We study history because:

It’s just plain interesting.

It’s about people trying to get on in life in all manner of circumstances in every corner of the globe, especially about how they created and responded to change.  How can we not be attracted to such human stories?

It’s practical in a broad sense. 

Exploring how people in the past constructed, tried to live in, and changed their social, political, and symbolic worlds makes us more adept at understanding our own changing world.  Working on how and why things happened the way they did in the past makes us better at figuring out how and why things are happening the way they are now.

It’s practical in a narrow sense. 

Studying history not only develops our ability to analyze the ever-changing factors influencing human thought and action, it also teaches us how to find and interpret evidence from diverse sources, bring mountains of information into coherent focus and express our insights clearly and subtly.

The study of history is an excellent foundation for practically anything you want to do with your life.

A&S Students

Alumni Testimonials

Eddie Beach, ‘13, history and business administration

"In my sophomore year, I decided that I would major in business administration. I loved learning what my business courses had to teach, but there were certain skills that I wanted to develop further. I found that studying history was the perfect solution to tackle this challenge. By adding a history major to my business degree, I kept myself actively reading and writing, and I’m confident that these skills will make me more competitive throughout my career. Furthermore, my history classes taught me how to create and defend specific arguments about seemingly overwhelming “big-picture” events and  ideas. In writing research papers, I was challenged to determine what information I required to support my thesis, and then to find that evidence out of a vast collection of resources. Additionally, my in-class experiences often pushed me to speak up and offer a different interpretation than what the class had already discussed. I believe that these skills for processing large amounts of information, corralling evidence out of diverse sources, and defending original arguments will differentiate me from my coworkers as I begin my career at a major consulting firm."

Eddie is a Federal Financial Analyst at Accenture Management Consulting.

Snead Winners 2018

Scholarships & Awards

We offer several scholarships and awards that are awarded annually to majors in the Department of History. Scholarships are awarded on the basics of merit and financial need, and also include a grant for graduate work. Students are eligible to apply after their first year at Richmond. Applications for these scholarships are due April 1 for the following academic year.