History, BA | University of Portland

History, BA

Understanding the past is vital for improving our future and in today's global society, understanding how various cultures have evolved is important to helping us become global citizens. Studying history helps us understand how people and societies are formed and interact. It contributes to our moral understanding and helps define personal and cultural identities.

As a history major, courses in American, European, and non-western studies will give you a well-rounded understanding of historical events and values to help you better comprehend today’s global society. All history majors complete a senior thesis so as to gain valuable skills in research and analysis. Many students also take advantage of study abroad opportunities (often with history professors) and join groups such as the Mock Trial team, the history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, and the History Club.

Career Paths

Graduates with a degree in history have a wide array of career options. In fact, as a liberal arts major, the possibilities are endless. The professions listed below are only a few of the many viable career paths for history majors.

  • Archivist
  • Education
  • Documentary Producer
  • Grant Writer or Fundraiser
  • Information Manager
  • Journalism
  • Lawyer or Paralegal
  • Librarian
  • Museum Curator
  • Museum Education Specialist
  • Records Manager
  • Researcher
  • Writer/Editor


History majors take 39 credits in the University Core Curriculum, 21-33 hours in the College of Arts and Sciences core, 36 hours of history courses for the major, and 12-24 hours of electives. 

Sample Courses

  • Foundations of Western Civilization
  • American Protest and Reform
  • African American History
  • Modern American Women's History
  • Saints and Sinners in the Middle Ages
  • Environmental History of the Americas and the World