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Develop your writing and research skills to better understand the past, interpret the present, and face the future.

The history program’s award-winning faculty teach a wide range of classes focused on fascinating times and places, and on topics society continually wrestles with, such as violence, political power, and religion.

History majors learn important skills that employers value, including how to conduct independent research and critically evaluate information. Graduates of the program leave prepared for jobs in law, business, politics, media and journalism, publishing, teaching, the non-profit sector, museums and archives, and even professional sports.

About Maxwell

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences, public policy, public administration and international relations. It includes America’s #1 ranked graduate program in public affairs, offering highly regarded professional degrees alongside advanced scholarly degrees in the social sciences, and it is home to undergraduate programs across the full spectrum of social sciences. 


Core coursework focuses on cultural studies, research methods, and global history. Sample courses include:

  • Ancient Rome
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Plague to Aids: Disease in the West
  • Race and Sport
  • The Arab Revolutions
  • Nazi Germany and the Holocaust
  • The History of American Capitalism
  • Drugs and Drug Trafficking in Latin America
  • Medieval and Renaissance Europe
  • Modern China
  • Modern East Africa

View official major requirements .

Practical Experience

The history major is supplemented by real-world learning opportunities available to enrolled students.

  • Contribute to Chronos, the Syracuse History journal, which includes not only editing and publishing a hardcopy journal, but also web publishing and design.
  • Conduct historical research with award-winning faculty, in either a senior research seminar or an independent distinction thesis.
  • Become a member of Phi Alpha Theta—the international honor society for students of history—and get involved with History Department events, recruiting majors and prospective students, and outreach to the Syracuse community.

Study Abroad

Ranked among the top international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad is a significant part of the Syracuse experience. With over 100 programs in 60 countries, nearly half of all students go abroad during their time at Syracuse. 

History majors often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence, London, and Strasbourg . Students have also been a part of the Exploring Central Europe thematic program, and World Partner programs CET Prague, University College Dublin, and Waseda University (Tokyo).

Summer programs of interest include Jack the Ripper and His Legacy (London), the Italian Mafia (Florence), 20


Century Spain (Madrid), Exploring Jewish Life in Central Europe

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in history, Syracuse students have gone on to careers in fields such as:

  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Civil Service
  • Diplomacy
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Television

Many history majors also earn graduate level degree in the areas of law, education, business, political science, and other fields.