Areas of Study

Group photo of Dr. Adam Stanley's faculty-led study abroad course visiting Heroes' Square in Budapest, Hungary
History Department

About the History Program

UW-Platteville offers a major and minor in history. History is the systematic study of the past. Understanding the past helps us understand human nature, broadens our perspectives, refines our judgments and provides insight into contemporary issues. The study of history is basic to our personal uniqueness, our professional identity and our civic lives.

Students of history learn important skills: the study of history requires students to read, write, analyze and use logic. Students learn to do research, assess arguments and to interpret economic, social, political, cultural and technological change in a variety of contexts.

History is a liberal arts degree that provides the basis for work in many fields. Some fields are directly related to the subject matter of history, such as museums and archive work, teaching, documentary filmmaking or historical publishing. Other fields, such as business, advertising, journalism, public relations, public administration, planning and research, and professional fields, such as law, use the skills that the study of history cultivates.

Preparation for Teaching

The history education program prepares the graduate to teach history and social studies in middle school and high school. A 39 credit major with a 24 credit minor and a professional sequence in the College of Education will certify graduates for the teaching license.

The Social Sciences Comprehensive Major with a History Emphasis is a 60-credit program, 24 credits of which are in history and 36 in the social sciences. This program, along with the professional sequence in the College of Education, will certify graduates in the broad field of social sciences and history. Students can also use this program to become certified to teach in one or more other social science fields.

Career Opportunities

The strengths developed in the study of history (analysis, synthesis, and communication) make history an excellent liberal arts base for advanced professional training in law or business.

Although there is and will continue to be an increasing demand for graduates in traditional historical areas, the most dramatic increases in demand are in the fields of public history. For instance, new career opportunities are evolving in the administration of cultural resource management programs; in agencies or organizations such as archives, museums, historic preservation offices and historical sites; the development and management of corporate archives and other "memory" areas of the corporate sector; in program development and analysis within local and state governments and in the corporate sector; and in new positions for strengthened local and public history offerings within departments of history.


History majors are eligible for a number of subject-specific scholarships. The James Alva Wilgus Scholarship is awarded annually to a junior or senior majoring in history or social sciences who is maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or above.  The Thomas B. Lundeen Scholarship is presented to a student who is a sophomore or junior history major or social sciences comprehensive major with a history emphasis with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. The Dr. Helen Marie Tierney Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a history major. And the Arthur and May Thompson Scholarship is awarded annually to a junior or senior who has demonstrated high academic achievement and has outstanding qualities of character and leadership in service to others. History majors and minors are also eligible for a variety of university-wide scholarships as well as scholarships offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Education.

Discover your story at the UW-Platteville History Department.

Addressing America's Mass Shooting Crisis

African American Lead Miners in Wisconsin - Posters On The Hill 2018 - UW-Platteville

History: In the News


History students published on Wisconsin 101 web page

September 12, 2018- History students Deja Roberson and Winifred Redfearn have co-authored articles featured as part of the Wisconsin 101: Our History in Objects project. One of the articles is about African American lead miner, James D. Wiliams, and the windlass he used as one of his tools. The second article is a complimentary story about slavery in Wisconsin.

Student conducts research on mass shootings

September 5, 2018- This summer, Kathryn Bartels, a senior criminal justice and history major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from Franklin, Wisconsin, conducted in-depth research and historical analysis on America’s school mass shootings and what impact laws can have on reducing gun-related deaths.

Students travel to Europe to explore five centuries of history