Learning Goals

The Brandeis History major seeks to provide students with a broad introduction to the development of the modern world. By design, the major is flexible, enabling students to devise individual programs tailored to their own specific needs and interests.

Students completing the major in history will come away with a strong understanding of:

  • the cultures, economies, social structures, and governmental systems of past civilizations. To this end, the department’s flexible requirements for the major direct students to take courses covering the histories of the North America, Europe, and non-western countries
  • the diverse sources and methods that historians use to study the past
  • the perspective afforded by studying events, ideas, and actions in historical context and sequence
  • different forms of historical explanation, argument, and narrative

Core Skills:
The history major teaches core skills in scholarly research, critical thinking, oral communication, and written expression. The study of history teaches students to strive for a higher appreciation of the world around them, and to understand that to effectively address contemporary problems requires a full understanding of the origins and causes of those problems.

Upon Graduating:
A Brandeis student with a history major will be prepared to:

  • use the knowledge, perspectives, and skills gained from their historical studies to pursue (as many of our majors have done) careers in law, business, journalism, public service, or numerous other fields
  • organize, evaluate, and communicate a critical assessment of competing and often conflicting sources of information about the past
  • pursue graduate study and a scholarly career in history

The department is deeply committed to the development of writing and analytical skills that are invaluable and transferable, regardless of future career. And it is our belief that the knowledge and skills our major provides will lay the foundation for a fuller, more productive, and engaged life after college.