History at WOU

Learning to think, research, and write about history is useful in a number of careers. Unlike some fields of study, history does not limit students to one job or technology. Foreign service officers, business executives, journalists, lawyers, librarians, archivists, and museum curators have majored in history as undergraduates. History also makes an exciting teaching career. In our society of dramatic change, most people change careers numerous times during their lifetime. Historical imagination and research skills provide students with a variety of options as jobs and technology change.


History Senior Capstone Students 2020-2021: Learn More

History Major Graduates Spring 2021

Alex Berkey
Lillian Collver
Neal Cranston
John Franzwa
Martin Hainz
Chloe Miller
Brandon Parsons
Antonia Scholerman
Nicholas Werner
Michaela Yonkman

Social Science Majors with History Concentrations Graduates Spring 2021
Daniel Avendano
Kevin McElhinny
Michael Storagee


  The problem-solving skills developed from close readings of texts and documents are valuable for any career. The ability to define, research, and interpret a subject are skills needed in education, business, and government. Students learn to weigh the choices of their own profession through historical speculation of "what might have been." Those who learn to understand the clockwork of the past, can use this knowledge in planning for the future.
History Alumni Mentors engage with current Western History students. Learn more about History Alumni Mentors.

History students worked with our community partner, the Oregon Women’s History Consortium, to provide research and content for the Oregon 2020 project commemorating the centenary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 2020.

Donate to the Western Oregon University History Department: Click here, and select “Support WOU” and for designation select “other” and then indicate History Department.


What Do You Do With Your History Degree?

What kinds of careers are available to history majors?

“Careers for Students of History” is published by the American Historical Association with ideas and advice for history majors about careers. The AHA guide includes five different categories including historians as educators, historians as researchers, historians as communicators, historians as advocates and historians in businesses and associations.


Service Learning and Career Development Center, Western Oregon University has resources for you.
Consult the SLCD page under the “Students” tab for advice from mentoring to preparing yourself to next steps


“What Can I Do With this Major? History”


Exploring Your Possibilities


After you’ve considered these ideas and advice check out specific job-related sites on our careers page

Contact US

History Department


Division of Social Sciences

503-838-8288 | or e-mail: ryalss@wou.edu | Location: BELL 231