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History

Overview

Everything has a history: music, film, social movements, protests, political ideologies, ethnic groups, countries, cities, families. History majors are investigators and storytellers who use these different lenses to examine the past and develop a deeper understanding of the forces that shape our present and future.

At Hofstra, students live history while they study it. We are the only university to host three consecutive presidential debates (2008, 2012, 2016), which gave our students the opportunity to see the democratic process unfold up close, as volunteers and even in the audience.

As a history major, you'll learn about the human experience and gain an enhanced capacity for informed citizenship and critical thinking. You’ll analyze multiple sources to see what is credible, recognize the relevance of the past in rethinking current debates, as well as sharpen your research, verbal, and writing skills. These skills will prepare you well for a wide range of careers, as well as advanced study in law, business, journalism or public policy.

In fact, a recent survey of executives by the World Economic Forum ranked creativity, critical thinking and complex problem-solving to be among the top 10 most valued skills by today’s employers.

In the New York region, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in history earn an average annual salary of $53,729 and job growth for this major is projected to increase about 8.7 percent by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies.

Off-campus, you’ll spend time at historical landmarks such ass Sagamore Hill, Ellis Island, the New York Historical Society, and the NYC Tenement Museum to enrich your classroom experience.

We also strongly encourage our students to study abroad and work at internships that will complement their areas of interest, including in the judiciary, legislative offices, historical societies and archives, and museums.

We keep our class sizes small, which encourages teamwork with your professors and peers. And every class is taught by actual faculty members - not teaching assistants - who relish the opportunity to mentor you as you dig into a major that will prepare you for almost any academic or professional endeavor.

History faculty members include several recent winners of major Fulbright and NEH awards for teaching and research. They are actively engaged in a vast range of projects including President Nixon’s foreign policy, the diaries of a Japanese midwife in mid-twentieth century Seattle, the cultural history of Naples, the history of soccer in Latin America, the eleventh century Iberian kingdom of León, gender and conflict in modern Egypt, Jewish cultural production in fin-de-siècle France, and health care in the Deep South.

Curriculum

You'll begin your studies with a basic foundation in introductory courses before moving on to advanced level courses which provide more insight in individual subject areas as well as the methodologies of history. You'll also take classes that focus on the histories of different parts of the world, choosing from courses on the history of the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The culmination of their program is a required seminar, involving a substantial research paper, where students apply their skills an area of particular interest.

Students are encouraged to pair their history major with a double major or a minor in an area that relates to a subject that interests them.

Recent or upcoming history courses include:

  • NYC and 9/11
  • Immigrant Experiences
  • Protest and Reform
  • New York and Slavery
  • Shop Til You Drop - the history of urban life, consumerism and consumption
  • The Modern Middle East
  • Ancient History and Archaeology

Hofstra also offers a minor in history.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in History Requirements

Recent Alumni Outcomes

A Hofstra history degree opens doors to prestigious graduate and law schools, as well as to job opportunities with a range of organizations and companies. Our alumni have gone on to work at the United Nations, the NYC City Council, the US Supreme Court and other organizations including:

  • NYC Teaching Fellows program
  • Herricks (NY) Union Free School District
  • TD Bank
  • The Hearst Corporation
  • Jet Blue Airways

Those pursuing graduate degrees are studying at:

  • The University of Virginia
  • Villanova
  • University of Texas
  • CUNY School of Law
  • Suffolk Law School
  • University of Washington
97% are employed, grad school or both
88% accept a position within six months
$40K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

Internships

Recent internships for history majors have included museums, law offices, government offices, political campaigns. Among them:

  • Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci
  • Brentwood Union Free School District
  • Children’s Creativity Museum
  • Judge Arthur D. Spatt
  • Levittown School District
  • Massapequa School District
  • Seaford School District
  • Senator Charles Schumer
  • Uniondale School District
  • Westbury School District

Experience

students

Hofstra's history students are offered opportunities to study overseas to broaden their global perspective. Many have studied in countries such as Italy, Spain, Israel, and Australia.

Hofstra's vibrant History Club organizes field trips, on-campus speakers, and film showings and we also have a vibrant chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.

For the past two decades, Hofstra University has hosted the regional competition for National History Day (NHD), where elementary and secondary students choose and then research historical topics and events. Students present their work during competition as papers, websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries. Many of our staff and faculty serve on the advisory committee for National History Day, and Hofstra students serve as volunteers for the event.

Meet Steven Eareckson

 
 

Steven Eareckson graduated summa cum laude with a double major in history and political science, and a minor in presidential studies. After graduation, he went on to law school at the University of Virginia. Here, he talks about his experiences as a volunteer during the 2016 presidential debate at Hofstra, and at a special academic seminar during the Democratic National Convention.


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