How is the History Major Doing at Your Institution?


On Friday I posted about the revival of the history major at Yale University.  I linked to an article in the Yale Daily News that reported on the growing popularity of this major at the prestigious Ivy-League institution of higher learning.

The article quotes Alan Mikhail, the History Director of Undergraduate Studies at Yale. He writes:

“I think our current historical moment is also drawing students to history,” Mikhail said. “Both economic and political modeling failed to predict and then address the financial crisis of a few years ago and to forecast the outcome of the election of 2016. The tools of historians are better suited to the work of understanding the world.”

I am intrigued by Mikhail’s statement.  I am curious to see if the “historical moment” in which we live is prompting more high school and college students to pursue the study of history.  Since I posted this piece on Friday several college and university history faculty have contact me to tell me that the number of history majors are rising at their institutions.

How about you?  Are you seeing an rise in history majors?  Does this revival extend beyond the hallowed halls of Yale?

One thought on “How is the History Major Doing at Your Institution?

  1. At North Greenville University, we never saw a significant dip. Between our History B.A. and Social Studies our numbers have been between 63 and 73 for a decade. What far more interesting to me, and something I never hear people discuss (maybe out of some embarrassment?) is what a low percentage of students in both majors actually declare that major as entering freshmen. When I’ve counted, it seems that roughly 40% of our students change their major to history from something else, or transfer into our university as sophomores or juniors. I wonder how common this is among universities? Or how common it is among Christian universities? Or how common it is among “elite” private universities? Or how common it is at regional state universities? or how common it is at flagship state universities’ campuses?


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