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Department of History
University of Mississippi

Majoring in History


What does it mean to major in history?

History is the study and analysis of the past. Historians strive to understand the relationship between people, events, cultures, places, and time. Historians may use their study and analysis of the past to gain perspective on the contemporary world.

Students who major in history enjoy examining the root causes and significance of world events. History majors gain a necessary perspective on the contemporary world as well as skills in analysis, research, writing, public speaking, and information organization.

Why is the University of Mississippi a good place to major in history?

Did you know that the Department of History is the highest ranked department in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi? It’s true!

The Department of History is deeply involved in the activities of the African American Studies program, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, and the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies.

The Department of History sponsors the annual Porter L. Fortune History Symposium. Recent topics have included religion in the South, gender and politics in the South, the Civil Rights movement, and the South in the Caribbean. The Department also hosts numerous workshops to help History Majors in their undergraduate studies as well as planning for the future.

 What careers will a history degree prepare me for?

Historical preservation
Archives management
Legislative research
Documentary filmmaking
Museum programming
Foreign service
National Park interpretation
Records management
Defense analysis
Real estate
Library services
Health services

What kind of salary can I earn as a history major?

A good one! No, really. reveals that a history major with 10+ years of experience earns, on average, $77,200 annually.

What have recent graduates done with their history degrees?

Kate Clark (B.A. History and English, 2015) wrote her senior research paper on how the Cult of Domesticity shaped parenting advice manuals in antebellum America and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Kate now teaches 9th through 12th grade English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) at Saint Jo High School in Texas.

Joel Garrott (B.A. History, 2015) completed an honors thesis on Wendell Berry’s agrarian ethic and 1970s environmental thought and politics. He is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Henry Davis (B.A. in History, 2014) received the Larry D. Givens Award for Outstanding Junior History Major. He conducted research on the military participation of local African Americans in WWI and WWII, which contributed to the Burns-Belfry Museum and Multicultural Center in Oxford.

Eric Place (B.A. in History, 2011) a Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College transfer student, wrote his honors thesis on popular representations of rural Mississippi during the Depression using photographs taken by the WPA and Farm Security photographers. Eric went on to graduate study at Brandeis University and currently works as a Senior Associate for State Street, a global financial services company.

Peter “Bowman” Hitchens (B.A in History and Religious Studies, 2011) received the Governor’s award, GIVE, for Outstanding Achievement by a College Student. He was founder of UM Homeless Outreach, and raised funds for the Interfaith Compassion Ministries by kayaking the length of the Mississippi River. Bowman is now a Corporate Development & Strategy Associate at Medical Life Holdings.

John “Tyler” Clemons (B.A. in History and Journalism, 2010) was the Daily Mississippian editor during the period when UM hosted the presidential debate. He subsequently earned a law degree from Georgetown Law School and works as an attorney for the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.

Leanna McLaughlin (B.A. in History 2006, M.A. in History 2008) was a transfer student from Meridian Community College. She wrote her senior research paper on 17th century English political culture. She entered the history doctoral program at UC, Riverside. Leanna is currently researching her dissertation on political poetry, both print and manuscript, and its influence on popular political action from the Popish Plot to the Glorious Revolution, 1678-1689.

 Who should I contact to learn more about majoring in history?

Department of History
Bishop Hall 310
The University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
(662) 915-7148  |