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About History

History is a discipline that trains students to write clearly, construct strong arguments, and rigorously analyze new information in context. These skills are eminently translatable and transferable in a rapidly-changing vocational environment.

UC Davis is a great university that offers the opportunity to conduct world-class research while teaching outstanding graduate and undergraduate students.

The UC Davis Department of History offers students the opportunity to learn how to frame historical questions, discover and interpret information, and communicate their findings to other people. Students have the chance to conduct independent research projects, take capstone seminars with faculty, and engage one-on-one with the faculty mentors.

Programmatic Strengths

With a firm foundation in U.S. and Latin American history, we have developed increasing strength in the history of the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, along with robust programs in environmental history, gender history, the history of migrations, and the history of capitalism.

 

Department Composition

Our faculty are deeply committed to their pedagogical and research mission as a service to the citizens of the Central Valley and the state of California. Our low student-to-faculty ratio ensures a high degree of guidance for engaged students, combining the resources of a large research university with the personal relationships of a smaller liberal-arts institution.

The number of faculty members in our department throughout the past two decades has been stable, as we maintain a cohort of 38 full-time professors, associate professors and assistant professors.

 

Faculty Distinctions

Our faculty members consistently earn nationwide and international distinction and recognition for their insights and scholarly contributions to the field.

•   Professor Chuck Walker, author of The Tupac Amaru Rebellion (Harvard University Press, 2014) was awarded the MacArthur Foundation's endowed chair in International Human Rights and the prize for the best book published by a historian living in the western United States.

•   Professor Clarence Walker, a pioneering scholar in African-American history, received the 2015 UC Davis Prize for Undergraduate Teaching and Scholarly Achievement.

•   Professor Emerita Susan Mann received the American Historical Association's 2014 Award for Scholarly Distinction.

•   Professor Daniel Stolzenberg was awarded the American Catholic Historical Association's 2014 Howard R. Marraro book prize for his book, Egyptian Oedipus (University of Chicago, 2014).

 

Career Trajectories

Majoring in history is an excellent preparation for teaching, business, or law school.  Medical schools highly value applicants with a background in history, as do tech firms; the writing and analytical skills History provides are scarce and highly valued in these fields.

Employment in academia is the traditional vocational goal of most Ph.D. programs, but alumni of our doctoral program have attained distinction beyond academia in the fields of public history and consulting.