Consciously or not, we all operate as historians. We make judgments and decisions based on our knowledge, however inadequate, of what has gone before, and we make sense of our own position in the present by composing and telling stories about where we have been in the past.

The formal study of history—the critical examination of human accomplishments and failures—greatly enhances our ability to judge and decide about both private matters and public issues. Develop the skills and practices required to do historical research, skills you begin to learn in Lawrence’s Freshman Studies program. Through both required courses and electives, you'll immerse yourself different times, places and modes of historical inquiry—you are encouraged to explore, but can also specialize. In the capstone Senior Experience, The Practice of History, you'll collaborate with fellow students and faculty and produce your own original work of history.

  • Delving into the past to understand and inform the present
  • Debates over collective and public memory
  • Exploring archives and libraries
  • Developing important perspectives on politics, economics, society and culture
  • The real history of the War of the Roses behind Game of Thrones
  • The origins and global impacts of colonialism
  • Cold War espionage


Life After Lawrence

Lawrentians can enjoy careers in...

Management consulting, law, education administration, archives management, teaching (secondary and higher ed), policymaking and research, communications/marketing, writing and editing, data management, architecture, finance, international development, sports management, government

Recent employers include...

Epic, U.S. Bank, The World Bank, Milwaukee Bucks, AmeriCorps. JP Morgan Chase, McKinsey & Company, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Chicago Board of Trade, Milwaukee Learning Laboratory & Institute, Trustees of Dartmouth College, Nokia, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee

Lawrentians can earn advanced degrees in...

International relations, history, education, English, law, business and public administration, museum studies, art history, French, social science, medicine

Recent schools include...

Belmont College, Emory University, Harvard University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina-Columbia, Washington University

Do hands-on historic preservation—in a castle!

A relationship with the Outagamie County Historical Society, which runs the History Museum at the Castle just across the street from Lawrence’s campus, provides you with internship opportunities.

Study British history in London

Lawrence’s London Centre sits in the heart of one of the world’s greatest global cities, offering you an immersive opportunity to explore and experience British history from the Stuart monarchs to the impacts of empire. You will explore the streets and towns walked by Elizabeth I, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, Henry II, Sir Thomas More, Charles Dickens, and Emmeline Pankhurst.

Access the greatest libraries and archives in the country

Participate in the Newberry Library Program in Chicago or pursue funding to support sophisticated, in-depth research at leading institutions like the National Archives.

Learn from a wide-ranging, methods-driven curriculum

Whether you are studying the American Civil War and Reconstruction, modern Africa or Early Imperial China, learn techniques current historians use to research into the past, including the broadly-applicable skills of making sense of findings and presenting them to others in a variety of media.

Components of the Major

Introduction to Historical Methods


One pre-1750 history course

One to five seminars from: Society & Sexes in Pre-Industrial Europe; Secret Intelligence in the 20th and 21st Centuries; Revolt & Revolution in Latin America; Era of American Revolution; Borderlands in Modern East and Inner Asia; The History of New York; The American Civil War; or an independent study course
One to five courses from North American, European, or Global & Comparative history
The Practice of History (Senior Experience)

Course descriptions and more courses

The Chandler Senior Experience

The Practice of History is a collaborative one-term seminar in which students produce their own original work of history.

Recent Senior Experiences include:


A Democratic Purge? The United States and the Denazification of Austria, 1945-1950

The Boer War and the Rise of the Modern Press in Britain


Peace, Politics and the Vortex: The Cultural and Political Consequences of Oregon’s Only State-Sponsored Rock Concert


At Home in the Mercantile House: Selling Society at Marshall Field

A Larger, Brighter Life: Radical Literature and the Motivations of the First Russian Terrorists