What can I do with a history major?
While about half of all history majors in the country decide to teach at some level from elementary through to college, a history major can lead you into many areas of work. Any job that calls for writing, analysis and synthesis, problem-solving, and research, and general understanding of the world is an ideal job for a history major.
We have alumni working in banking, historical museums, government, television journalism, libraries, non-profit organizations, missions organizations, travel organizations, public relations firms, health management organizations-as well as in teaching at all levels. The secret is to think of a history major not simply as preparing you with certain content, but with certain skills–skills that are very marketable.
More and more, we encourage students to take advantage of Westmont’s internship program. This allows students to spend time in a work environment while they are still in college. This allows them to think about how their education relates to the work world, and about their theology of "vocation, " as well as giving them practical experience of being in the workplace prior to graduation. In addition, we encourage our majors to work with Westmont’s Career and Life Planning Office and the wonderful network of alumni available through the Alumni Office to begin enlarging their sense of what is possible for them after college, and to begin to build connection with people who will enable them to most effectively use their education in the world.
What do I do if I want to teach history in high school?
If you want to teach history in high school, you will need to prepare yourself in the subject area of "Social Studies," and to obtain a credential. At Westmont, if you plan carefully, it is possible to do both of these within the four years of your education. See the description of the "teaching track" for further details. Dr. Pointer is the faculty member who works especially with prospective teachers in the department.
Does AP history count for anything in the history major?
If you earned a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Exam in American history, European history, or World History, you may apply that to the Social Science Distribution Requirement of the General Education program and towards elective units in the history major.
What should I do if I think I want to go to graduate school?
If you think you are interested in graduate school, you should let your professors know. They will help you establish a time line of preparation for that.