History is more than memorizing dates, names, and places. History enriches the view of the world around us and helps us to understand who we are and where we have been, what narratives we cling to and what voices have been left out. That knowledge, in turn, helps to shape our future choices and directions.
The Department of History at UNM is a vibrant community of scholars, teachers, and students located in the center of the American Southwest. Our faculty win prizes and educate the public through educational television, radio and documentary programming, and have been featured in journals, newspapers, and magazines across the nation and around the world. Faculty research and teaching interests range from medieval Europe to early modern Central and South Asia to modern Europe and the United States to the Indigenous Americas. We have long excelled in such areas as the American West, Latin America, Iberia and medieval Europe, and have developed more recent specializations in women and gender, science and medicine, and borderlands and transnationalism.
History is an incredibly flexible and useful major for just about any career. Its emphasis on synthesizing conflicting information and crafting persuasive arguments with compelling evidence are essential skills for civic engagement. History majors gain a strong foundation in research, writing and creative and analytical thought, which prepares them for graduate study in history and in other fields, or for work in professions such as law, teaching, business, management, editing and publishing, theology, archival management, public administration or similar careers that require a liberal arts background with a research emphasis. Our undergraduate majors find careers as everything from entrepreneurs and teachers to journalists and park rangers, and often go on to professional schools in law, business, medicine, and public policy.
We encourage students to take a broad range of courses covering the histories of diverse regions and peoples. Students who choose history as their major will work closely with advisors to plan a course of study tailored to their individual interests and career objectives, creating a major of unique breadth, depth, and excitement. While we recommend taking lower-division survey courses to get an overview of broad areas and topics, many of our courses do not have prerequisites, allowing tremendous scheduling freedom. Often, history courses taken during a study abroad semester can be used to fulfil these requirements as well, making it easy to complete the major in a relatively short time, even if off campus. You can also create an independent study with a professor whose research interests match yours, which gives you a chance for one-on-one mentorship and offers great preparation for graduate school.
We offer a B.A. degree, the chance to work with faculty one-on-one through independent study or a Departmental Honors Thesis, a shared-credit B.A. and M.A. in History, and a minor for those outside the major.
The Department of History is an anchor of humanities and interdisciplinary research at UNM, and maintains close affiliations with various programs and organizations representing a wide range of interests across campus. For example, the New Mexico Historical Review publishes a quarterly academic journal focused on the peoples and cultures of the state and its region. The Center for the Southwest organizes public conferences, film presentations, and lecture series. Members of our faculty direct or participate in the Latin American and Iberian Institute, the Institute for Medieval Studies, the International Studies Institute, the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, and the Center for Regional Studies at UNM—interdisciplinary academic programs that educate students and the general public and bring leading thinkers to UNM from across the country and throughout the world.
Departmental Honors Thesis
Our faculty are happy to work with motivated students who wish to hone their research and writing skills by completing a Departmental Honors Thesis. In your thesis preparation, you will work closely with a faculty advisor on a topic of your choice. This is a great opportunity to deeply explore your interests with the support and guidance of an expert in the field, and is an excellent option if you are interested in graduate study, either in history or in other disciplines.
Shared Credit B.A / M.A.
In this shared credit program, you work toward your M.A. while completing your B.A. by taking graduate seminars in your senior year that count toward both your undergraduate and graduate degrees. This program is designed primarily for students expecting to complete an MA degree for anticipated job requirements or to attend graduate school at a Ph.D. level. This is a wonderful way to experience graduate school while building on the support networks you created as an undergraduate in the department.
Programs of Study
- B.A. History
- Shared Undergraduate/Graduate Credit Programs Available:
- B.A. and M.A. in History
- Undergraduate Academic Advisor(s):
Advisor office locations vary. Please click on your advisor's name below to learn more.
- Advising Email:
- Department Email:
- Department Location:
- Mesa Vista (Bldg 56), Suite 1104