Program Description

History is the study of the human past as it is constructed and interpreted with human artifacts, written evidence, and oral traditions. It requires empathy for historical actors, respect for interpretive debate, and the skillful use of an evolving set of practices and tools. As an inquiry into human experience, history demands that we consider the diversity of human experience across time and place. As a public pursuit, history requires effective communication to make the past accessible; it informs and preserves collective memory; it is essential to active citizenship. As a discipline, history requires a deliberative stance towards the past; the sophisticated use of information, evidence, and argumentation; and the ability to identify and explain continuity and change over time. Its professional ethics and standards demand peer review, citation, and acceptance of the provisional nature of knowledge.

The History Program at AWC is designed to prepare students to transfer to a university. Students will complete a variety of courses that provide a foundation in global, national, and local histories, including world history, and the histories of Europe, the United States, Mexico, and Arizona. Through the study of the past, students develop critical thinking skills and the ability to conduct historical research, evaluate primary and secondary sources, craft historical arguments, and write effectively.  The program articulates with all three Arizona state universities, fulfilling all lower-division requirements for the major.

Graduates of these programs will successfully complete the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the historical period and subject understudy
  • Develop critical thinking and writing skills through evaluation of major historical events
  • Improve research methods, analysis, oral communication, and writing skills through the completion of a research paper
  • Identify and recall key information from a historical text and/or documentary film
  • Define and discuss the historical significance of key historical terms and concepts
  • Identify the underlying causes, explain the historical significance, and analyze the lasting impact of an event and/or how it changed the course of history
  • Evaluate a primary or secondary source
  • Summarize findings in an oral presentation 
  • Research an assigned topic and synthesize information in a research paper, citing all sources using appropriate style and format. 

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Degree(s) / Certificates(s)

Title Local Bachelor's
History - A.A. Transfer Degree -

Career Outlook

To pursue a career in history and its related fields requires a bachelor’s degree or higher. The top five professional fields history majors pursue are education, management, law, administration, and sales, however, the skills acquired through the study of history are transferrable to professions in a variety of sectors.  Explore the many career options for history majors here.

Below are examples of related occupations and annual mean wages in Arizona according to a May 2020 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Clerical Library Assistants
Compile records, and sort, shelve, issue, and receive library materials such as books, electronic media, pictures, cards, slides and microfilm. Locate library materials for loan and replace material in shelving area, stacks, or files according to identification number and title. Register patrons to permit them to borrow books, periodicals, and other library materials.
Tour Guides
Escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.
Library Technicians
Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books or other media; remove or repair damaged books or other media; register patrons; and check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who assist with providing services in mobile libraries.
Museum Technicians and Conservators
Restore, maintain, or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, or botanicals; or artifacts, textiles, or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.
Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
Librarians and Media Collections Specialists
Administer and maintain libraries or collections of information, for public or private access through reference or borrowing. Work in a variety of settings, such as educational institutions, museums, and corporations, and with various types of informational materials, such as books, periodicals, recordings, films, and databases. Tasks may include acquiring, cataloging, and circulating library materials, and user services such as locating and organizing information, providing instruction on how to access information, and setting up and operating a library's media equipment.
Administer collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items, or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions. May conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of institution.
Research, analyze, record, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
Anthropologists and Archeologists
Study the origin, development, and behavior of human beings. May study the way of life, language, or physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world. May engage in systematic recovery and examination of material evidence, such as tools or pottery remaining from past human cultures, in order to determine the history, customs, and living habits of earlier civilizations.
Postsecondary History Teachers
Teach courses in human history and historiography. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Postsecondary Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers
Teach courses pertaining to the culture and development of an area, an ethnic group, or any other group, such as Latin American studies, women's studies, or urban affairs. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Postsecondary Anthropology and Archeology Teachers
Teach courses in anthropology or archeology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Successful completion of this program may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Check the above for additional information.

Contact Information

Department Contact(s)

Social Sciences

Hours of Operation
Faculty/Staff Contact(s)
Name Title Phone Email
Stuart Gibson Associate Dean of Business, Education, Socials and Behavioral Sciences (928) 317-6417 Stuart.Gibson@azwestern.edu
Monica Ketchum-Cardenas Professor of History (928) 344-7646 Monica.Ketchum@azwestern.edu
Kenneth Dale II Professor of History/Head Men's Soccer Coach (928) 317-7600 kenneth.dale@azwestern.edu