How do revolutions happen? How have past societies recovered from pandemics? What are the origins of democracy? How did racial slavery fuel the rise of global capitalism? Studying history at UM means asking bold questions about the past and discovering answers that will transform how we understand the world today.

You’ll work with award-winning faculty on cutting-edge research in areas ranging from the ancient Mediterranean to the 19th century United States to modern Latin America — 100% of our history majors complete an original research project with a faculty mentor. You’ll also have unparalleled opportunities for field-based experiential learning, thanks to our partnerships with local historical and cultural entities such as Unseen Missoula, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, and local government offices.


of our courses are taught by full-time faculty with PhDs in history.


faculty have won the Cox Award for Teaching Excellence; 2 were nominated for CASE Professor of the Year. 


of students complete an original research project with faculty mentors.


What can you do with a history degree?

As a history major, you’ll develop strong critical thinking, communication and analytical skills that employers value most, preparing you for careers in law and public service, education and journalism, business, entrepreneurship and more.

Graduates of our history degree have worked for the National Forest Service, served in public office and as foreign service officers, directed nonprofits, and become members of the bench and bar. They have taught high school students, reported from war zones, started small businesses, worked for major corporations and made history public through positions in archives, museums and historic preservation. Many of our history majors also continue on to advanced studies in some of the top graduate programs in the nation and the world. Learn more about what you can do with a history degree.

Jobs for history majors

What jobs can you get with a history degree? Here are just a few of your options:

  • Archivist
  • Lawyer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Lobbyist
  • Editor
  • Foreign service officer
  • University president
  • Nonprofit administrator
  • Political analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Social justice activist

History major salary

Because the careers for a history major can be so diverse, salaries will vary widely for each person. However, we estimate that graduates of our bachelor’s in history program earn an average of $74,212, based on job data for this major.

“As an Interpretive park ranger, I’m seen as an authority on every park, which means I never know what sort of question the visitor will ask me. Most often I get questions about the history that we interpret but I also get asked about the natural history, the history of the indigenous peoples whose land we are on, astronomy, archaeology, how to visit the surrounding parks, you name it. … [T]he University of Montana … really prepared me for my job in public history with the National Park Service.” - Hilary Grabowska, graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in History at UM and park ranger for the National Park Service

Experiential learning in the history degree program

We believe that history should be experienced in the world and the community as well as the classroom. If you like the idea of getting out in the field and getting hands-on learning opportunities through internships, service learning, research and study abroad, with UM, you’ve found one of the best colleges to major in history.

Undergraduate research in the history program

All of our history majors complete an original history project working with a faculty mentor. You’ll learn from our faculty’s own cutting-edge research on issues such as democracy, race, gender, social justice, war and violence, and international relations. You’ll also have access to resources for historical research, such as the University of Montana Mansfield Library, which houses an impressive collection of archival and special collection materials, ranging from early modern English works to the papers of 20th-century politicians.

Internships and community engagement

Apply your classroom studies to real-world experiences in Missoula and around the world. Our internship programs (often with local museums, historical societies and other sites) are a great way to develop your professional skills and connect with potential career opportunities. History majors at UM have also participated in a wide range of community engagement projects such as the Black Solidarity Summit and the University of Montana and Missoula County Covid-19 Oral History Collection Project. Explore our gallery of projects for the history bachelor’s degree.

Study abroad for history majors

Take your major in history around the globe. Students in the history degree program at UM have engaged in study abroad programs in places such as Germany and Wales. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at the University of Montana.

Career development in the history major

History is a versatile degree that gives you the skills to rise to the top of your chosen fields as well as the flexibility to change careers later in life. Our goal is to provide you with the opportunities and support to hit the ground running when you graduate — to help you succeed in your career as well as in the classroom.

There are so many ways to get involved, network and make new connections in the history program at UM. Clubs such as the UM History Society and Phi Alpha Theta host events and hold networking opportunities. Lectures, workshops, conferences and friendly get-togethers provide students, faculty and alumni with additional opportunities to share ideas and good times.

Many of our history majors gain specific career preparation (and often find employment opportunities) through internships in a variety of public history settings including:

  • Museums and historical societies
  • Libraries and archives
  • Digital humanities projects
  • Historical interpretive sites
  • National and state parks
  • Government agencies
  • Local, regional and tribal heritage associations
  • Historic preservation firms and agencies

Most of all, you’ll benefit from the close, personal mentorship of our faculty who, in addition to being leading researchers with national and international reputations, have won more teaching awards than any other department here at UM.

Scholarships for history majors

Get extra help paying for your history degree. Each year, we award more than $15,000 in scholarships to majors in history. Learn more about scholarships in the history program.

History degree requirements

As a history major at UM, you’ll engage in a dynamic curriculum that connects past and present, studying the history of societies from ancient Athens to the early-21st-century United States. Our history faculty also offer innovative courses exploring unconventional topics such as the history of alcohol and the history of sex.

View all classes for the bachelor’s in history degree at the University of Montana.