What Can I Do With a History Degree?

The list is long. You could lead the U.S. Senate, work for the National Forest Service, be an ambassador to Japan, teach high school students, run a non-profit, serve in the foreign service, report from war zones, start a small business, or work for a major corporation. Graduates of UM’s History Department have pursued all these professions and many more.

To prepare for these positions, we equip our graduates with an impressive tool kit. The study of history teaches you to read, analyze, research, and write with precision, nuance, and clarity. Employers seek out job candidates with these skills. A thorough grounding in history sets you apart.

A history degree allows you to:


  • The U.S. Government is the largest single employer of historians—in the Foreign Service, the National Park Service, the Peace Corps, and nearly every other federal agency.
  • State and local government employ historians as planners, researchers, and analysts. Many history majors have worked in political campaigns, and as legislative aides and managers.
  • One UM history major became Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate and Ambassador to Japan; another, Governor of Montana.


  • The School of Education currently certifies secondary school teachers in the field of history. It also certifies prospective teachers in Comprehensive Social Science.
  • Our graduates have also pursued masters and doctoral degrees in history at prestigious universities across the country and have gone on to teach at a wide range of higher education institutions.


  • To study history is to engage in often controversial debates about the past. Not surprisingly, many history majors go to law school and work in all sectors of the legal community representing the interests of businesses, the government, individuals, and the environment.


  • Two UM graduates formed Historical Research Associates in Missoula over thirty years ago.
  • HRA has secured a number of "historical impact" contracts, and has employed our students in full-time and part-time work.
  • A second Missoula-based firm, The Heritage Research Center, also has UM connections.


  • Libraries, museums, archives, and repositories are staffed by students of history.


  • Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and film media hire historians as researchers and writers. Many students combine their pursuit of history with journalism or English; majors in these subjects emphasize history as a minor.

Above all, talk to us. We love to brainstorm with our students about ways that they can apply their history degree in new and creative ways.

Resources for History Majors

For those asking, "What Can I Do With My History Major," resources abound. Here's a few useful links to begin thinking about careers and employment after graduation.

American Historical Association - "Careers for History Majors"