How Can I Specialize a History Degree?

Degrees in the liberal arts aren’t often associated with specialization, but there’s actually a large number of ways to specialize a history degree so that it becomes relevant to your interests and more marketable for professional employment after graduation. With the right specialization, you will be able to enroll in classes that you find interesting and professionally useful, and that’s a good thing for everyone involved. Take a look at some of the best ways to turn a general history degree into a more specialized major.

American History

American history is perhaps the most obvious and widely available concentration. The reason for this is pretty simple: Most students are studying history in America, and they’re surrounded by the places where history was made and major events took place. Visiting these places is a great way to turn classroom theory into real-world experiences, and it adds value to the college experience for most history majors.

Ancient History

Human civilization has its roots in the choices made by ancient cultures all around the world, and this concentration is dedicated to exploring those early choices and innovations. Students who opt for this unique specialization will primarily study the ancient cultures of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. This is because civilizations throughout the Americas are simply not understood as well, and research is ongoing into some of their key contributions to modern life. Even so, students can expect a fully global focus when it comes to studying the roots of human civilization, urbanization, early technology, mathematical thought, and much more.

Modern European History

European history takes up so much of the timeline that most universities split it into classical and modern specializations. Students who opt for a specialization in modern European history will focus primarily on historical developments made from the Industrial Revolution through present-day society. This might sound like too narrow a focus, but it is actually quite broad. From the two World Wars to the spread of fascism, communism, and socialism, students will focus on political developments, work revolts, mass conflict, and a new era in warfare, all of which help paint a robust picture of modern European culture and society.

Gender-Based Conceptions of History

An emerging specialization within history, gender history focuses on the battle for equal recognition and representation of women throughout the world. Some universities also include the history of sexual orientation and identity. According to the American Historical Society, universities that choose to offer specializations in these fields are seeing an increase in their number of bachelor’s degrees completed. There’s no denying that these dual movements for recognition have reshaped the world’s cultures and its values, and this specialization helps students understand how, why, and where it all happened.

Many Great Options for a History Degree Specialization

Like many liberal arts programs (please also see: What are the Advantages to a Degree from a Liberal Arts College?), history degrees can be extremely broad in their focus on world events. The goal should be to narrow that focus by choosing a specialization that appeals to your interests and helps you use the degree after graduation. With these goals in mind, you should be able to easily specialize a history degree to meet your unique needs and interests.