Some things to think about
Why are you declaring a History major?
Choosing a major for your college career is an important decision. While you are free to change your major as often as you like, there comes a point when, if you wish to graduate in a reasonable timeframe, you must ultimately decide on a major and stick with it. Since you are doing to be devoting your time (a minimum of 33 hours in History) and your money to a major, changing majors needs to be a well-considered decision, not something done on the spur of the moment.
What do you wish to do when you graduate?
We have listed some, all though by no means all, of the options open to History majors, along with some general information at the following link: FAQ: What can I do with a degree in History
Do you wish to teach at the College or University level?
If so, you will need to continue on beyond the BA/BS level, as a bachelor's degree is insufficient to teach at this level. In order to teach at the two-year college level, a minimum requirement is usually a Masters degree. In order to teach at the four-year college (with the exception of some private colleges where an MA is sufficient) or at the university level a Ph.D. is required. You will need to indicate to your advisor that this is your intention, so that proper advisement can occur, in order to prepare you for application to post-graduate programs.
In order to complete a MA degree, about two years as a full-time student is usually required, although this may vary from school to school. A Ph.D. will usually require a minimum of about five years to complete, and may take more, depending on the field which the student is interested in pursuing. It is not uncommon for such a program to take eight to ten years. If you interested in pursuing a Ph.D., you need to discuss this with your advisor.
Do you wish to be a Librarian, Archivist, or Museum specialist, or an Historical Preservationist?
If so, these occupations usually require a specialized Masters degree. You will need to complete a BA/BS at ETSU and then transfer to an institution with such a program. If you are interested in pursuing such a career, you need to discuss this with your advisor.
Do you wish to teach at the Secondary level?
If so, you need to bear in mind that you need to meet the Certification Standards as required by the State of Tennessee (if you wish to teach in Tennessee). You may find a copy of those requirements at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. You need to bear in mind, that simply meeting certification requirements will not be sufficient to graduate from ETSU . You must meet institutional requirements for graduation, as well as certification requirements, which are state regulations. and not institutional requirements. If you wish to consider certification at the secondary level in History, you need to, (1) see Professor Burgess, R-S 109, and (2) the Department of Curriculum and Instruction for specific advisement on secondary-level certification.
Do you want to be a coach?
Contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary for you to be a History major in order to be a high school athletic coach. In fact, we would strongly recommend that you consult the appropriate advisor in the Physical Education department in order to get complete and appropriate information on coaching field, rather than simply assuming that a degree in History will make you a coach. There are specific fields of study, with practicum, which can help to prepare you to be a coach.
What about a Minor?
You need a minor, as well as a major, in order to graduate. Your minor should be something which will compliment your major and work positively toward your future goals. If you are going to declare a history major, then what would also further your future goals? You should discuss you minor with your advisor.
Okay. I've thought about all of this. Now what?
Please come by the department and make an appointment with Professor Burgess to discuss a change of major. Be sure to bring any information which you believe will be relevant to your choice and which will help us to better advise you.
Last modified: Ides of August, in the 2762th ab urbe condita (from the Foundation of the City, Rome, that is....2009, for those of you on a different calendar).