History Seminar with Dr. Linda Mitchell 1

Why History?

Many students think studying history means mindless memorization of boring facts, dates, and names. In fact, historians approach the past more like detectives, making sense of what happened by interrogating stories and investigating evidence.

Why does history matter? History is critical to understanding people and places, societies and cultures, ideas and events in the past. History also provides important perspective on the present and makes planning for the future possible. By learning how to think—rather than what to think—history students develop analytic skills, historical literacy, and cultural awareness, enhancing careers and citizenship in a national and global context.

By providing students with valuable skills upon which more specialized knowledge can be built, history prepares students for careers in: business and government, education and law, journalism and public history (e.g. museums, archives, historical societies), publishing and public service.


  • UMKC History faculty are expertly trained, widely published, internationally recognized scholars, and award-winning teachers who are accessible to students and enthusiastic about teaching the craft of history.
  • Our low student-teacher ratio fosters opportunities for the exchange of ideas and individualized attention, enhancing student performance and proficiencies while contributing to student engagement.
  • UMKC history graduates have successfully pursued nationally recognized graduate and professional programs in history, law, education, journalism, museum studies, and government.
  • With its many museums, archives, historical sites, libraries, and industries, Kansas City provides history students with numerous and varied internship and employment opportunities. Through researching, writing, archiving, and curating, history students contribute to the community beyond the classroom.