The general premise underlying the study of history is that by understanding the past, one can comprehend the present. The array of coursework provides access for both majors and non-majors to the historical experience of humankind. The department offers courses in American, European, World, Asian, and Latin American history, as well as courses in women’s history, ethnic history, art history, public history, and film history.
A degree in history is excellent preparation for careers in business, advertising, government, foreign service, international relations, publications, journalism and human services. It also is a great major for those who wish to pursue a career specifically in the field of history including teaching at the elementary, secondary, or college level, or working in museums, archives and libraries.
History majors will learn historical methods, gain a sense of respect for the past, incorporate history within their own lives, develop the ability to read and write critically based on historical reference points, and understand how history is written and interpreted.
For those interested in history education, students begin observing in the classrooms during their first semester at UW-River Falls. Each semester, students are required to put in a specific amount of observing hours. This fully prepares them for when they start student teaching. Each student in placed in a rural and urban school, to experience all teaching situations. Majors are encouraged to participate in an internship program for practical preparation for a career. In recent years, students have had internships with member of Congress, museum staff, on campaign staff, in legal offices, in non-profit organizations, and with interest groups.
UW-River Falls offers a variety of clubs and organizations as possible ways to get involved. Popular clubs include, but are not limited to: History club, Phi Alpha Theta, Future Teachers, Tomorrow’s Educators, and more. The History club is open to anyone with a passion for history who wants to gain the skills that correlate with being a history major.