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University of California, Merced
History is a set of evolving rules and tools that allows us to interpret processes and phenomena in the past with clarity and rigor. It requires evidence, sophisticated use of information, and a deliberative stance to explain change and continuity over time. As a profoundly public pursuit, it is essential to active and empathetic public engagement and world citizenship and requires effective communication to make the past accessible for multiple audiences. It is a craft with a set of professional ethics and standards that demand peer review, citation, and toleration for the provisional nature of knowledge.
The History major at UC Merced emphasizes the many ways in which connections between regions and nations have existed over time. All students gain a familiarity with world history, learn interpretive skills, and take at least one course focused on research, and also undertake a capstone research project; they have the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to research problems outside the classroom, where they can contribute to expanding public knowledge and awareness of cultural issues. Students may explore thematic topics such as environmental history, the history of science and technology, the history of migration and cultural intersections, as well as issues of world, national, state and local history.
Though rooted in the study of the past, the tools employed by historians are useful in a broad array of modern careers and professions. History, with its focus on research, writing, and argumentation, is well known as an excellent preparation for graduate school, law school, and other professions. History majors may also find employment related to their degrees in schools, museums, editing and publishing, archives, historic preservation, federal, state and local agencies, and as consultants and contractors.
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