be flexible but focused about their career paths and may need to work a little to find jobs with a history degree.          Here's how to find jobs with a history degree.

    • 1

Know what you plan to do. The beauty of a history degree is that it does not tie the degree-holder to one specific career path. This benefit can be a downfall as well, which is why you must have a clear idea of what you would like to do following graduation. Focus your job search based on the end result you want.

    • 2

Take supplemental classes. History degrees leave open enough electives to permit you to take a couple of courses in another field. Take business courses if you plan to enter real estate. Computer sciences courses can help if your plan is to work with educational software. Beef up your degree with supplemental work.

    • 3

Consider graduate school. Many jobs that require a history degree, such as archivists and preservationists, also demand someone with a master's degree. Do not discount going to graduate school as a way to improve your chances of finding a job with a history degree.

    • 4

Format your resume. Your resume may not be typical for samples you find. You need to show what hard skills you have. While your degree is important, your experience and research capabilities are equally important. Showcase them on your resume.

    • 5

Write a bang-up cover letter. Because your resume will be similar to so many other people, you need to state your case in your cover letter. Point out the research project you completed and published or the fund-raising effort you led. Be clear about why you would be the best person for the job and how your degree helps you with the intangible qualities needed to succeed.

Read more: How to Find Jobs With a History Degree |

Careers in Public History

Perspectives occasionally publishes ads for public history positions.   A range of other resources listing job opportunities outside the academy are available:


 General Information about Working in Public History

Careers for Students of History, a joint publication of the AHA, the NCPH, and the faculty and students of the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina, provides an overview of career options for professional historians.  You may order the print edition, or consult the on-line edition.

Beyond Academe, offers history PhDs information about employment opportunities outside the academy.

The Chronicle of Higher Education regularly publishes first-person articles by PhDs employed or seeking employment outside academe and maintains an archive of articles on employment outside the academy.  The Chronicle's web site also includes an excellent article on converting a CV to a resume.

Public History Resource Center includes employment information, web site reviews, interviews with public historians about their career path, and other resources.

Museum Job Resources Online, provides basic information about museum careers.

Public History: Essays from the Field, James B. Gardner and Peter S. Lapaglia, eds. (2004), provides a useful introduction to the field.

Directories maintained by professional associations can give you an idea of the range of employment opportunities open to the professional historian.  Useful sources include the Directory of Federal Historical Programs and Activities compiled by the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Directory of Historical Consultants maintained by the National Council on Public History, and the American Association for State and Local History's Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada.  The AHA's Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians is another valuable resource.



  The history major opens for students a variety of possible career avenues.  Historians work in classrooms at all levels of education; in museums; in the editing and publishing fields; in archives; in historic preservation; at federal, state, and local agencies; and as lawyers, business people, consultants, and contractors.  The following links are helpful in determining the career in history that is right for you.

The American Historical Association posts a site that provides an overview of the whole scope of careers available to students of history.  See  The Organization of American Historians offers one as well:

For careers in academe, visit the American Historical Association website at, H-Net at, Higher Ed Jobs at, and the Chronicle of Higher Education website at  The site features a career resources link for both academic and nonacademic jobs.

For careers in history outside the academic world, you may want to begin at to see the range of opportunities available.

For jobs with the U.S. government, including the National Archives and Records Administration and the U.S. military, go to  You will find there job postings and instructions to apply.  The site may also be worth investigating.  Consider, too, visiting the site for the Society for History in the Federal Government,  For jobs as a Foreign Service Officer or other positions within the State Department, see  You may also want to visit or for careers in those agencies.  For jobs with the National Park Service, visit

For jobs in state and local government, visit

For careers with historical societies and in state archives, visit the American Association of State and Local History site at, the Society of American Archivists site at, and the American Historical Association site at

For public history/museum jobs, visit the American Association of Museums site at and the National Council on Public History site at

For careers in politics, visit,, and

This is by no means an exhaustive list of websites for history majors seeking internships and permanent employment opportunities, but it will hopefully get your search off to a good start.


Major Resource Kit


The study of history develops two skills; first, the ability to understand complex changes in society, the economy, and the government; and second, the ability to organize and express the results in written form. What are the origins of racism? How effective are government policies? How have sexual roles changed over the years and why? How did nations or civilizations interact with each other over the centuries? The practical reason for studying history is to recognize and analyze the complexity of changing forces that have created our world today. History tells a story that helps us to understand major human events and accomplishments such as the rise and fall of civilizations, the roots of cultural differences and the evolution of science and technology.

These skills are useful in many positions in public administration, business, law, journalism and museum work. Those pursuing such careers are encouraged to supplement their liberal arts studies with technical courses in areas such as journalism, government, material culture, museum studies, or business. Advanced undergraduates may intern in a government agency, historical society, or business where they apply their research and writing skills in a practical project. History also prepares students for secondary school social studies teaching, library science, historical presentation, archival management and museum studies. The University is particularly strong in the preparation of social studies teachers and in museum studies.

Sample Job Titles

Bachelor's Degree/Entry Level

Further Education/Experience Often Required



*assistant museum curator


*legislative correspondent


*political editor

*foreign service worker

*legal assistant

*art historian

*management trainee

*historic site administrator

*history teacher



*information manager

Enhancing Employability

- Participate in Internships, Field Experience Placements and Alumni Mentor Network.

Some Employers of History Majors

*state/federal government   

*research foundations

*philanthropic organizations

*textbook publishing companies 
*communications media

*historical societies/agencies/sites 

*business and industry     

*antique dealers       
*public/private schools     

Other Sources of Information

American Historical Association    

 and Careers for History Majors

 American Association of Museums

 American Society of Association Executives

 Association of Boarding Schools

 Cato Institute  (Think Tank)

 Center for History and New Media, George Mason University

 Federal Jobs (USAJOBS)


Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)

 Jobs in Nonprofit Organizations

 Legislative Fellows Program

 Museum Employment Resource Center

 National Archives and Records Administration

 National Association of Independent Schools

 National Association of Social Workers

 National Council on Public History

 National Constitution Center, Philadelphia:

 National Park Service

 National Trust for Historic Preservation

 Opportunities in Public Affairs

 Organization of American Historians

 Preservation Action

 Society for History in the Federal Government

 Society of American Archivists

 Smithsonian Institution

 Student Conservation Association

 The Riley Guide  

Resources for Finding Employment

  • Blue Hen Careers -- Internships, Part-time, Summer, and Full-time Jobs -- All in one place
  • Careers for Bookworms and Other Literary Types
  • The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management
  • Opportunities in Fund-Raising Careers
  • So You Want to Be a Professor?
  • Opportunities in Travel Careers
  • Careers in Focus - Travel & Hospitality
  • Inside Secrets to Finding a Career in Travel
  • The Everything Guide to Being a Paralegal
  • Opportunities in Paralegal Careers
  • Paralegal Success
  • Great Jobs for Liberal Arts Majors 
  • Top Careers for Liberal Arts Graduates
  • Opportunities in Social Science Careers
  • Careers for History Buffs & Others Who Learn From the Past
  • Great Jobs for History Majors 
  • Top Careers for History Graduates
  • Opportunities in Museum Careers
  • Careers for Extroverts & Other Gregarious Types
  • Careers for Born Leaders & Other Decisive Types
  • Careers for Introverts and Other Solitary Types
  • 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For
  • Career Opportunities in the Nonprofit Sector
  • Directory of Occupational Titles
  • Get Into Law School
  • Best 117 Law Schools
  • Graduate Programs in Business, Education, Health, Information Studies, Law & Social Work
  • Washington Internships in Law and Policy
  • The Congressional Internship Book
  • The History Internship Book
  • CSC's Internet Resources

Last updated: January 26, 2011 (CH)


For links to specific job opportunities, see the following:

Jobs in Public History:

Professional Resources

Websites for Internship and Job Searchers

  • H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences: Use this site to find internships, jobs, teaching workshops and conferences. You can also use H-Net listservs to network with others in your area of interest. Subscribe tothree H-Net listservs: H-Public (public history news and conferences), H-Museum (international museum news, jobs, internships and conferences) and H-DC (great sources for folks interested in doing history in the District of Columbia.)

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education The Chronicle of Higher Education lists jobs nationally. Follow either the “Positions outside academe” or “Faculty Positions” links for professional history positions.

  • The Organization of American Historians The Organization of American Historians lists jobs nationally. Most listings will be for college-level teaching positions but there are also frequently public history positions.

  • USA Jobs all federal government jobs nationally, including seasonal, temporary, and part-time positions. Vary your search terms in order to see the most positions in which you might be interested.

  • Smithsonian Institution Institution Career Center. Job listings at all the Smithsonian facilities. These jobs also appear on USAJobs, but this site is worth monitoring. Smithsonain Center for Museum Studes. Resources, training classes and fellowships in museum studies.

  • American Association for State and Local History Lists jobs and internships nationally and allows you to search by job type. These advertisements from the newsletter of the American Association for State and Local History change on a monthly basis. 


  • National Council for Public History The National Council for Public History lists jobs and internships nationally. Click on either “Employment” or “Awards, Grants, and Fellowships.”

  • The Museum Employment Resource Museum Employment Resource Center lists jobs and internships nationally and allows you to search by job type and field. You can also post your resume.

  • The Society for History in the Federal Government The Society for History in the Federal Government occasionally posts federal historical jobs and fellowships.

  • American Cultural Resources Association American Cultural Resources Association lists jobs for archaeologists.

  • The National Center for Preservation Training National Center for Preservation Training and Technology lists jobs and internships nationally. Click on “Job Openings” and specify your search terms, or leave all the search fields blank to see all listings.

  • The American Association of Museums The American Association of Museums offers advice on working in the museum field and on how to find jobs and internships at museums. The “How to Find Jobs and Internships” link leads you to the searchable job and internship ads in the AAM’s publication AVISO, also at

  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum lists jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities. The Museum offers a regular internship program in a number of fields.

  • National Park Service Historians who work for the NPS are in the Department of Cultural Resources. NPS jobs are advertised on USAJobs and internships are offered throug individual parks. However, the NPS publishes CRM: Journal of Cultural Resource Management online and it is a very useuful source for what's going on in this growing field. This link lists a variety NPS publications. The Temporary Employment program at the National Park Service lists part-time, temporary, and seasonal jobs available nationwide at National Parks. Click on “Apply Now” then “Just Browsing” to view current postings. You can also apply and submit your resumé online.

  • International Council of Museums

http://icom.museumThis site covers all the current conversations, publications, and jobs related to international cultural resources including museums.

  • International Council on Monuments and Sites An NGO that works for the preservation of international heritage sites.

  • Society of Amerian Archivists Guide to programs in archival management and description of degree requirements for archivists.

  • Other Lists internships nationally and allows you to search by state. If the position announcement does not list a deadline, check the posting date to make sure it is current. Lists seasonal/temporary positions nationally and allows you to search by state.