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History (B.A./B.S.)

  • Location IconBrookings Main Campus

The past is today.

The study of history seeks to answer the question “how did we get to today?” Historians study the “great men” of the past, but also the ordinary men and women whose collective actions propel the world into the future. History students at SDSU act as historians, answering the questions of how civilizations rose and fell, how wars began and ended, how humans progressed from being hunter-gatherers to establishing complex societies based on agriculture, industry and ideas. Along the way, we look at human motivations and behaviors, and the evolution of ideas and the physical world of inventions and technologies. We examine the ways individual countries developed and the ways that nations interacted with each other.

The skills that history students build—the ability ask meaningful questions, to conduct research to answer them, and the ability to explain them clearly in oral and written form—prepare them for a wide variety of careers in education, law, journalism, public service, library sciences and business, as well as graduate work and other specialized training.

To learn more about careers for history majors please visit the American Historical Association for further information.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Are fascinated by history.
  • Like museums, travel and learning about other cultures.
  • Are a strong writer and analytical thinker.
  • Enjoy reading and watching biographies or other historical shows.
  • Are interested in regional, national and global events.

Career Opportunities

  • Historian
  • Librarian/archivist (with additional education)
  • Museum
  • Education
  • Editing or publishing
  • Archaeology
  • Writer
  • Journalist
  • Town planning/Surveyor (with additional education)
  • Map making/cartography (with additional education)

Recent Employers

  • Daktronics
  • Scurry County Museum
  • City of Brookings Police Department
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Fort Sisseton State Park

Internship Opportunities

  • H.M. Briggs Library Archives
  • History department
  • South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum
  • South Dakota Art Museum
  • South Dakota Legislature

Undecided or still deciding on a major and future career?

If you are uncertain about your major and have questions about career planning, you are not alone. Choosing a major or career can be a very difficult decision. The exploratory studies program may be a good fit if you are unsure of your major and career focus. Entering the university in the exploratory studies program will help you gain confidence and valuable insights on majors and minors available at SDSU and future career choices. 

In addition, FOCUS 2 Career, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you reflect on your values, interests, personality traits and skills to provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 Career by using their student email and password. After completing FOCUS 2 Career, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.