- Arnold J. Toynbee
History is the study of the human past. Historians look for, identify, and explain continuities, evolution, and sudden change in societies over time, and they construct narratives based on evidence that they have sifted and analyzed. The discipline of history plays a central part in the liberal arts curriculum, largely because it empowers its students to develop a nuanced understanding of human relations that is essential to active and effective citizenship.
In their courses, history majors examine the influence of social, political, economic and cultural institutions on society; reflect on the relationship between the individual and the community; and identify the role of power in human relations. As they move through the program, majors develop skills that apply to many fields and prepare them for a wide variety of careers: thinking critically, constructing persuasive arguments, evaluating texts, recognizing analytical strengths and weaknesses, and communicating their findings clearly.