Welcome to History at Lehigh, where we continue the legacy of liberal arts education within the research institution. Our department offers Lehigh students the undergraduate major and minor, the M.A., and the Ph.D.
The history major trains majors to think critically about the events and forces that have shaped the modern world, to analyze and interpret sources and evidence, and to view issues from a variety of perspectives. Those skills have served students well in a wide range of careers that require research, analysis, argumentation, and effective communication.
Why study history?
History majors are uniquely equipped for understanding our ever-changing world and the diversity of the human experience. Our majors study the causes and consequences of change and learn to see the world from the perspectives of others.
As History majors practice the arts of explanation and empathy, they also cultivate a broad set of research, communication, and critical thinking skills. These skills include the location and analysis of texts, data, and evidence; the mastery and synthesis of large bodies of written and visual media; the furnishing of written and oral arguments and descriptions; the evaluation of the arguments of others; and the application of interpretive, quantitative, and digital tools.
Our majors are encouraged to hone all these skills in the process of independent research conducted under faculty guidance, either in the Capstone Experience (HIST 302) or the more ambitious Honors Thesis (HIST 391, 392). They are also encouraged to craft the major to their own particular interests, either by pursuing a geographically broad historical education or by concentrating on a particular region or theme that interests them. Concentrations pursued by our majors include War, Empire, and Revolution; Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Global Connections; Race, Ethnicity, and Diasporas; Religion, Thought, and Culture; Medicine, Technology, and Environment; and Public and Digital History.
In all of these ways, History majors acquire a unique blend of social-scientific and humanistic knowledge. They assemble a wider body of applicable skills and knowledge than is possible in any other major. These skills serve our students well in an almost limitless variety of careers, from law, education, journalism, and public affairs to business and medicine. Accordingly, the major also positions students well for graduate training in history, law, public policy, business, and medicine. History majors get what they need to thrive in a rapidly changing workplace, to be active and informed citizens, and to cultivate lifelong learning.