Students, including one in historical costume, in History's "Reacting to the Past" course.

Deepen your understanding of diverse peoples, places and times

The study of history is fundamental to any well-rounded education. At the UW Department of History, our curriculum extends across place and time, from ancient eras to the present. Students learn to analyze and evaluate how the past shapes our present and future. Many of our faculty and students research how religion, culture, ethnicity, race, class and gender have shaped the human experience. We also collaborate on digital history initiatives focused on diverse topics and geographic areas. The breadth of our offerings reflects our commitment to building an inclusive learning environment for all students, faculty and staff.

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Temple of Saturn ruins, Rome, Roman Forum
Professor talking with a student at a table.
48 Student scholarships & prizes, 2019-20

Careers

History majors ask broad questions, formulate specific answers, and craft narratives to effectively communicate those answers to multiple audiences — skills that transfer to a wide range of careers. History also provides strong preparation for law school and business school. Alumni have gone on to careers in education, journalism, technology, the military, politics, public health and social work, among many other fields.  

Career Paths

A history degree can lead to a career as a(n):

  • Historian 
  • Educator
  • Attorney
  • Journalist
  • Chief executive officer
  • Museum curator
  • Political consultant
  • Public relations manager
  • Executive producer
  • Community organizer
  • Entrepreneur
Books in a library

Research

Understanding a collective past

The department’s Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest advances scholarship on the North American West, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest. As part of our community outreach, the center supports research, teaching and public programs that further our knowledge of the peoples and issues that have shaped the region’s past and inform its future. The affiliated journal Pacific Northwest Quarterly (PNQ) has published leading scholarship on the region’s history for well over a century.

More About the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest

Connecting students, faculty, and labor communities

The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies supports students and faculty at the University of Washington in the study of labor in all of its facets. We cultivate connections with labor communities and inform policymakers about issues confronting workers. The Center is located jointly in the departments of Political Science and History but works with students and faculty from all three UW campuses.

More About the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies

Bringing the vital history of civil rights movements to life

The Civil Rights & Labor History Project website contains oral history interviews, photographs, documents, films, lesson plans, and scores of historical essays. Many of these featured essays were written by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Washington.

More About the Civil Rights & Labor History Consortium

Telling Black history in its full context

BlackPast.org is an online reference guide focused on African American history and the history of the more than one billion people of African ancestry around the world. Originally created by Professor Emeritus Quintard Taylor as a resource for UW students, the site has now grown into a powerful tool for spreading knowledge around the world and includes an encyclopedia of over 4,000 digital resources on African American and global African history.

More About BlackPast.Org

Find Yourself in History

Cultivate your curiosity about the past and present world.

Department of History Stories

Turkiya Lowe at the Grand Canyon.

A Place for History

As chief historian for the National Park Service, Turkiya Lowe (PhD, History, 2010) helps bring history to life.

Cherry tress on the UW quad.

Four "Remarkable" Dean's Medalists

The College honors four exceptional graduates representing eight Arts & Sciences majors.

Racquel West in a storage area at the Burke Museum.

A Museum Mission

UW senior Racquel West has always loved museums. Now she spends nearly every day in one.