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  • Why Study History?

    "So, what are you going to do with a history major?"

    That's a fair question. For many, the entire point of pursuing a college education is to open opportunities for a better job or better pay--to do something, and what can you do by studying the past? Quite a lot, actually. History is about more than just knowing the past. It's about understanding why things happened as they did and how they continue to shape our world today.

    History majors work as teachers, lawyers, in business, finance, healthcare, government, communications, non-profits, public service, and really, almost everywhere. By studying history, you will acquire skills that help you think critically about a subject, locate evidence, understand perspectives and biases, and make persuasive arguments. These skills can be applied anywhere. So perhaps the question should be,"why NOT study history?"

    Sacramento State Library
  • Undergraduate Program

    Undergraduate Program

    History, in the broad sense, is the study of all human experience.  It examines the people, institutions, ideas, and events from the past to the present.  The study of history contributes to cultural literacy and develops critical thinking and other useful skills while helping students understand the present and plan for the future.  Historical study provides a solid, fundamental preparation for careers in business, industry, government, and education.  It also serves as excellent preparation for law school, foreign service, international work, urban affairs, historical consulting, and library science.

    History is an academic discipline offering both breadth and focus.  At Sacramento State, the History major includes four lower division survey courses and three upper division seminars.  In addition, students choose seven upper division electives from a wide variety available. The flexibility of the major allows students to focus on topical areas such as: women's history, the history of particular geographic areas, cultural history, ethnic group history, economic history, military history, and history from the ancient world to that of the U.S. in the 20th century.  Teaching credential candidates should complete the History/Social Science Precredential Program.

  • Graduate Program

    Graduate Program

    Situated in California's state capitol and along the banks of the historic American River, the Sacramento State graduate program in history allows students to profit from the unique resources of the region as well as the expertise of a prestigious and dedicated faculty.  Program highlights include:

    * Small, seminar-style classes and one-on-one mentoring by history faculty
    * Active and tight-knit graduate community
    * Instructional assistantships and public history internships
    * Prize-winning graduate student history journal, Clio 
    * Rich array of local historical institutions including the California State Archives, the Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center, the California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park, and the California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts
    * Unique campus-based resources relating to California, United States, and World History, including the Tsakoupoulos Hellenic Collection and the Japanese-American Archive Collection

  • Public History

    Public History

    For over twenty years, the Capital Campus Public History Program at Sacramento State has been training public historians for rewarding careers in archives, cultural resource management, museum interpretation, and historic preservation.  We offer a two-year course of study leading to the Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History.  This program requires completion of thirty-six units of coursework, including nine units of supervised, professional internship.

    The program provides an integrated professional curriculum that includes specialized project and internship experience in one of several concentrations: archives and manuscripts, oral history, museum studies, historic preservation, business history, and general public history research and analysis. Students pursue a common course of study, gain professional experience through a series of internships, and complete a master's project or thesis within their area of program specialization.

  • Sacramento's Japantown

    Professor Jeffrey Dym and graduate student Jason Bowman, co-producers, presenter their film, "A Neighborhood Lost: Sacramento's Japantown," at the Crest Theater on October 8, 2016, as part of the "A Place Called Sacramento" film festival.  This ten-minute film was selected as one of the finalists by Access Sacramento for their A Place Called Sacramento 2016 Film Festival. The documentary tells the history of Sacramento’s former Japantown from its beginnings as a stopping point for local Japanese workers wishing to buy goods and services that catered to their needs to the forced relocation of its residents and the destruction of the neighborhood under the policy of Redevelopment in the late 1950s. Sacramento’s Japantown was home to thousands of Japanese immigrants and hundreds of businesses making it one of the largest Japantowns in the state. The growth of Sacramento’s Japantown was a clear indication of the success that many Japanese experienced and through their efforts contributed to the growth of Sacramento.

    You can now watch the film on YouTube:

    A Neighborhood Lost: Sacramento's Japantown

Important Dates and Deadlines

January 18, 2017
Spring 2017 Semester Begins

January 23, 2017
Instruction Begins

February 17, 2017
Census Date

April 4, 2017
Scholarship Applications are Due! Please check out the Scholarships and Prizes offered by the History Department and be sure to apply!

May 15-19, 2017
Finals Week


Department of History
Tahoe Hall 3080
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6059

Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 


Having trouble understanding the difference between real facts and those of the alternative variety?

A degree in History can help!

The study of history not only helps you understand where you come from which provides a better understanding of who you are, it give you crucial skills in research, analysis, and communication.  You will learn to identify bias and perspective, apply critical thinking and analysis, and employ rhetoric.  These skills are not only essential to being a well-informed and engaged citizen--they are highly sought after skills in all walks of professional life, from classrooms, courtrooms, and boardrooms to collections archives to congressional offices. Our world is full of propaganda; our airwaves crowded with people trying to tell us what to think, who to vote for, and what to buy. Historians have the skills to navigate through the noise, dig through the data, think for themselves, and show others how to do the same.

If you want to be a part of that, consider pursuing a degree or minor in History.

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