Undergraduate History Degrees Continue to Grow in Number

The number of new history bachelor's degrees reached the highest level in 30 years in 2004–05, as the nation's colleges and universities conferred 31,398 degrees. This marked an increase of 5.3 percent over the previous year.

History easily surpassed the average growth among all disciplines, where the number of new undergraduate degrees increased by just 2.8 percent. In relative terms, history degrees now account for 2.18 percent of the baccalaureate degrees conferred (Figure 1). That is not a huge amount compared to other humanities and social science fields such as English (which conferred 3.78 percent of the degrees) and political science and government (at 2.65 percent). But this is much better than 15 years ago—when history fell to just barely 1.5 percent of the undergraduate degrees conferred—and coincides with a general increase in the number of undergraduate students.

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