California State University, Sacramento

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Department of History College of Arts & Letters

About History

Academic Programs

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. Indeed, these are precisely the skills most employers are looking for in prospective applicants. So perhaps the question should be,"why NOT study history?"

Explore Our Degree Opportunities

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History BA

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. Those interested in going on to teach middle or high school should consider the History/Social Science Precredential Program.

Explore our Degree Programs

History MA

Situated in California's capital and along the banks of the historic American River, the Sacramento State History MA program 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
  • An active and tight-knit graduate community
  • Instructional assistantships
  • 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 such as the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection and the Japanese-American Archival Collection

Contact: Dr. Nikolaos Lazaridis, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, (916) 278-6234.

Application Information Degree Requirements

Graduate Student Scholarships History MA Alumni

Public History MA

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. For more information, see the Public History website or contact Dr. Anne Lindsay.

Division Resources

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Department of History
Tahoe Hall , Room 3080
Mon. - Fri. , #8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Summer Hours 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

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Phone: (916) 278-6206

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