[For additional information on History at UC Merced, please visit the History Website.]
In a diverse and interdependent world, the study of History provides students with the tools to make sense of both the past and present, and to prepare for the future. We cannot hope to address America’s contemporary racial dilemmas without understanding the history of slavery and Manifest Destiny. Nor can we grasp today’s global patterns of poverty and prosperity without grappling with the history of empire and the spread of capitalism. The long history of immigration that has made California’s Central Valley such a diverse region is intertwined with both global and national histories of war, revolution, commerce, culture, and politics.
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.
History majors at UC Merced choose a field of concentration in either United States History or World History. They 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.
Current UC Merced faculty members’ areas of expertise include archives and museums, the study of global conflict and diplomacy, American history, world history, political geography, and the digital mapping of historical and cultural phenomena.
Program Learning Outcomes
Our faculty members work to prepare students for a holistic understanding of the knowledge and skills of the discipline. Upon completion of the degree, we expect students to demonstrate the ability to:
- Historical Knowledge
- Place particular events in broader historical contexts, including broad patterns of historical change, structures and representations of power, and forms of identity.
- Analyze change over time.
- Explain how events of the past have influenced the present.
- Critical Thinking
- Analyze primary sources
- Assess the relationship between historical contexts and events, ideas and processes.
- Identify and summarize an author’s argument.
- Identify points of agreement and disagreement among conflicting interpretations of the past.
- Construct a well-developed thesis and a persuasive argument.
- Research Skills
- Use the library, relevant databases and indexes, and the Internet to identify and locate sources.
- Develop bibliographies of primary and secondary sources.
- Master conventions for citations and bibliographies.
- Produce an original research paper (20-page minimum) that analyzes primary and secondary sources.
- Written and Oral Communication Skills
- Organize an analytical essay that sustains an argument over the entire length of the paper.
- Present information in lucid, grammatically correct prose.
- Construct paragraphs with effective topic sentences.
- Make a well-organized and clear oral presentation.
Refer to the Curriculum Map to see the coherency between the Program Learning Outcomes and our course offerings.
Student graduates from the History program are currently engaging in graduate studies and careers. A few of these after-college endeavors are listed below.
Student graduates from History are studying at California State University, Northridge; University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California.
Student graduates from History are working in a variety of professional settings including private companies, schools and school districts, and with members of the state legislature.