What Can I Do with My History Major?

As a history major at Georgetown, you will learn to think critically, read and write effectively, and argue persuasively. You will have the opportunity to study any region of the world, to understand how time and culture shape human experience, and to examine how our own world is shaped by the past.

As a discipline, history bridges the humanities and the social sciences. The history program at Georgetown emphasizes an awareness of multiple cultures and eras, with its students gaining depth of experience in research, writing, and analytical thinking skills. 

History majors obtain knowledge and skills that can prepare them for many occupations and professions. These critical thinking and research skills prepare graduates well for government service, nonprofit organizations, and the business sector. History majors also have a strong background for graduate work in various academic disciplines such as education and government, as well as law.

With its emphasis on critical reading skills, the evaluation of evidence, imaginative thinking, global awareness, empathetic attitudes, and persuasive, analytical writing, the history major offers an ideal preparation for a variety of careers. Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Understanding complex factors within problems
  • Perceiving patterns/structures
  • Comparing/contrasting interpretations
  • Assessing cultural differences
  • Understanding different cultural contexts

Effective Communication Skills

  • Analytical writing
  • Writing concisely
  • Editing
  • Drafting documents
  • Reading critically
  • Assessing conflicting viewpoints
  • Summarizing and presenting information
  • Public speaking

Research Skills

  • Using original sources
  • Defining problems
  • Formulating and assessing hypotheses
  • Creating research designs
  • Gathering and analyzing information
  • Interpreting data
  • Evaluating evidence and results

You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).

Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Member of Class, taught by Prof. ____

  • Analyzed primary source materials and secondary literature to conduct historical research about (insert research topic) and communicated findings on (insert research results) through an analytical paper.   
  • Collaborated with peers to produce an online exhibit of cultural artifacts related to (insert topic) by selecting primary source materials and presenting written analysis in HIST 170.
  • Explored the development of nation-states and nationalist ideologies by examining theoretical texts such as (insert texts) and case studies from modern European history in HIST 440.

Georgetown Alumni have taken their history degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in history across multiple disciplines. 

Additional information about these outcomes can be found in Cawley’s Post Graduation Outcome Report

“I really liked the way the History department set up our focuses around regions rather than a time period and had us choose a secondary focus from a distinct region. I also like how the government department approached the first few years of our majors by having us start with the 4 foundational courses. I really liked getting to work in all 4 different subgroups before choosing my focus. In addition, the writing and research skills I learned in both my majors have been invaluable in my work for local government and as part of my fellowship program with Lead for America.” – 2021 Georgetown College Graduate, History and Government

Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches
There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google. 

Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords. 

Sample Internship Opportunities

  • Newspapers and Magazines (e.g., student papers, Washington Post)
  • National Park Service
  • The White House
  • Historical preservation offices
  • Museums (e.g., Smithsonian museums, National Museum of Health and Science)
  • U.S. or State Congress
  • Research Institutes/Think Tanks (e.g., Urban Institute, The Brookings Institute)
  • U. S. State Department
  • Nonprofit (e.g., Pathways for Mutual Respect, Oregon Bus Project)
  • Law offices
  • Political action committees (PACs) (e.g., Association of Trial Lawyers of America, National Education Association)

The Georgetown History Department Website is rich with additional information on studying History.

GU History Department 

Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of history and learn more about what post grad life might look like. 

Vault is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in history. Vault has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field. 

Professors & Academic Deans
Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.  

You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major. 

Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.

Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate. 

You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.

You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path. 

Career Center Staff
You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier. 

At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.

  • African American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Foreign Languages
  • Government
  • Justice and Peace Studies
  • Sociology
  • Theology
  • Women’s and Gender Studies