Historical Studies at SIUE
The study of history begins with questions about the past; how things came to be as they are or were. These questions can contribute to a greater understanding of ourselves, others and the world in which we live.
Historians approach the study of the past in many ways. Some attempt to analyze the spectrum of historical evolution within a particular period or within a specific nation. Others, working within or across national histories, focus on the trajectory of particular social institutions, such as the family, government, business or religion. Alternately, historians can investigate the historical development of ideologies or of cultural concepts such as race or gender. Historians borrow investigative strategies freely from other disciplines. For some historians, the methodologies of the social sciences become critical tools for the study of the past, while others prefer a historical approach more akin to the methods of the humanities and literature. Most adopt some mixture of methodologies.
In the College of Arts and Sciences at SIUE, the Department of Historical Studies emphasizes the study of primary sources beginning with our freshman-level survey labs, through the senior research projects. We also provide numerous opportunities for experiential learning through internships at many venues in the greater St. Louis region and in the Metro East. A concentration in applied historical methods is also available for those interested in editing and digital technology. The social science secondary education minor for licensure in teaching is housed in the Department of Historical Studies.
Degrees Available at SIUE
- Bachelor of Arts in Historical Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Historical Studies
- Secondary Education Teacher Licensure
Traditionally, a bachelor’s degree in historical studies was thought to primarily provide a knowledge base for two careers: licensure in teaching, or as a foundation for attending law school. While teaching and attending law school are still viable options for students with a degree in historical studies, the degree is becoming broadly recognized as a foundation for many other careers. Students are pursuing careers in areas such as local, state, and federal government, including the Foreign Service and city or town management; nonprofit organizations; politics, including political advising; curatorial and archival management in libraries, museums and art galleries; media, in public relations, digital editing and film consulting; and business, in corporate training and development.