Why Study History

Any subject of study needs justification. Read this classic essay from Peter N. Stearns about why we continue to look to the past to understand the world around us.

The Value of a History Degree

"Poster Session"
Careers for History Majors

Learning history lays the groundwork for future success. We’ve gathered data, advice, and personal stories to show what a degree in history can do for you.

Man clapping at event
In Their Own Words

What is the value of a history degree? Read testimonials from history majors.

AHA Plenary - The Past, the Present and the Work of Historians - Thursday - January 5, 2023
Share Your Story

Have you studied history? If so, let us know how the skills and knowledge you developed shape other aspects of your life.

History Behind the Headlines

History Behind the Headlines is a webinar series featuring prominent historians discussing the history behind current events. Webinars in this series are generously sponsored by AHA member Jared Brubaker.

What Our Students Learn

History Discipline Core

What do students learn in history courses? The culmination of years of collaboration and research, this statement summarizes key skills, knowledge, and habits of mind at the core of our discipline.


What is the value of history? How can we prepare our students for success beyond the classroom? We’ve prepared this toolkit to help explain why we do what we do.

What Does It Mean to Think Historically?

This 2007 Perspectives on History article by Thomas Andrews and Flannery Burke introduced the “five C's of historical thinking”: the concepts of change over time, causality, context, complexity, and contingency.

Everything Has a History

The American Historical Association advocates for the crucial role of historical thinking in public life. Our work highlights the insights that come when we recognize that everything has a history.

History, the Past, and Public Culture: Results from a National Survey

This project aspired to take America’s historical pulse by assessing public perceptions of, and engagement with, the discipline of history and the past. The AHA partnered with Fairleigh Dickinson University to develop and implement a national survey that explored the public’s definition of the term “history,” where audiences access history.

Congressional Briefings

The AHA’s Congressional Briefings series provides congressional staff members, journalists, and other members of the policy community with the historical context essential to understanding contemporary issues. The sessions are strictly nonpartisan and avoid advancing particular policy prescriptions or legislative agendas.