College of Arts and Humanities


Dr. Catherine Forslund, Chair

Dr. Edward Mathieu

Historians study and reinterpret the past because society’s present day concerns continue to change, and more historical sources are discovered and made available every day. These sources help illuminate the past and illustrate that history is neither stagnant nor dull. Proper study of history is not based on memorization, but on interpretation and analysis. Understanding history involves integrating ideas and narrative, as well as a consideration of the influence of individuals and social forces on human events. The student of history has to make judgments about a broad range of evidence using an array of values and motivations. While the subject matter is the past, the principal goal of the Rockford University history department is to encourage students to read and think critically and write clearly in order to more fully interact with the present and future worlds.

The department offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Either degree offers the student a comprehensive background that embodies and enhances the liberal arts tradition. Internships in museums and other settings are available and encouraged.

Career Opportunities

Like other majors with a liberal arts focus, a history degree prepares students for a variety of opportunities in business and other careers where critical thinking and the ability to express oneself well are valued. Any area of museum work from education to exhibits and curatorial activities is possible for students with a history major. The history major is also excellent preparation for many professional programs, including the study of law, library science or museum studies. A degree in history can also lead to either graduate school or a career in secondary education.

Secondary Education Licensure (Grades 6-12)

Students interested in becoming licensed to teach History at the secondary level must complete all History major degree requirements, Education 324, a minor in secondary education, and additional General Education requirements for state licensure. For further information, see the licensure degree requirements below and the Education department section of this catalog.