More About Studying History

What is History?

To study history is to evaluate stories told about past events. Just as several witnesses of a car accident will tell the story of what happened from a different angle, people who wrote about past events at the time they occurred only tell us one version of events. In order to gain a full picture of any past event, we must compare and contrast multiple sources from multiple perspectives. 

Boyhood of Raleigh

History is the study of change over time, encompassing a wide range of recorded human experiences. While every field of study has a history, the history discipline falls mainly within the humanities. History programs prepare students for careers in law, public service, foreign affairs, teaching, and similar fields that value critical thinking, research, and writing skills coupled with knowledge of history. For more on the strengths of a history degree, see Jim Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association, "History Isn't a 'Useless' Major."

History courses are also an integral part of the CNM Liberal Arts curriculum. Interdisciplinary degrees, such as the Associate of Arts in Latin American Studies, include strong history components as well.

Why History?

History courses satisfy humanities requirements for several programs of study and also are accepted as electives. Our department also offers an Associate of Arts in History. To learn more about the specific strengths of the AA in History, read the degree profile.

In addition to completing credits toward a degree, you will develop a better understanding of the value of the past. Learning about the past provides us with the background to compare our times and our concerns with those of people who lived before us, to understand historical change, and how the world that we live in came to be.

This PowerPoint provides additional details about the skills, education pathways, and careers available to history majors. (Faculty member Kara Carroll created the PowerPoint.)