Historical study helps you develop:

  • Survival skills for the global marketplace: Students intensively study a diverse array of societies and cultures including the United States, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. This process cultivates the ability to think in new ways and to understand ways of living different from their own.
  • Written communication skills: Students write frequently in every history course. They learn how to bring order to a body of data, to organize an argument, and to communicate ideas effectively. Each student takes at least three intensive writing seminars in the department, and some choose to cap their college career by writing a substantial honors thesis.
  • Oral communication skills: Students develop their abilities as public speakers in classroom debates, seminars, one-on-one meetings with faculty, and presentations to classes and other audiences.
  • Analytical skills: In analyzing written texts, students learn how to pin down a writer’s exact meaning and to draw out the unspoken implications of his or her statements.
  • Research skills: Students are taught to use the full range of information resources including rapidly expanding electronic and digital methods to locate the specific information relevant to a problem.

Both the College and the history department counsel history majors about potential careers and maintain large collections of literature to assist them. Majors in history develops skills that are important for further professional study and are in demand for a wide variety of jobs. Law schools recognize that the study of history cultivates the kinds of research, analytical, and writing skills that lawyers must possess, and many recent history majors have won admission to prestigious graduate law programs around the country.

The same skills have opened up opportunities for history graduates in banking, marketing, business management, public relations, and advertising, as well as in journalism and public policy.

Recent Lafayette history alumni have enrolled in graduate schools such as the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Notre Dame, and the University of Pennsylvania. Fields of study include history, law, economics, teaching, business, health & public policy, information resources, and more.

Businesses and organizations that benefit from the skills of recent Lafayette history graduates include well-known names such as BBDO, Chesapeake Energy Corp., Deloitte & Touche, Massachusetts General Hospital, Princeton University, Random House, and Teach for America. Occupations range from teaching history and organic farming to equities trading and rare books auctioneering.