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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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2. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, California. UCLA is known for its beautiful campus and its “can do” spirit. The mission of UCLA is expressed succinctly in three words Education, Research and Service”.(ucla.edu) UCLA believes that no matter where you are in your academic journey, whether beginning, working at a graduate level, or a professional school student everyone in the community is a scholar.

Public Domain, Link
Public Domain, Link

Campus life is as important as the classroom while students learn about life, themselves and the scholarship they are pursuing. Fifty-two percent of undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid. Thirty-eight percent of undergraduates receive Pell Grants. The estimated costs for In-state tuition and fees are $12,918. Room and Board is $15,069. Books and supplies $1,635, transportation $600, Personal $1,677, and Health Insurance $2,148 add up to a total annual cost of $34,047. The estimated costs for Out-of- state tuition is $26,682 bringing the total cost to $60,729. The average student debt upon graduation from UCLA in 2015 was just over $17,000. The average starting salary for a History Major upon graduation is $46,000.

UCLA was ranked 10th by “U.S. News and World Report” on a “Global Ranking. UCLA has 13 Nobel Laureates, 10 National Science Winners, and 3 Pulitzer Prize Winners. “U.S. News and World Report” ranked UCLA 24th in the “Best Colleges” rankings. (ucla.edu)

In 1881 the California State Legislature voted to expand The California State Normal School to Southern California to train teachers in the growing southern part of the state. The State Normal School at Los Angeles opened in 1882. In 1887 the school’s name changed once again to Los Angeles State Normal School. In 1917 the UC Regent and the Director of the Normal School began to lobby the State Legislature to open a second campus for UC Berkeley at the site of the Los Angeles State Normal School. In 1919 the Governor signed the Assembly Bill into law and the Normal School became the Southern Branch of the University of California. In 1927 the school became the University of California, Los Angeles. The same year construction for the new Westwood campus began. In 1951 UCLA was raised to equal status with UC Berkeley.

UCLA is found in a residential section of Westwood. There are two distinct campuses. The North Campus is the original campus and houses the arts, humanities, social sciences (History Dept.), law, and business programs. Sitting at the center of the North Campus is Dickerson Court aka “Sunken Garden” which is lined with sycamore trees.

The South Campus houses the physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, mathematical sciences, health-related fields and the well-known UCLA Medical Center. The campuses are separated by the sculpture gardens, fountains, museums and different architecturally designed buildings.  Students at UCLA have over 1000 clubs and organizations that they can join. Many of the organization are service oriented both on and off campus.

The various athletic teams provide a gathering place for many students as they come to cheer their Bruins on. There are 16 UCLA Recreation facilities which provide athletic venues for the students to use. Some of those facilities are The Challenge Course, Hitch Basketball Courts, Intramural Field, Tennis Courts, Marina Aqua Center, Outdoor Adventure Center, Swimming Pools and Rock Wall just to name a few.

The Bruin Bash is the annual event that begins the new school year. Many of the performers at the Bruin Bash are well-known entertainers, and this starts the year off with a bang. There are a number of support centers and programs for all students. Students have the opportunity to go into Los Angeles and take advantage of all the city has to offer, from dining to entertainment and of course shopping.

UCLA’s athletic teams are nationally known and are followed by folks who have never been to UCLA. The Bruins compete in NCAA Division I and are a member of the Pac-12 Conference. The football team plays their home games at the Rose Bowl and the basketball, volleyball and women’s gymnastics team compete at Pauley Arena. There are other varsity sports as well, ranging from Cross Country, soccer, women’s rowing, golf, tennis water polo, women’s softball, and track and field. UCLA has won more national and NCAA championships than any other university.

Majoring in History at UCLA means that you have many options in the career fields you might like to pursue. There are classes in American, African, European, Asian, Ancient and Medieval History. When students at UCLA have completed their requirements to graduate with a BA in History, they will have acquired the skills of concise and articulate writing, advanced reading and analytical skills. They will also have focused on honing their ability to do research and to present the results of that research in a concise, readable manner.

Many of the History graduates find themselves in a slew of different career fields after leaving college, ranging from teaching, to law, to medicine, to research, to library administration and journalism.  The average starting salary graduating from UCLA with a degree in History is $42,000 and moving up to $81,000 in what is considered mid-career.

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

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