Bachelor of Arts in History

The Department of History at the University of Arkansas is a community of scholars, students, and staff who endeavor to advance public knowledge and understanding of the past through discovery and the dissemination of research through publication, public outreach, and classroom teaching. Faculty expertise spans the globe geographically, with specialists in U.S., European, Latin American, African, Middle Eastern, and Asian history, and it ranges chronologically from ancient times to the present. The mission of the Department of History is to introduce majors to the complexity of the human experience that have been shaped our world, both the unity of that experience and the diversity resulting from such factors as cultural, social, and gender differences. Students are taught to think and work as historians, to read critically and analytically both primary and secondary sources, and to investigate a historical question or problem and communicate the results of that investigation. History majors acquire essential knowledge and critical skills, which provide valuable intellectual assets for employment in a wide variety of careers or advanced study.

For HIST BA degree requirements, see the current Catalog of Studies and visit the Fulbright Advising Center.

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Professor Jared Phillips



“I use the education I received at the University of Arkansas Department of History every day.”
-Mark Pryor, BA 1985. US Senator 2003-2015, Attorney General of Arkansas 1999-2003


2,500 years ago a Greek named Herodotus set out to write an account of the greatest event in his lifetime, the war between the Greeks and the Persians. Herodotus wanted to preserve the great events of the past so that they not be forgotten, but he also wanted to understand why they had happened. Herodotus delved deep into the past to uncover the roots of the conflict and to understand how the very nature and culture of the different peoples involved helped impact how things unfolded. Herodotus called this his “inquiry,” historiê in Greek, and for over two millenia historians have followed in his footsteps trying to understand the past and what it means for the present.


History teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty of Link to: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-grossman-history-major-in-decline-20160525-snap-story.html 


History is not a useless major Link to: http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2017/history-is-not-a-useless-major-fighting-myths-with-data 


Today History is one of the most valuable and far-ranging fields you can study in college. The study of history will take you from the earliest civilizations to the election of Donald Trump. Along the way you will learn to read and analyze a sweeping array of material spanning thousands of years. Historians employ everything from ancient inscriptions to modern government records to works of literature to art to help understand the past. History will teach you critical thinking and analytical skills that apply virtually anywhere. You will gain a vast perspective on the whole world and its interconnectedness, from past to present. The great issues of today, from the civil war in Syria to the divisions in American politics, have their roots in the past, sometimes the distant past.


Everything has a history: bringing historical context to current events Link to: http://www.historians.org/news-and-advocacy/everything-has-a-history-bringing-historical-context-to-current-events