College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Photo: Peer advising at the WSU Career CenterCareers in History

In addition to being a core major for a liberal arts degree, an undergraduate degree in history can lead to work as a teacher, historian, archivist, librarian, information specialist, writer, researcher, or work in government service.

With further study, you can go into college teaching, business, medicine, law, politics, or ministry. Double majors—combining history with one or more such fields—are easily accommodated.

The study of history is an excellent way to develop skills in critical reading and the ability to come to draw conclusions by analyzing and interpreting materials. These skills can serve as a foundation for success in a variety of disciplines.

For example, you can combine your program in history with selected classes in political science, English, speech, and business to prepare for law school. Students have also combined a pre-med program with a history major; in fact, the percentage of those with history majors admitted to medical schools has sometimes been higher than applicants with biology majors.

Because history is one of the best fields in which to receive a broad and liberal education, job opportunities for historians are not limited to teaching and writing history. Training in historical methodology fits persons for many types of historical and non-historical careers outside of teaching. Governmental service offers careers as historians, archivists, information specialists, immigration officers, and social security officials. The Interior and State Departments, Smithsonian Institution, Agriculture Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency also fill positions with persons with historical training. Our students usually do well in the competitive examinations given by the United States Civil Service Commission and by the State Department.

Possible Employers

Advertising departments and agencies
Airlines, railroads, cruiselines
Archives, museums, historical associations
Banks, savings and loans, credit unions
Environmentally-related firms
Federal, state, or local governments
Hospitals and other health care companies
Hotels, motels, and hospitality industry employers
Magazines, newspapers, radio stations, cable networks, television stations
Manufacturing firms
Not-for-profit organizations
Professional associations
Public relations firms
Schools and universities
Sports-related organizations

Account representative
Administrative assistant
Admissions officer
Art conservator
Artifacts conservator
Career counselor
Claims adjudicator
Collections manager
Communications assistant
Conference coordinator
Corporate historian
Database/records manager
Development associate for research
Director of visitor services
Education programs coordinator
Educational equipment and supplies salesperson
Executive director
Financial aid counselor
Golf Coach
Government relations
Historic preservation planner
Human resources professional
Institutional researcher
Intelligence specialist
Interpretive guide
Labor organizer
Legislative research assistant
Loan officer
Management consultant
Manufacturer’s representative
Market analyst/researcher
Media specialist
Museum technician
Nature education interpreter
Network coordinator
Outdoor education instructor
Park ranger
Personnel officer
Pharmaceutical representative
Project archivist
Project planner/coordinator
Public relations
Radio/TV announcer
Reference librarian
Researcher (national TV news)
Securities information researcher
Site manager/administrator
Software specialist
Tour director
Travel agent


Department of History, PO Box 644030, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4030
301 Wilson-Short Hall, Pullman Campus • 509-335-5139 • Fax 509-335-4171 • Contact Us