On behalf of the department, we welcome you to the undergraduate program in History at UC Santa Cruz.
History is the study of the human past in all its diversity. By knowing the past we come to terms with ourselves and others. At UC Santa Cruz we require undergraduates to cultivate a chronologically and culturally broad perspective on human history; at the same time, we ask them to acquire a deeper and more nuanced knowledge of one particular historical area. Historians need to be intellectually adventurous: study of the past begins with contextualization, but in developing questions and framing answers historians employ all relevant techniques. Most frequently (but not always) these are drawn from disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
A degree in history provides students with important training in real world skills that can be applied in a wide variety of careers. Successful historians have skills that are in demand in many professions. The study of history develops abilities in research, critical thinking, analysis, clear and effective self-expression, and expository writing that are invaluable in the non-academic world. Our graduates are now working in nearly every field imaginable, including education, law, business, investment counseling, journalism, museum studies, public service, finance, filmmaking, activism, and writing. We are equally concerned, however, to prepare students for the responsibilities of participatory citizenship in democratic and global society: an informed interest in the past is essential to an understanding of current events.
Undergraduate education should be at the heart of the mission of every university, and UC Santa Cruz has a well-deserved reputation for its dedication to that goal. The History Department is known on campus for the strength and excellence of its undergraduate program. Within the past several years, history faculty at UC Santa Cruz have been recognized for the excellence of their teaching through campus-wide distinguished teaching awards. When you study history at UC Santa Cruz, you work with scholars who are known not only for their scholarship, but for the quality of their engagement with students. We encourage students to get to know faculty in their fields of interest as soon as possible, and become participants in our intellectual community.
We invite you to explore this web site for information regarding our undergraduate program. As you browse, please feel free to contact individual faculty members in areas of particular interest to you.
Associate Professor of History,
Undergraduate Program Director
Professor of History