Program Overview and Student Learning Outcomes

History is the study of the past. In examining the past we learn about how the world we live in today emerged. At the same time, we also sharpen a number of critical skills.

Historians study complex historical processes and developments. We learn to deal with ambiguity and conflicting points of view. We read and analyze documents and other primary source materials in their historical contexts, and write fact-based papers that synthesize large amounts of information. Majoring in History is thus an excellent way to prepare for a career in any number of diverse fields which require people to think critically and communicate effectively, such as teaching, journalism, law, politics, government service, public relations, library and information sciences, publishing, or business.

In addition to these important skills, the History curriculum identifies the following specific student learning outcomes:

  1. Students can explain historical change and continuity.
  2. Students can write clear expository prose and orally present their ideas according to disciplinary conventions.
  3. Students can identify, interpret and evaluate primary sources and other relevant information.
  4. Students can identify the main historiographic issues in a specific area of concentration.


Emily Holmberg in sunflower field

Meet Emily Holmberg, current Undergraduate President of the Alpha Beta Epsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society. Read why Emily studies history here at UH.

How to Declare History as Your Major

Declaring History as your major is really simple.

  1. Go to the CALL Advising Center Forms page. Select and fill out the “Major Declaration /  Change of Major” form.
  2. Make an appointment with the History Advisor, Dr. Karen Jolly (see below). She will discuss major requirements with you and sign the form. Note: If you declared History as your major when you entered or transferred to UHM, you still need to meet with the Advisor. Also, it is recommended that you have an advising appointment every semester to make sure you’re on track.
  3. Make an appointment with the CALL Advising Center to complete the form.
  4. You’re a History major! Congrats!

When you prepare to graduate, please see the Advisor for review and signature of the required form for graduation.

SET UP An advising session

Prof. Karen Jolly, Advisor
Office Hours: Book an appointment via: