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Why Study History? - Columbus State University

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Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy

Why Study History?

Only a handful of history majors become historians. Some grow to be history teachers, many others move on to a different career. Indeed, people trained in the liberal arts, and in history in particular, are well equipped to succeed in a variety of fields, from business to law, from archive and library sciences to politics, from administration to art. And yet, a degree in history promises much more than a fulfilling job.

History students understand the complexity of the human experience. They are exposed to its diversity as they learn about peoples and societies around the world, and as they think about how these changed over time. They see how various individuals and groups interacted in different settings, and reflect on the reasons why people acted the way they did, and on the consequences of their choices. They respect these differences, while working to understand their origin and evolution.

History students ask questions, and learn how to provide answers based on honest and critical interpretations of historical evidence. They appreciate the aesthetic value of old things, words, and images, without indulging in mere antiquarianism. Instead, they use their findings as tools to provide articulate answers to complex problems. They examine all sources of information systematically, thinking about who produced them and why. They never take anything at face value. Instead, they evaluate and distill information deliberately, becoming aware of what a source can or cannot tell them about a topic. They are aware of the limits of any one point of view, while appreciating the contribution that any voice can make to our understanding of human history. They actively search for forgotten and missing voices, as they deem it imperative for these to be taken into consideration while writing any historical account. They understand counter-evidence as a stimulus for reaching a more refined answer. They see opposite arguments as essential ingredients for the development of any opinion or idea. As such, they are the staunchest guardians against ignorance, approximation, and dogmatism.

History students make capable teachers of logic and thought. They are honest and intelligent observers. They are responsible community, nation, and world citizens. They are engaging people who make any conversation more interesting, any occasion more meaningful, and any society more valuable.

Why Study Geography?

CSU's Geography minor is designed for students who wish to deepen and/or broaden their major program of study with a distinctive (yet flexible) program of courses encompassing the relationship between environment and society. The minor allows students to develop a coherent strategy for understanding and explaining the manner in which people and the Earth interact. Students have the opportunity to explore the physical, cultural, economic, political, and social patterns associated with human development, occupancy, organization, perception, and use of the environment. Our inquiries encompass a wide range of topics from urban environments, cultural landscapes, to mapping and analyzing geographical phenomenon. Students often work on community-oriented research projects, and they reflect on their engagement with community organizations. At Columbus State, we are committed to a community geography approach. Students and faculty work with local nonprofit organizations and community members in Columbus and the Middle Chattahoochee Region, and we use Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial analysis, and other geographically- informed techniques to:

  • Raise awareness about important community problems and resources;
  • Inform community and neighborhood planning processes;
  • Support community organizing; and
  • Empower communities to make positive change.

The undergraduate minor in geography complements many other programs in the university such as Business, Environmental Science, Geology, History, International Studies, Political Science, Sociology, and Criminal Justice. Geography provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to explain the spatial organization of society, including why some places are more or less developed than others, and ways in which development and planning can take place.

Geography is interdisciplinary, and employers look for geographers with holistic problem-solving skills. Geographers, unlike other disciplines, study human society and the physical environment, and they are valued employees because they are trained to understand the complexity and interconnection between society and the environment. Employers seek geographically trained employees for their analytical problem-solving abilities.

Any undergraduate student at CSU may complete a minor in Geography, with the specific course requirements available here. 

Ask Cody

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