History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

BA in History

Studying history helps you understand the range of human experience: how people have lived in the past, how they live and coexist in the present, and the links between the two. As a history major, you can study a variety of time periods and places, from Greek and Roman antiquity to twentieth-century Asia. You will learn to interpret the past by examining a variety of original sources: newspapers, letters and diaries, literature, government records, images, films, oral interviews, and more.

The study of history will hone your skills in collecting, interpreting, and communicating information. It will give you a broader perspective on the contemporary world and the events that shape it.

We have faculty members who are specialists on every region of the globe, teaching and writing about military, political, social, and cultural history. Our department is internationally known for cutting-edge work on the use of technology in the study of history. Through the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Mason has long been at the forefront of digital and public-facing history, recognizing that new technologies and methods bring together multiple voices and diverse audiences in an ever-changing world.

Because our department is one of the few in the country that is combined with art history, art is incorporated into the teaching and research of many faculty members. There are few places in the United States where history is more valued than the Washington, DC area. Its wealth of museums, historic sites, rare book libraries, archives, and government agencies offer abundant opportunities for learning, internships, and careers. The flexibility of our program allows students to incorporate experiences into their degrees such as study abroad and research with faculty members.

History majors have gone on to careers in government, law, and management, as well as teaching and graduate study. A number of our graduates have focused on public history as their career choice, working with museums, archives, historic sites, and the National Park Service.


All students have opportunities for research, global engagement, public service, and career preparation.

  • If you excel in the classroom, apply to the history honors program. Work closely with a professor on a research project of your own. 
  • Travel and explore with Mason Study Abroad.
  • Gain valuable work experience by doing an internship on or near campus or at one of the Washington DC metro area's many other museums, archives, or historical sites.
  • Learn about career opportunities for historians.


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