Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

History Major

Major in History

The major in history prepares students for graduate and law schools as well as for careers in such fields as teaching in secondary schools, curatorial and educational positions in museums and historical associations, foreign service, library science, public administration and journalism. Moreover, history courses may be especially pertinent to students of business, language or public health who wish to learn the traditions of other nations and cultures.

No other undergraduate discipline provides more practical experience in presenting written and oral arguments and in defending those arguments with evidence. While other disciplines help develop writing skills or understanding of political behavior, history combines the skills of those disciplines with the vast span of human existence and the breadth of a global perspective.

For major and portfolio requirements, click here.


Our curriculum is designed to develop a deep understanding of the human past and to provide students with insight into the world in which they live through a perspective of time and change. History courses include a consideration of ideas, values and value systems, enhancing students' understanding of and appreciation for both their own and other cultures. At the same time, our curriculum teaches historical writing, analysis and research, and it fosters an appreciation of historical prose as a distinctive form of literature. History is a form of inquiry and understanding that encompasses all aspects of the human experience and illuminates how the past causes the present and thus the future.

Graduates should

  • demonstrate understanding of the importance of chronology, sequential development, and geography
  • be able to evaluate historical evidence; understand the forces and processes of historical change and continuity; and
  • have the capacity to handle diverse historical interpretations.

In terms of program outcomes and competencies for our undergraduate majors and minors, Loyola graduates should be able to:

  • Produce analytical arguments by using evidence and facts to interpret past events, behavior and processes in their own historical writing and projects.
  • Identify the arguments put forth by historians in order to compare, evaluate and criticize different interpretations of the past. In doing so, our graduates will be able to evaluate the adequacy of evidence (including a variety of sources: documents, films, diaries, images, oral and digital histories, etc.) that historians use to make truth claims about the past.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the processes of historical change and be able to discuss and evaluate causes, complexities and consequences of change over time in relationship to historical events and processes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that human values and beliefs are shaped by historical context and they will gain the capacity to make informed judgments about past and present behavior and ideas with a goal of fashioning a more just world. In this endeavor, students will gain an understanding of the ethical practices and standards for historical research and writing.