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

Congratulations History Seniors 2019. Learn more about history capstone projects here.

  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 are working 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.

Interviews with leaders, activists, and scholars about the importance of the vote today, barriers to women’s voting, and social justice activism

Winter 2018: History/Honors Colloquium
Documents Projects: Women Across Oregon in 1920
August 1920 and Women Across Oregon

Winter 2019: Introduction to Public History
January 14, 1920: Oregon Ratifies the Nineteenth Amendment
January 1920 Around Oregon

Spring 2019: Women in Oregon History
Oregon Women Protest for Suffrage: National Woman’s Party Members in Oregon and Washington, D.C., 1917-1919
Oregon Women in the 1920 Census Born in Mexico

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