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History Department

“History does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past,” wrote the American author James Baldwin. “On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” To study history is to study the experiences, ideas, and motivations of past people around the world in order to obtain a better understanding of the nature of the human condition. Northern’s History Department promotes the viewpoint that, while it’s impossible to predict the future, it is essential to be aware of the views, aspirations, and struggles of the past to better understand the problems and promises of today.

Career excellence

The valuable skills you will develop by studying history at NMU, such as critical thinking, use of evidence, analyzing data, and understanding why events unfold as they do, are transferrable to many fields that are not immediately obvious.  History graduates often find employment in law, business, finance, tech companies, politics, or other positions that require good communication and research skills. The traditional job path of a history graduate is a professional who researches and analyzes the past, such as an archivist, curator, educator, genealogist, or historian, but there are many other career paths as well!

We learn by doing

At Northern, we strongly believe in learning by thinking and doing. With guidance from caring, engaged instructors, you will be challenged to develop a deeper understanding of history by doing history.  Through doing high-quality research and directly engaging with historical sources, you will develop critical thinking skills, improve your written and oral communication, and foster an understanding of global, societal, and individual factors that motivate human action.

Not sure what you can do with a history major? Students go on to a number of professions in government, research and preservation, business and industry and professional education. <a href="http://www.nmu.edu/history/careers-and-jobs">Explore possible careers.</a>The history department hosts the History Club and Phi Alpha Theta. The group engages in history activities throughout the community as well as hosts "Brown Bag Talks" with professors about their academic pursuits. <a href="http://www.nmu.edu/history/student-organizations">Learn more</a>.Become a part of history with Reacting to the Past (RTTP)!  Several courses offered by the History Department include RTTP, immersive historical role playing games where students take on major issues and ideas from the past and determine the course of history.  Learn more here.The History Department runs its own TA program, drawing students from the History and Education programs to assist professors in the classroom and guide students in their courses.  The TAs gain valuable experience and training, while the students have another resource to help them excel.<a href="http://www.nmu.edu/history/faculty-and-staff-listing">Meet the faculty and staff</a> dedicated to fostering a culture of learning and critical inquiry.  Specializing in many different areas, the department’s faculty introduce students to major issues of the past and present, and help them develop the tools necessary to analyze and interpret evidence, articulate ideas, and appreciate the historical contexts of events.

Degrees Offered

What you'll do at NMU

As an NMU student, your opportunities to get involved on campus and in the community are boundless. You can get involved in creating public historical displays for the Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center, Marquette Regional History Center, and Michigan Iron Industry Museum. You might do in-depth research for the NMU and Central Upper Peninsula Archives and the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies. You could present historical programs and performances for area youth programs, including the U.P. Children’s Museum. Many Northern history graduates have used their hands-on experience to go on to become museum curators, historical park managers, and history educators. What will you do?

History Departmenthistory@nmu.edu906-227-2512200 Gries Hall

If you have college credit and want to find out what will transfer to NMU, please visit www.nmu.edu/transfercredit