Timeline for Majors

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Freshman Year

  • Focus on fulfilling your general education requirements.
  • Take at least one history class your freshman year. Taking HIST 105 is a good way to encounter various history professors; as an alternative, some students take U.S. history (351 or 352).
  • If interested in HNGR, take the HNGR 101 class, “Third World Issues.”
  • If interested in secondary education (History/Social Science), take education 125 and 125L.
  • Take advantage of social opportunities in the History Department to get to know other majors and faculty in an informal setting.
  • Begin exploring careers in history. Make connections through your various communities: the History Department, Career Services, family, church, and other networks.

Sophomore Year

  • Take HIST 295, “Introduction to Historical Inquiry.”
  • After taking HIST 295, develop a list of potential 300-level history classes that interest you and that would provide opportunities for you to write a research papers.
  • History/Social Science majors should take Educ 225 and 225L.
  • Enroll in at least one additional history class to begin fulfilling your major requirements ( History major or History/Social Science major. Keep working on the gen eds).
  • Consider taking a skills assessment test and making an appointment with Career Services to talk about future career options
  • Begin exploring internship options for the summer
  • Study abroad can be a valuable learning experience, one encouraged by the History Department. Consider opportunities available through the department and Career Services. Talk with your adviser about how study abroad would work toward fulfilling your graduation requirements.
  • Begin exploring the types of graduate programs available to history major
  • As you begin to write more essays and papers, save (and backup) electronic copies for possible use in a portfolio or as writing samples.
  • When you have twelve credit hours in history (including transfer and AP), consider membership in Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society
  • Take advantage of “Dine with a Mind” to get to know your professors.
  • Continue with the activities from freshman year.

Junior Year | Fall Semester

  • Take a class in which you will be able to write your junior research paper
  • If you are thinking about going to grad school, check with your adviser and Career Service about what standardized tests you may need and take some practice tests
  • Talk to your adviser or other professors to get alumni contacts who could offer insights about different options for careers in history. Follow through with those contacts.
  • If you are thinking of doing the senior honors seminar, talk with your adviser and other faculty members about potential topics.
  • Additional decisions that need to be made for HNGR, Wheaton in Chicago , study abroad, etc.

Junior Year | Spring Semester

  • Submit your junior research paper.
  • Determine your topic and submit an application to the department chair for the senior honors thesis.
  • Explore internship options in a field of history or in other occupational fields that interest you. Send out lots of applications.
  • Register for standardized tests.
  • Make a list of the top ten schools that interest you for graduate work in history or other professional fields (e.g. law, divinity school). Research application requirements. Explore related options after graduation such as Fulbright awards.

Senior Year | Fall Semester

  • Submit junior research paper if not already completed.
  • Narrow your choices of graduate schools and begin applications.
  • According to Career Services, grads can expect to spend 6-8 months or more looking for jobs, so begin researching your options and preparing your resume.
  • Make an appointment to meet with a Career Services counselor to go over your resume and job search options.
  • Request letters of recommendation from professors for grad schools or permission to use their names on job applications.
  • Request copies of transcripts to be sent to graduate schools, or request one for your own to verify accuracy and have a copy for potential employers.

Senior Year | Fall Semester

  • Prepare any financial aid information needed for graduate schools
  • Take action on any acceptances or wait lists at graduate schools
  • Make goals for how many job applications to get out each month
  • Enjoy your spring semester!

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