What can we hope to understand by studying the past? What relevance could the lives of people in ancient Egypt, medieval China, even in such recent epochs as Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe or colonial India have to our modern world? Historians know that all modern culture and conflict can only be understood by turning to its historical roots. The events, people, triumphs and mistakes of the past are the key to understanding the forces and factions at work today. As a history major at UC Davis, you will work with some of the country's foremost historical researchers and writers, whose areas of expertise span the ages and the globe. Your study will prepare you for postgraduate study in history, law or other areas or to enter any career requiring independent critical thought.
The reading, writing and analytical skills developed in the history major prepare graduates to succeed in diverse careers and areas of graduate study. History majors are currently working in publishing, Web development, teaching, museum curation, business management and marketing. Their chosen fields of graduate study include journalism, history and other social sciences, law and medicine.
Your coursework in history will begin with a survey of history, including at least two world regions (Western civilization, Asia, the U.S. and Latin America or Africa). You will then decide whether to complete Plan I (providing a broad education in histories of several geographic areas) or Plan II (encouraging independent work, seminars, the study of historical thought, and active engagement in research and writing). In either plan, you will choose one major and one minor field of concentration from the following possibilities: pre-industrial Europe, modern Europe, United States history, Asian history, African history and Latin American history.