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Photo of Max Campbell.



Max Campbell put his interest in the history of the space race to use as an intern at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum by working to compile materials for an exhibit titled “Destination Moon.” Read more here.

Majoring in History

The History major at Purdue is a fusion of politics, society, culture, gender, race, war, diplomacy, science, and technology. Faculty members take pride in fostering close working relationships with students and have national and international reputations for research. History educates students to think critically, with courses that teach not only what happened in the past but also how the past informs the present.


Upon completion of the program, History majors may choose to enter a field directly or indirectly related to their studies. Our students’ careers have included:

  • Archivist and Cataloger
  • Diplomatic and Government Service
  • Higher Education Administration
  • History Professor
  • Legal Services
  • Librarian
  • Marketing and Consumer Relations
  • Museum Curator
  • Press Secretary and Public Relations
  • Publishing
  • Teacher
  • Technical Recruiting
  • Urban Planning
  • Graduate or Professional School, including: Education, History, Law, Library and Information Science, Museum Studies

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Within the field of History, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluating competing or contradictory information and ideas.
  • Analyzing situations from a broad perspective with attention to large and small details.
  • Reading dense texts and synthesizing information, and communicating to all audiences.
  • Formulating persuasive, evidence-based arguments.
  • Proficiency with database user interface and query software, desktop publishing software, and document management programs.
  • Interpreting and preserving manuscripts, records, and other artifacts.

History majors may choose to enter the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • US Senate
  • US House of Representatives
  • US Department of Justice
  • US Department of State
  • State of Indiana
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  • Rockefeller Archive Center
  • The Winthrop Group
  • Maconaquah Middle School
  • Harrison Middle School
  • Brownsburg High School
  • Alfred University
  • Missouri Southern State University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
  • BAE Systems
  • Blue Sky CGI Studios
  • Voya Financial, Inc

Graduate School

  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • London School of Economics
  • Marquette University
  • NYU
  • Purdue University
  • SOAS London
  • Syracuse University
  • Trinity College, Dublin
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington

CLA Career Center