Why major in History?

Majoring in history at UPIKE helps you examine the causes and consequences of events and their impact on human experience from a variety of perspectives. You’ll learn how to analyze written, oral, visual and material evidence as well as develop communication skills and think critically. Skills acquired through a history major are adaptable to a variety of occupations and are in demand in today’s workforce. Companies are eager to hire people who can communicate effectively through the written and spoken word and who are experienced at analyzing large amounts of information.

Student holding ancient pottery sherd.

Program Distinctives

History majors at UPIKE have participated in archaeological work in Israel and even the archaeological reconstruction of 3,000-year-old pottery. Students have served as guides at archaeological exhibitions, performed historical preservation surveys prior to the construction of the Coal Building at UPIKE and taken classes in China. As a history student, you can conduct archival research and will have considerable opportunities to travel, making history a hands-on experience. You can also participate in The Washington Center seminars and internships at Kentucky’s capitol.

UPIKE Student in history class taking notes

Interesting Courses

HIS 339 Latin America and the Drug Trade
This course explores the history of the production, trafficking and distribution of drugs in Latin America from the colonial era to the present, with a particular emphasis on developments occurring during the twentieth century. By examining the long-term trends of the internal and external drug trades (both licit and illicit), students will grapple with the effects of social, political, economic, ethnic and racial issues that these trades have on various groups, societies and countries throughout Latin America. Going further, the course will also allow students to critically examine the external demand-side of the drug trade, with particular emphasis on the U.S. and its complicated historical role in stimulating demand for illicit drugs while simultaneously declaring “war” on them. Students will be given the opportunity to evaluate the effects that the drug trade have had on Latin American societies, as well as their own. The course will also examine the major shifts in the world of drug trafficking in recent years.

HIS 497 Historiography and Research Methods
A capstone course in historiography and research methods. Historiography is the study of the development and writing of history as a discipline and when combined with research methods will help prepare students for graduate study in the field of history. The course will require a major research paper and presentation.

Student listening in class.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduating with a UPIKE history degree, you’ll be able view historical development as a process that occurs within a framework of events, analyze and connect events, understand the impact of cultural diversity on historical and political development, demonstrate knowledge of the institutions and ideas of U.S. government, perform research and write effectively.

Career paths in History

A degree in history provides a strong foundation for careers in government, law, journalism, teaching, the corporate sector and other occupations. Career fields may include:

Library Director
Museum Director
Political Campaign Manager
Public Analyst

Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

UPIKE’s history graduates pursue doctoral and master degree programs, become attorneys and business leaders, work in economic development and politics, and pursue other dynamic professions.

Appalachian School of Law
Eastern Kentucky University
Liberty University
Mary Todd Lincoln House
Morehead State University
Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Somerset Community College
University of Dayton School of Law
University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky College of Law
University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
University of the Cumberlands


“My history degree from UPIKE had expected and unexpected results. As expected it helped prepare me for graduate studies in law school that lead to my career as a prosecuting attorney. Unexpectedly, the love of history I developed would also set me on a path to become involved in archaeology and being part of a team excavating a famous Biblical site in Israel – Shiloh. I never dreamed I’d go from a class hearing about history to literally digging it out of the ground.” 



Tyler Ralston, Ph.D.

Professor of History
(606) 218-5114