Photo of historical documents

Major in History

WHAT IS A HISTORY DEGREE?

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana.

We’ve all heard the phrase in some form before. How does the past inform our present and our future? And how do contemporary issues change how we view the past? We study history to make sense of the present and help ensure a better future. A history degree prepares students for lives of purpose through the study of people, places and civilizations around the world and across the ages.

Why study history at Furman?

With 13 faculty members, the Furman history department delivers extraordinary coverage of world history. In classes that are small by design, sharpen your historical context skills while synthesizing information to build and deliver a persuasive argument. The department also offers special two credit-hour courses based on contemporary topics of the day – including epidemics, high-seas pirates, regimes and dictators. Plan a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus or start your application today.

How will you learn?

Work one-on-one with professors through research fellowships in history. Study away in Belgium, the British Isles, Latin America, Japan, China, Africa, India and other regions. Be one of 16 students (in any major) annually to earn a paid internship in East and Southeast Asia. Or use your internship to apply your historical evidence-collection expertise in a firm’s research or data analytics office.

Careers for history majors

History majors are well prepared for the workforce with finely tuned critical thinking, analysis and communication skills. Hiring managers look for strong communicators who understand nuance and pick up important details – hallmarks of a history major.

Some sample fields and vocations are:

  • Lawyer
  • Public relations and marketing professional
  • Postgraduate education in theology, business, law
  • Researcher, data analytics expert
  • Investment banker or financial analyst
  • Media and entertainment professional
  • Local, state and federal government posts
  • Nonprofit manager dealing with social and environmental justice causes

History courses: What will you study?

Sample courses include:

The American Revolution

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Women and Gender in India

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History degree requirements:

A major consists of at least 10 courses and must include:

  • One foundation course in European history
  • One foundation course in North American history
  • One foundation course in the history of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East or the world
  • At least four advanced history courses
  • At least four additional credits from skills-based courses
  • A two-semester senior seminar
97%
History majors who participate in any engaged learning experience
56%
History students who study away
20%
History majors who collaborate with faculty or conduct independent research

What our students say

Belltower in fall, autumnal trees reflecting off the lake

“My undergraduate education was special because of the unique experiences like research and study abroad opportunities that Furman offers. My biggest advocates were my history professors – they truly cared about me as a student and a person.” – Katie Wooten ’21

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s history faculty represents decades of study and real-world expertise. Take your first steps by contacting admissions or reading more about how to apply.

  • John Barrington
    Title:

    Professor, History

    John Barrington

    John Barrington
    Title:

    Professor, History

    Phone Number: 8642942022

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  • Erik Ching
    Title:

    Walter Kenneth Mattison Professor, History; Director, Undergraduate Research

    Erik Chang headshot

    Erik Ching
    Title:

    Walter Kenneth Mattison Professor, History; Director, Undergraduate Research

    Phone Number: 8642942119

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  • Carolyn Day
    Title:

    Associate Professor, History

    Carolyn Day

    Carolyn Day
    Title:

    Associate Professor, History

    Phone Number: 8642942419

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  • Timothy Fehler
    Title:

    William E. Leverette, Jr., Professor, History

    Timothy Fehler

    Timothy Fehler
    Title:

    William E. Leverette, Jr., Professor, History

    Phone Number: 8642943347

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  • Jason Hansen
    Title:

    Associate Professor, History

    Jason Hansen

    Jason Hansen
    Title:

    Associate Professor, History

    Phone Number: 8642942280

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  • Lane J Harris
    Title:

    Associate Professor and Chair, History

    Lane J Harris

    Lane J Harris
    Title:

    Associate Professor and Chair, History

    Phone Number: 8642942798

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  • Nadia Kanagawa
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History and Asian Studies

    Headshot of Nadia Kanagawa, new professor

    Nadia Kanagawa
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History and Asian Studies

    Phone Number: 8642942281

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  • Tuğçe Kayaal
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History

    Tuğçe Kayaal

    Tuğçe Kayaal
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History

    Phone Number:

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  • Savita Nair
    Title:

    Professor, History and Asian Studies; Director, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow, FDC

    Savita Nair

    Savita Nair
    Title:

    Professor, History and Asian Studies; Director, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow, FDC

    Phone Number: 8642943332

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  • Stephen O'Neill
    Title:

    Professor, History

    Professor Stephen O'Neill

    Stephen O'Neill
    Title:

    Professor, History

    Phone Number: 8642943346

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  • Holly Pinheiro, Jr.
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History

    Holly Pinheiro, Jr.

    Holly Pinheiro, Jr.
    Title:

    Assistant Professor, History

    Phone Number:

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  • Marian Strobel
    Title:

    William Montgomery Burnett Professor, History

    Marian Strobel

    Marian Strobel
    Title:

    William Montgomery Burnett Professor, History

    Phone Number: 8642943072

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  • Courtney Tollison
    Title:

    Distinguished University Public Historian and Scholar

    History professor, Courtney Tollison

    Courtney Tollison
    Title:

    Distinguished University Public Historian and Scholar

    Phone Number: 8642942377

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  • FAQ

    What can you do with a history degree?

    Hiring managers look for professionals who can communicate effectively, understand finer nuances and gather key points – all areas in which history majors excel. Graduates find jobs in fields such as law, public relations and marketing, research, postgraduate studies and government. Some history majors become lawyers or other legal professionals, public relations and marketing practitioners, scholars and government officials.

    What is the average salary for history majors?

    On average, those with a history degree earn $55,000 per year, according to bestcolleges.com. But the salaries vary depending on the field; managerial positions may earn $80,000 per year, while law positions may earn $100,000, or more.

    How long does it take to earn a history degree?

    The history B.A. at Furman is a four-year program.

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