Students of history learn how to think, write, speak, conduct research, and interpret the world in ways that will benefit them throughout their lives, not only in their careers, but also as citizens.
History graduates go on to careers in a wide variety of fields, including law, business, government, libraries, information management, teaching, insurance, archives, and publishing.
In addition, history can be combined with any other degree program to create a distinctive course of study.
Given the strong humanities emphasis within Nebraska Wesleyan’s history program, typically a degree in history is taken as a Bachelor of Arts. Students who combine history with a degree in the Social or Natural Sciences, however, usually take their degree as a Bachelor of Science.
Modern foreign language study is expected of all history majors. Transfer students must earn in residence a minimum of 12 hours in history, 6 hours of which must be at the upper level (3000-4990).
Department Mission Statement
The discipline of history requires students to investigate and comprehend past societies and realities. The curriculum requires students acquire a general knowledge of U.S., European, and world history. While learning how historians interpret the past, students will gain the ability to research effectively, synthesize and critically analyze their findings, and communicate their ideas in logical and coherent writing and speaking.
Department Learning Outcomes
Majors will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a general knowledge of U.S., European and world history.
a. For U.S. history:
- Acquire an overview of the major themes (e.g. social, political, economic) and episodes of U.S. history;
- Acquire an appropriate vocabulary (concepts, names, events, terms, geography, dates) for understanding and evaluating the history of the U.S.;
- Gain an understanding of the variety of cultures and experiences that comprise the history of the U.S.
b. For European history:
- Acquire an overview of the major epochs of European history and their contributions to the cultural development of European civilization;
- Acquire an appropriate vocabulary (concepts, names, events, terms, geography, dates) for understanding and evaluating European history;
- Gain an understanding of the variety of cultures and experiences that comprise European civilization.
c. For world history:
- Acquire an overview of the major developmental trends that mark world history, as well as the patterns of interaction that have marked world civilizations;
- Acquire an appropriate vocabulary (concepts, names, events, terms, geography, dates) for understanding and evaluating the broad patterns of development and interaction between world civilizations;
- Gain an understanding of the variety of cultures and experiences that comprise world civilizations.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of how historians interpret the past
- How historians acquire and interpret primary sources;
- How interpretive approaches have changed over time;
- Current approaches to historical interpretation.
3. Demonstrate an ability to conduct historical research effectively
- How to find primary and secondary materials on a historical topic using standard bibliographic resources;
- How to critique sources for point of view and potential use in their research.
4. Demonstrate an ability to analyze and synthesize information
- Decipher and interpret primary sources;
- Incorporate sources into their own writing through quotation and paraphrase to support their contentions, and appropriately cite sources.
5. Demonstrate an ability to write effectively
- Develop a thesis statement;
- Organize a paper around a central thesis;
- Relate their ideas in clear and concise writing;
- Use writing as a tool of analysis;
- Critique, edit, and rewrite a draft.
6. Demonstrate an ability to speak effectively
- Choose rhetorical strategies and methods of delivery based on audience and setting;
- Organize the presentation around a central framework;
- Deliver content in a clear and engaging speaking style;
- Synthesize supporting evidence and cite appropriately and incorporate visual aids, when appropriate.