The history major is for students who understand that shaping the future requires knowing the past. History majors explore centuries of human experimentation and ingenuity, triumph and tragedy, that have gone into making the modern world. They learn to be effective storytellers and to craft arguments that speak to broad audiences. They make extensive use of Yale’s vast library resources and create pioneering original research projects. History majors think about politics and government, sexuality, the economy, cultural and intellectual life, war and society, and other themes in broadly humanistic–rather than narrowly technocratic–ways.
Yale boasts one of the largest and most accomplished history departments in the world. Its faculty members have won hundreds of awards, from the Pulitzer Prize to the National Humanities Medal to the National Book Award. Among undergraduates, history is one Yale’s most popular and intellectually diverse majors, encompassing nearly every region and time period of the global past. The study of history is excellent preparation for careers in many fields, including law, journalism, business and finance, education, politics and public policy, social activism, and the arts.