Historians interpret the past to make it understandable and relevant to the present and future. Our history majors learn to think like historians, perform careful research, and communicate what they find in meaningful ways.

100+ Courses to choose from
1:11 Faculty-student ratio
320 Undergraduate History majors
23 Average upper-level class size
What Is a Degree in History?

Studying history offers you new ways to think about people, places, and events in the past. In the process, it also helps you develop critical thinking skills, conduct research, analyze sources, craft arguments, and uncover the diverse ways that the past continues to shape the present.

Why Study History?

We pride ourselves on an innovative curriculum, an emphasis on learning outside the classroom, and close-working relationships between our award-winning history faculty and our students, who leave well prepared for graduate or professional school. Graduates often go into teaching, business, government, and other careers that value analytical thinking and strong research and writing skills.

Beyond the Classroom

Strong Community

Majoring in History at Virginia Tech means joining an active and welcoming community. Our faculty work side-by-side with you to advise you on pursuing research interests, presenting and publishing their work, and preparing your for a career after graduation. Our award-winning Phi Alpha Theta chapter and The History Club hold regular get-togethers, service projects, and events like Stump the Chumps — our annual student-versus-faculty trivia challenge.

Library Collage

Research

We place a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, so there are many opportunities to submit papers to conferences and publish research in peer-reviewed journals like Philologia or our own Undergraduate Historical Review.

research in library

Study Abroad (or Nearby)

Immersing yourself in a culture is an important aspect of being a history major, so we encourage students to conduct hands-on study. We sponsor study abroad programs and partner with local historical organizations and public history projects, where you can participate in preservation and get valuable experience. Our department also operates the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, which sponsors outreach opportunites for students.

Switzerland Lecture

Get Experience

Our program offers hands-on work in public and digital history as well as local, regional, and national internships. Work with faculty like Tom Ewing and Amy Nelson on digital history projects.

Digital History Research Team
What Our Students Are Saying

"Study abroad has been an eye-opening experience. I met people from all over the world and from all corners of the United States. The pictures from my history books came alive!"

Rachel Snyder, '16

"No matter what field you go into, you will use the skills that you develop through undergraduate research. Remember asking yourself 'will I ever use this in real life' about high school algebra? You don't have to ask that about undergraduate research. You will use it."

Earl Cherry, '15

Careers and Further Study