Home College Towns Historical America: The Top Five Colleges for History Majors
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Historical America: The Top Five Colleges for History Majors

Historical America: The Top Five Colleges for History Majors
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4. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. UNC has a student body of 18,415 and it is in a suburban setting in Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was ranked 30th in the 2017 edition of “National Universities”.  UNC was ranked 18th in “Best Colleges for Veterans” and was ranked 12th for “Best Value Schools”. (colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com)

By Caroline Culler (User:Wgreaves) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Caroline Culler (User:Wgreaves) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The tuition fees for In-State students are $8,834 and the Out-of-State tuition and fees are $33,916. Room and Board is $11,218. UNC has an acceptance rate of 30%. The student to faculty ratio is 14:1. 43% of full time students receive some kind of financial aid and the average need based Scholarship or Grant is $17,543. The average starting salary after graduation is $39,000. The average student debt upon graduation is $25,780.

The University of North Carolina was chartered in 1789 and opened its doors to its first students in 1795. It is one of three schools that claim the title of the oldest public university in our country.  It was during the Civil War when many of the colleges and universities shut down due to the enlistment of students into the Confederate Army that North Carolina’s Governor convinced Confederate President Jefferson Davis to exempt some students from the draft so they could continue their studies. For that reason, UNC remained open during the war. After the war, however, the school was forced to close because of the huge loss of young men from Chapel Hill.  It did not reopen until after Reconstruction in 1875.

In 1931 three colleges in North Carolina, including the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina,  combined to become the Consolidated University of North Carolina. In 1963 the Consolidated University became co-educational. The Woman’s College became the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of North Carolina became the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Today there are two distinct college campuses at Chapel Hill and Greensboro.

The campus of UNC is a very busy place. There are more than 600 student organizations which offer opportunities to make friends, make a difference and have fun. The student newspaper “The Daily Tarheel” is one organization that is very popular on campus. There is a student-run radio station that offers many opportunities for students to learn the ups and downs of broadcasting from a radio station. Not to be outdone by radio, there is a student-run TV station as well.

There are many fraternities and sororities on campus which offer opportunities to make friends, perform public service, and to socialize together.  If singing is something you enjoy, then you might want to check out the “Clef Hangers, ” an a capella group on campus. They perform at different times throughout the school year and at Commencement.

The Resident Hall Association is a student-run organization that lifts up resident life on campus and coordinates social events, educational events and opportunities to do community service. There are also apartment complexes on campus that offer an alternative to Resident Hall living.

Chapel Hill itself provides the students at UNC with a place to shop, entertainment and restaurants. Franklin Street is a very popular place for the student body. It is filled with stores and shops.  UNC is known for diversity and its student body is representative of every state and many nations around the world. It offers a study abroad program that includes more than 70 countries.

Athletics plays a key role in the life of UNC. UNC sports bring the student body together, some to participate and others to cheer for the many Tar Heel teams. The UNC athletic teams compete as a member of the NCAA Division I in the Atlantic Coast Conference – the ACC. The athletic teams compete in 25 different sports with Men’s Basketball getting the most recognition.

There are many championship teams that compete for UNC some of them are women’s soccer, women’s field hockey, men’s lacrosse, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and men’s soccer. Just as an aside, many people, including myself, wondered what was the origin of the team name Tar Heels. Apparently, it refers to the production of tar and pitch in 18th Century North Carolina.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has an excellent History Department. The overriding goal of the Department is to educate those students who elect to major in History to be proficient in the skills that will prepare them for whatever career they choose to pursue upon graduation. History Majors who graduate from UNC go into many different fields: teaching at all levels of education, law, journalism, public service, business, international commerce, and museums, to name a few.

The critical skills attained by the graduating UNC History major include the ability to analyze data that comes from their research and the capacity to write and express themselves in a clear and precise manner.  And UNC places emphasis on training its History majors to evaluate historically accurate information, placing that information in a context that makes it possible to see the impact of that historical event at the time and in today’s world.

There are 17 Internships offered to those majoring in History at UNC that range from Bentonville Battlefield, Greensboro Historical Museum, North Carolina Museum of History to Alamance Battleground. There are five internships on the national level such as National Archives Internship (Washington) to a Smithsonian Internship, to the Nixon Library that are offered to History Majors as well.

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Jamie Stewart America Unraveled's resident expert on all things higher ed!

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