Department of History Images Source: Minnesota Historical Society

Career Opportunities

A Program with Option

Historical study first of all provides a better understanding of one's self and society. But it also provides many options for a rapidly changing present and future. Saint Cloud State University offers both a teaching and a non-teaching major in history. The remainder of this brief will deal primarily with careers resulting from the non-teaching major. Teaching is listed as a job possibility, however, with the uncertain future in the teaching field, it is wise to think of alternatives. A well-planned program including a history major or minor can lead to a wide variety of career choices. Serious thought should be given to planning a bachelor's program as a preface to a Professional or Master's degree in a specialist area because such a degree is increasingly the means of entry to the rapidly expanding "new" career fields. Handouts describing the many career opportunities open to history majors may be obtained in the History Office, Stewart Hall 283.

Some of the career fields open to history majors are:

Civil Service
Graduate Studies (many options)
Historical Librarian
Historical Societies
International Business
Movie Industry
Museum Director
Public History
U.S. Foreign Service

Nature of the Work

Historians describe, organize, synthesize and explain the human past so that people can profit from this knowledge. They critically analyze human institutions, behavior patterns and systems of thought. They examine the successes and failures of those who lived in earlier times. Historians also revise interpretations of the past based on new evidence. The study of history can help people discover the causes of current problems.

Historians may be involved in editing historical materials, preparing exhibits, writing pamphlets and handbooks, speaking to various groups, serving as consultants and doing administrative and research work. Historians usually specialize in the history of a particular period of history, but they must be able to relate one area of history to another. People interested in history may also enter the teaching profession.

Employment Outlook

Only a small number of positions are available for teaching historians. The employment trend is increasing for historians in archival work and in other types of work. Some history majors will work as trainees in administration and management positions in government and in private industry. Others will enter a post-baccalaureate program in one of the many growing fields such as planning, management and international business.

Training and Qualifications

The minimum requirement for a historian is generally a bachelor's degree. At Saint Cloud State University a Bachelor of Arts degree is earned by satisfactory completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours. Included in the 120 semester hours is a general education requirement and a "field of concentration," or major. A history major is 42 semester hours and includes a required core (24 credits) of two courses in U.S., two courses in Western Civ, two courses in Asia, Africa, Latin America or Middle East, and two research/writing courses. An additional 18 credits of history electives are required. Students are encouraged to learn a second language and to include a broad background in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Many students will also wish to include some business courses.

The History Department of Saint Cloud State University has several unique opportunities for its students. Located on campus is the Central Minnesota Historical Center which is a collection of primary source materials of Central Minnesota. At nearby St. Johns's University, the Monastic Microfilm holdings are available. A student may study first-hand Medieval European documents. The department has several staff members who have traveled and lived abroad.

A real liking for history and a sense of the spirit of the past are essential for historians. They need analytical minds, which can sift facts scientifically, and arrive at conclusions, and literary skills for explaining their findings to others.

o assist students with consideration of a career, Saint Cloud State University has a Counseling Center. Through this service the student can consider more carefully his/her choice of careers early in the training program. In addition, interested students are invited to discuss the relationship of history and their future with the department chairperson or any of the history faculty.

Expenses and Financial Aids

Please contract the SCSU Admissions Office for current undergraduate tuition and fee charges. Telephone: (320) 308-2244 or call toll free at 1-800-369-4260. The address for Admissions is Administrative Services Building, Room 115, Saint Cloud State University, 720 4th Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498.

For students who need financial help, the university has a Financial Aids Office, located in the Administrative Services Building, Room 106. For detailed information, contact this office at (320) 308-2047. Financial Aids Include the following:

  • Emergency Loans
  • National Defense Student Loans
  • Federally Insured Bank Loans
  • Educational Opportunity Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Veterans' Benefits
  • Work Study Award

Where To Go For More Information:

Dr. Betsy Glade, Chairperson
Department of History, Stewart Hall 283
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Counseling and Related Service Center
Stewart Hall 101
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Career Services
101 Administrative Services Building
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Minnesota State Historical Society
690 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

American Historical Association
400 A Street Southeast
Washington, D.C. 20003

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