Experience History at UNC
President Harry S. Truman once said that the only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know. History majors study the past to better understand and appreciate the present. The study of history also teaches us how to write and present an effective argument, think critically and analyze ideas in creative ways.
At UNC, you’ll experience history through hands-on learning opportunities, including individual research projects, internships and study abroad programs. Our award-winning History program was twice designated a Center of Excellence, and our faculty have won the University Awards for Excellence in Teaching and in Scholarship. UNC History students also consistently win outstanding research awards at the college and university levels.
Joan Clinefelter, Ph.D.
Professor of History
Joan Clinefelter, Ph.D., specializes in modern European history, with a particular interest in modern Germany. She adores teaching and has won a number of teaching awards, including the Alpha Phi Foundation's International Professor of the Year honor. Clinefelter was also named the M. Lucile Harrison Professor for 2008, UNC's highest honor for faculty.
We offer both a major and a minor in History, plus a secondary teaching emphasis in social studies.
Increase your political and cultural literacy while learning to consider events from changing global contexts. Our Liberal Arts program emphasizes a broad study of history and includes supporting courses in the humanities, social sciences and sciences.
Social Studies Secondary Teaching
Prepare to teach at the middle and secondary levels. With an emphasis in history and social science, the Secondary Teaching emphasis offers valuable student teaching and field experiences through the UNC partner school program.
Regardless of your major area of study, the 18-credit History minor at UNC will provide a solid foundation in the humanities and social sciences while enriching your education with valuable communication and analytical skills.
Finding Answers to Complex Questions
Research is an integral part of UNC’s History program, and student research is routinely presented at the Senior Seminar Gala, Academic Excellence Week and many other forums. When you major in history, you’ll also have unique and varied experiential learning opportunities, including internships in the Museums of Greeley, Loveland, Windsor and Denver; historical societies; and local and regional historic preservation societies.
By learning history, we define and measure ourselves and gauge both our progress and our significance. In UNC’s History bachelor’s program, you’ll find an active learning environment that combines lectures, discussions, readings and research. You’ll also have support to help you succeed, with caring, dedicated faculty members to advise and guide you throughout your program of study.
Consider UNC's History B.A. if you:
- Are curious about the people and events that shaped today’s world
- Enjoy research, reading and writing
- Want to work in small classes with close faculty mentorship
- Diverse topics in American and world history
- Advanced verbal and written communication skills
- Research and analytical thinking skills
- Colonial Africa
- History of the Caribbean and Central America
- Revolutionary America, 1763-1815
- Sex and Sexuality in the United States
- Hitler’s Germany
- Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Europe
History teaches us to analyze people and events of the past to gain a stronger understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live. The study of history is both an art and a science that requires the development of research, critical thinking and communication skills that will serve you in diverse careers.
When you graduate from UNC’s History program, you’ll be ready to pursue a wide variety of career and graduate study pathways including:
- Museum and archives
- Politics and government
- Library science
- Data analysis
History Professor Garners National Award
Fritz Fischer, Ph.D.
With his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Stanford University, and a PhD in history from Northwestern University, Fritz Fischer has been teaching at UNC for more than 20 years. In 2014 he received the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Outstanding Service, followed by UNC’s top award for teaching, the Sears-Helgoth Distinguished Teaching Award. Most recently, he was selected by the American Historical Association as the winner of the 2016 Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award.
The Asher Award, presented annually for outstanding postsecondary history teaching, will be awarded during a ceremony at the association's 131st annual meeting January 5-8, 2017 in Denver.
Fischer, who is also director of Teacher Education in the History program at UNC, was selected by a prize review committee of AHA members including Melissa L. Cooper, Rutgers Univ., Newark (chair); Tim W. Keirn, California State Univ., Long Beach; and Martha E. Kinney, Suffolk County Comm. Coll., SUNY.
"Fritz Fischer is an ideal candidate to be awarded the Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Prize," commented the committee. "Fischer's teaching statement and syllabi are all evidence of a scholar who has established a pedagogical philosophy that facilitates outstanding teaching. Fischer's commitment to raising critical questions about the past, which is evident in the courses that he designed and taught, reflects the profound vision of an educator seeking to enhance the educational experience of every student he encounters."
The Asher Award is named for the late Eugene Asher, for many years a leading advocate for history teaching. The Society for History Education shares the sponsorship of the award.