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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. Student experiences have included:

  • Cataloger and Archivist
  • Curator
  • Technical Recruiter
  • Press Secretary
  • Teacher
  • Legislative Assistant/Governor’s Fellow
  • Graduate or Professional School

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:

  • Ability to balance competing or contradictory information and ideas.
  • Analyze situations from a broad perspective with attention to large and small details.
  • Ability to read dense texts and synthesize information for all audiences.
  • Proficiency with data base user interface and query software, desktop publishing software, and document management programs.
  • Ability to conserve and preserve manuscripts, records, and other artifacts.

History majors may choose to enter into 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
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  • State of Indiana
  • Brownsburg High School

Graduate School

  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Marquette University
  • Syracuse University

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