History program

Undergrad major Undergrad minor

Help shape the future by understanding the past.

Through the study of history, you'll learn about past worlds and the forces that made ours. You'll travel to other times and places through reading and discussion, researching and designing your own projects, as well as studying abroad. Far more than job training, studying history is the beginning of a global education that deepens throughout your life. It gives you greater personal insight and knowledge about your place in the world.

As a student of history at UW-La Crosse, you'll acquire broad skills to apply to diverse careers in all corners of the world. You'll learn to analyze ideas and information, develop original interpretations and express yourself well verbally and in writing.

History jobs

What kind of work can someone with a bachelor's degree in history pursue? It turns out, these graduates can pursue almost anything. History graduates use their broad perspective, curiosity, problem-solving skills, and ability to communicate to pursue diverse fields such as business, government, education, medicine, law and more.

Career opportunities

  • Advertising executive
  • Archivist/museum curator
  • Digital historian
  • Diplomat/foreign service officer
  • Documentary filmmaker
  • Journalist
  • Historical consultant
  • K-12 teacher
  • Librarian
  • NGO director
  • Paralegal
  • National park ranger
  • Policy analyst or politician
  • Project manager
  • Public relations, writer/editor
  • Urban planner

Further education

  • Advanced degree for teaching
  • Archival studies
  • Business school
  • Law school
  • Medical school
  • Museum studies
  • Other graduate studies


What distinguishes UWL's History program?

Learning outside of the classroom

In addition to classroom experiences, history students prepare for the real world through activities such as internships, volunteering, and study abroad.

Complements any program and career goal

UWL's program allows students to select from a variety of paths that will complement their future career goals. The program allows for emphasis in a world region, topic, or teacher preparation.

One-on-one advising

Faculty genuinely care about student success. Students meet with faculty advisors one-on-one to discuss career goals, courses, and hands-on opportunities to grow their skills and knowledge.

Scholarships and grants for history students

Scholarships are available specifically for history majors, in addition to numerous other scholarship opportunities outside of history. The university also offers grants of up to $4,000 to full-time and part-time students interested in pursuing their own research with the help of a faculty mentor.

Gain marketable skills for future employment
  • Cross-cultural knowledge and understanding
  • Creative thinking
  • Interpreting, analyzing, and communicating evidence
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Analytical thinking and problem solving

Areas of study


The study of history is more than a window into the past. A good history education will help you understand the present and how you, as an individual and global citizen, can improve the future.

In UWL's history program, you'll discover how societies originated and explore cultural, political, social, and economic perspectives across time and space. You'll see how past experiences inform who you are and recognize your role in historical change.

Undergrad minor View a sample plan for History Catalogfor History Learn more for History

Regional Emphasis

The regional emphasis history major allows students to specialize in one region or time period from history, while still accumulating a broad foundation in the survey-level and professionalizing courses that make up the core history experience. 

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Regional In-depth detailsfor Regional Catalogfor Regional

Topical Emphasis

Students in the history major with topical emphasis in cultural and social history will study the history of cultural and social forces embodied in movements and organizations; art, literature, and film; areas of human experience including apparel, architecture, and culinary practices; and the various commercial media in our daily lives. Students will learn how social and cultural phenomena have historically affected and structured the material and intellectual environment in connection with ethical concerns involving political and economic questions.

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Topical In-depth detailsfor Topical Catalogfor Topical

World History

The history major with a world history emphasis is the most comprehensive of the history majors, with requirements that diversify the degree to cover as much of the world as can be done in a 40-credit undergraduate degree.

Undergrad major View a sample plan for World History In-depth detailsfor World History Catalogfor World History

Sample courses

HIS 230 Survey of Ancient and Medieval Worlds An historical survey of the civilizations of West Asia, North Africa, and Europe from the advent of urbanization in 4000 BC to the beginning of the Renaissance (ca. 1300 AD). Topics discussed will be the nature and status of women, ethnic and religious minorities, the importance of geography and technology. Special emphasis will be placed on studying historical themes that have survived to the present day. Offered Spring.

HIS 250 Survey of Asia This course will introduce students to various aspects of Asian history with special focus on the Modern period (post-1800). In particular, it will compare the political, social and economic structures as well as the religious/philosophical underpinnings of Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India and Indonesia. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.

HIS 308 U.S. Reform Movements An exploration of moral and political reform and the reform impulse in the United States. Reform topics will include women's rights, antislavery, civil rights, temperance, populism, social and economic justice, and progressivism. Offered Occasionally.

HIS 310 Native American History This course is a survey of Native American history in North America from the prehistoric era through the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the United States. This course will focus on Native American cultural, political, and economic structures, as well as patterns and strategies of coexistence with and resistance to European and European American communities. Offered Spring - Every Third Year.

HIS 320 Introduction to Public and Policy History An introduction to public and policy history. Class time will be devoted to the background, methods and application of public and policy history. The class will cover topics in cultural resource management, public policy, or museum exhibits. Offered Fall.

HIS 338 Sugar, Coffee, Rubber, Bananas: Commodities in World History This course examines the history of everyday commodities that we consume or use, often without considering where they came from (sugar, coffee, rubber, bananas). It centers on the development of plantation-style agriculture in the Americas, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and Africa from the 1600s-1930s CE. Power relationships between laborers, landowners, colonial governments, and consumers are examined in order to connect trade goods to the historical societies in which they were produced. A particular emphasis is placed on links between European imperialism, labor migration, and inequality. Offered Every Third Semester.

HIS 414 Ireland and the World: 1500-present The history of Ireland has long held the imagination of people throughout the English-speaking world. The written record of the so-called "Land of Scholars and Saints" is indicative of the Irish people's literacy and is reflective of the great deal of interest paid to its history. Ireland's history is one filled with tragedy, complexity, redemption, revolution and rebellion, nationalism, intellectualism, and imperialism. Weaving through this historical narrative is the constant struggle regarding sectarianism, matters of gender and sexuality, economy, emigration, violence, and ethnicity. The relative smallness of Ireland allows the historian - and history student - to examine a wide variety of themes without sacrificing any of the nation's narrative. It is the overarching goal of this course to explore all these themes while analyzing the narrative of modern Ireland. Offered Alternate Years.

HIS 361 Israeli-Palestinian Conflict This course examines the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, focusing on its origins, the actors involved, and key social and political factors that have shaped it. Offered Occasionally.