Study the pasts of different world cultures and societies, gain a perspective on our interconnected world and master the methods of critical thinking.

What you’ll study

We study history in order to place our present in context and broaden our understanding of future possibilities.  We study the pasts of different world cultures and societies in order to gain perspective on our increasingly interconnected world.  In the process of attaining these lofty goals, history majors at North Carolina Wesleyan learn to master the methods of critical thinking that are central to historical analysis. Our students learn how to process multiple sources of information, make arguments with logical precision, and write and speak cogently.

In addition to creating better informed, more culturally aware citizens, the historical discipline provides the intellectual training necessary for a wide variety of professions.


Faculty & Staff

Email any of our advisors with any questions you have about completing this program.

Overview & Academics

The History major provides students with an understanding of the breadth and depth of the human past while learning the methods of historical analysis that are central to critical thinking. In addition to learning about people, places and events, History majors learn about causation, textual interpretations and comparative analysis. History majors also gain a familiarity with the diversity of world cultures and learn to look at social problems in a global perspective.

Here are some highlighted courses included in the History Major:

HIS 314: African American History
This course analyzes the history of the United States with a focus on the African American experience.  Emphasis is placed on the development of slavery, antiracist resistance from colonial times through the civil rights movement, and the development of a unique Black cultural and political identity.

HIS 205: Bodies and Bacteria
This course focuses on the history of medicine since 1750 from a social-historical approach. The focus is on the impact of medical practices on ordinary people more than on scientific or medical innovation.  Questions of eugenics, pharmacopeia and genetics will be addressed across two and half centuries of changing practice, meaning and politics.

HIS 495 (Special Topics):  The Vietnam War
This course focuses on the war as a geopolitical, military and cultural phenomenon.  Emphasis is placed on U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 70s.  In addition to studying events on the battlefield, the course considers the war’s representation in popular culture and public memory.

HIS 320: The Holocaust
This course analyzes the social, economic and political, causes of the attempted genocide of European Jews in the twentieth century.  Focus is placed on the rise of Nazism and the meaning of the Holocaust in world historical context.

What are the courses like in History at NCWU?

Check out our latest university catalog for learning goals, course descriptions and suggested plans of study for NC Wesleyan University’s History Program.

The history major focuses chiefly on the history of Europe, Asia and the United States.  Beyond these categories, the major is geared toward thematic courses that cross geographical and cultural boundaries.  In addition to developing content knowledge, the history major is oriented toward helping students develop important skills, such as research, analysis, writing, verbal communication, teamwork and problem-solving.

Earning a Bachelor of Arts in History requires students to complete the following course requirements:

  • A minimum of 30 semester hours
  • Complete the junior seminar (HIS 300) and the senior seminar (HIS 427)
  • Take at least 6 hours in United States history
  • Take at least 6 hours in world history
  • Students seeking licensure in secondary education must complete all of the above in addition to the separate requirements in the Education Program.

Students who complete 18 hours of history courses may earn a minor in history.  Minors may count no more than 6 hours of lower-level courses toward the minor.  Minoring is a good option for students who enjoy history but are committed to one or more other majors.

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

A history degree prepares you for jobs in schools, museums, archives, and libraries. Many history majors maintain careers as social studies teachers, using their knowledge of history to teach young learners. 

In addition, some history majors have careers in law, public service, publishing, journalism, film, theater, clergy, or administration.  

History degree holders often obtain private-sector research jobs in the business world. Those with a degree or major in history are usually extremely capable in researching and providing historical context for a variety of policies or campaigns.  These skills can offer businesses vital assistance in developing corporate or marketing strategies.

In short, a history degree prepares graduates well for any career path requiring critical thinking, research, and effective verbal and writing skills of communication. For example:

The discipline of history provides excellent training for a wide variety of career paths and professions.  For example:

History Major Career Paths:

  • Law
  • Journalism
  • State Government
  • Federal Government
  • Education
  • Research
  • Business

History Major Careers:

  • High school history teacher
  • Community college history lecturer
  • College or university history professor
  • Government historian
  • Historical consultant
  • Political advisor
  • Museum curator
  • Archivist
  • Lawyer
  • Police officer
  • Researcher
  • Analyst
  • Diplomat
  • Journalist
  • Writer

Wondering what you can do with a degree from NCWU’s History major? Check out these resources from NCWU Career Development & Leadership and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

Wesleyan is dedicated to assisting students in their professional development offering resources and guidance for hands-on learning experiences through internships, assignments within the courses and job search resources. Let us help you focus on your education and career at the same time!

white female graduate

Jessica Brabble

Jessica Brabble, history major graduate, was the winner of the 2020-2021 Outstanding Graduate Student (Masters) in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. Jessica was also accepted into the Ph.D. program in history at the College of William and Mary.

Other Past History Major Graduates:

  • Joshua Akers completed a Ph.D. in history from UNC-Chapel Hill and also has taught at UNC
  • Tony Arreola ’10 is currently a practicing attorney in Wilson, NC
  • Jacob Strickland ’11 became a police officer in Rocky Mount, NC
  • Tristan Marshall is currently a public school teacher in Texas

One of the innovative teaching methods used in the history program is called Reacting to the Past, which is a role-playing game-based pedagogy.  Think of it as LARPing history.  You can see what we mean by watching this video.

24/7 Tutoring Services. Free & Easy.

North Carolina Wesleyan University is partnered with Brainfuse, a complimentary online tutoring service, provided to all Wesleyan students. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and features live tutoring in the subjects of writing, reading, math, computer and technology, science and business.

Student Organizations

Be engaged at NCWU!

Choose from 30+ student-led clubs and organizations to connect with other students who share your academic interests or… create your own.

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, NC Wesleyan University has a number of partnerships with other community colleges, universities and institutions that allow students to enroll at NCWU with simple pathways. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to NCWU. Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Interested in this major? Here are some suggested next steps.