The History Department prepares students for a wide range of careers by teaching a core set of transferable skills through the study of societies, cultures, and economies across a broad chronological and geographical spectrum.
The History Department values a skilled, critically aware and informed citizenry; an honest academic and public engagement with the past, its meanings, and its consequences for today; and the promotion and support of history and social studies education at K through 12, undergraduate, and graduate levels for students of all ages and of all backgrounds.
The History Department seeks to build its students’ transferable skills, employability and intellectual curiosity, along with raising public awareness about the past and its legacies, through teaching, research and service activities conducted locally, statewide, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in history, graduates will:
- Demonstrate a significant degree of knowledge about both American and World history through completion of a broad selection of courses in history.
- Ask appropriate historical questions that demonstrate an understanding of the discipline of history and distinguish it from those of other disciplines.
- Distinguish between primary sources and secondary sources used in the writing of history and know how to use and analyze each appropriately. Students will thus be able to: a) Analyze a primary source as a product of a particular historical context; and b) Respond critically to a secondary source, taking into account the primary sources used by the historian, the historian’s methodology, the logic of the argument, and other major interpretations in the field.
- Present historical analysis and arguments in a clear written and oral form, including the ability to construct an argument by marshaling evidence in an appropriate and logical fashion.
- Write a research paper that asks a significant historical question, answers it with a clear thesis and a logical argument, supports it with both primary and secondary sources, documents it appropriately, and is written in clear and artful prose with the grammar and spelling associated with formal composition.
About the Department
We introduce students to the study of the human past. They gain knowledge about historical events and an understanding of the causes and processes involved in the development of cultures over time. Students also become aware of the function of change and continuities in past societies and learn to appreciate and respect the variety of human experiences across cultures.
The craft of the historian includes:
- the critical analysis of texts and arguments;
- the interpretation of evidence, research conducted in a variety of media; and
- clear and effective written and oral communication.
These skills prepare students for a variety of career opportunities. They also enable them to be life-long learners. In addition, a major in history helps them become thoughtful and effective citizens of an increasingly interconnected world.
Our faculty also serve the university mission by conducting research and creating publications that advance knowledge in their fields of expertise. We play key roles in faculty governance and serve on committees that improve the university’s functioning. We also contribute our knowledge and skills to Little Rock, central Arkansas, and Arkansas by serving state and local governments and people in general.