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Through the study of the human past, history majors are able to understand human beings and institutions around the world and are encouraged to understand ourselves and our multiple communities through comparison with cultures of other times and places.
The department strives to place all national and local histories into a global context and is committed to providing an education fit for a global world. This pursuit begins in the freshman year with HIST 101: Introduction to World History, and ends with a capstone seminar. Students also get to choose their specialty in a particular geographical area: Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa, or the United States. The outcome is a student who understands broad trends and global connections but who also has developed some expertise in his/her chosen field.
To help prepare students for the world of work or for graduate school, the Department of History's curriculum offers two additional opportunities:
Preceptorships (HIST 60 and HIST 61) offer a special opportunity for junior and senior history majors to work with Whittier faculty or teachers off-campus (local elementary schools or high schools) to learn about how historians approach the teaching of history. Preceptorships are especially useful for students intending to pursue either a graduate degree or a career in secondary school teaching.
Through a for-credit internship program (HIST 50), the department offers opportunities for students to gain work experience in a variety of educational or other settings, including museums, libraries, law offices, electoral politics, or non-profit organizations.
In a world that is increasingly interconnected, the study of history is a particularly apt way for us to understand both how the world we live in came to be, and our place in it.