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Dr. Rebecca JelemaJeff DeKock & Paul ChristiansCorrie Krol

Careers in History

What can you do with a degree in history?

Read the stories of Calvin history alumni in various fields in the links below. For an outside opinion, read New York Times columnist
David Brooks and Norm Augustine, former undersecretary of the Army and CEO of Lockheed Martin, in a Wall Street Journal article.

Teach, yes. . .

About half of Calvin history graduates are now working in education, from middle school social studies to high school history to university faculty and administration. But teaching history is only one of many options.

and a great deal more.

The knowledge learned and skills gained in four years as a history major—researching, interpreting sources, critical reading and thinking, writing reports and other effective communication—will prepare you for a variety of fields.

Like government and business,

Several of our graduates have gone on to political, international relations, and military careers. Others use their degrees in marketing, business, and non-profit administration.

pre-law and pre-med,

History is also a good undergraduate major for many fields requiring an advanced degree including law. Some have even found a Calvin history degree to be an asset for getting into medical school.

international relief and justice NGOs,

Many history graduates use the knowledge and skills they have acquired studying history in international relief and justice ministries.

archaeology and anthropology,

A history degree can be a stepping stone to related fields like archaeology and cultural resource management, as our graduates have discovered.

ministry and missions,

A history degree provides excellent preparation for seminary, and many of our graduates go on to pastorates, missions, and other ministries both in the U.S. and abroad.

writing and performing arts,

The skills honed as a history major can lead to a career in writing and editing. Understanding historical context can inform and enhance careers in music and performing arts.

libraries and archives,

All that time spent reading and doing research while studying history can be put to good use with a career in libraries and archives.

and work in museums.

And of course, some of our graduates work in museums–including the new fields of virtual museums and cultural preservation–and other forms of public history and education.

For more insights on what you can do with a history degree, visit the American Historical Association.

Graduate school

According to a recent survey, 62% of Calvin History major alumni have gone to graduate school or are planning to go.

Schools that recent graduates have attended include:

  • Boston College
  • Calvin Theological Seminary
  • Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
  • Cornell University Law School
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Harvard Divinity School
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Michigan State University
  • Northwestern University School of Law
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Wales
  • University of Western Ontario
  • University of York
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Michigan University
  • Wheaton College – Illinois
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Yale University

"My coursework at Calvin gave me a great basis for pursuing graduate study in a highly competitive program. Many of my peers in that program came from the Ivy League or other prestigious schools, and my level of preparation at Calvin was equal to if not greater than theirs." - alumni survey response