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Opportunities in History

History Student with News Articles


As a student of history, you will be able to understand what happened in the past, understand the reasons why events occurred and how their significance continues to impact today’s world. In addition to providing an excellent university education, the study of history is a solid and accepted preparation for many careers. WCU students will find plenty of opportunities to further the intellectual and communication skills in demand by many professions, and to get involved both inside and outside the classroom.

In a survey of Western Carolina University history graduates, a large majority pursued highly successful careers in business, education, and government work. A significant percentage also found employment in such professions as law, journalism, and ministry.Internships are a great way to expand your academic experience and show off your skills to the public and potential employers. Internships give students a chance to demonstrate their skills and knowledge to the public as well as potential employers. Opportunities abound for those who want to discover more about local history, learn more about local, state and national archives, organize museum exhibits, and more.

In the past, our students have gained practical experience through internship and employment at locations such as:

  • Museum of the Cherokee Indian
  • The National Park Service
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Petersburg Civil War Battlefield
  • Fredericksburg Battlefield
  • Hanging Rock State Park
  • Mountain Heritage Center
  • Mount Mitchell State Park
  • Museum of the Albemarle
  • Museum of the Cape Fear
  • North Carolina State Archives
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Wachovia Bank

For those students interested in meeting, sharing ideas, and socializing with both history majors and non-majors, the department offers a variety of activities as well as vibrant student-led organizations. 

The History Club is open to all students, regardless of major, and offers various activities each semester including films, guest speakers, and extracurricular events.

In addition, the Pi-Psi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society annually invites qualified students to participate in the programs of one of the oldest and largest professional societies in the United States. In addition to the many fun-filled opportunities to engage with your professors in the History Club, Phi Alpha Theta events, or department-sponsored activities, the history department offers a bi-annual affair d'sport, otherwise known as Fall Field Day (fall term) and the Pork-o-Rama (spring term).  

Graduate students may also experience quality, academic publishing by contributing to the Tuckasegee Valley Historical Review, a peer-reviewed journal published by the history graduate students of Western Carolina University.

For more information on co-op programs, contact Dr. Jessica Swigger.

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