History courses are designed to help students understand the present and prepare for the future by studying the historical development of modern civilization. History courses offer the necessary background for those wishing to teach history in primary or secondary schools or to pursue graduate studies. The study of history also provides appropriate background for government service, law school, journalism, politics or business.
According to the American Historical Association, the critical thinking skills learned from conducting historical research are relevant for all students, not only for those who will become historians. Those skills include extracting data from and evaluating sources, constructing an argument through formulation and expression of positions, presenting results in oral or written form, and exercising initiative and judgment. All UIU History courses have significant research and writing requirements. The skills learned and expectations of results will progress throughout the program, regardless of the students being majors or general education students
History majors are required to take their two elective courses from two different disciplines and are encouraged to study a foreign language as well. History majors earn a bachelor of arts degree. A history minor is also available.
History majors at UIU also focus on social justice issues throughout the world over the breadth of human history. Social Justice is defined here as "Human Rights embedded in the Enlightenment Era ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Solidarity." Course of study includes examination of political and power arrangements, economic relationships, ideologies, institutional power, religion, cultural constructions such as gender and race, and popular culture. Students analyze these topics to understand ways in which they have been used by one group or individual to dominate others, and to understand how other groups have used them to secure some measure of justice. Upon completion of individual courses or the degree program, students are challenged to become active participants in causes in which they have mastered some level of expertise and to become true global citizens with a deep understanding of the problems and potentialities of cultures outside their own.
Students are encouraged to pursue minors and/or double majors.