CHID students sitting on hill in Iceland during study abroad

Department of Comparative History of Ideas

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Ask questions. Think critically. Express creatively.

The Comparative History of Ideas Department (CHID) is a unique interdisciplinary undergraduate academic experience. CHID encourages students to consider issues from multiple perspectives and gain insights into the transformational power of ideas. Through close collaboration with faculty, staff, and local and international organizations, CHID offers students the creative freedom to tailor their education to their interests and professional goals, culminating in a senior thesis that deepens their scholarly engagement.

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Undergraduate Programs

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Alumni use their unique, multidisciplinary skills and expertise to find success and drive change in a wide variety of fields such as law, medicine, environmental education and new media. Companies like Amazon and Microsoft, and non-profit organizations like Sesame Street and the Seattle Art Museum, are among the many employers who value CHID students’ ability to understand complex systems, communicate clearly and break down difficult problems through research and analysis. Comparative History of Ideas students may pursue graduate studies in the humanities, social sciences and other fields.

Career Paths

A few of the professional roles CHID alumni hold include:

  • Policy analyst
  • Legislative aid
  • Marketing manager
  • Healthcare provider
  • Professor
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Explore, reflect, and learn abroad

Comparative History of Ideas is widely recognized and respected for its innovative and transformative international programs. CHID offers many rigorous and collaborative study abroad experiences for students, viewing such experiences as a path toward critical realistic participation in a world that is both increasingly unified and persistently diverse. Each year, over 100 CHID students study abroad in countries such as Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Germany, Iceland, Spain, Thailand and many more.

More About Study Abroad

Find Yourself in Comparative History of Ideas

Study what matters to you. CHID brings together outstanding faculty and staff from the sciences, arts, social sciences and humanities for a truly interdisciplinary education that will encourage you to think across boundaries.

Department of Comparative History of Ideas Stories

Markus Teuton playing guitar on stage

Celebrating Contemporary Indigenous Music

Markus Teuton, a musician and citizen of Cherokee Nation, explores contemporary Indigenous music through his academic work and as host of “Indigenous Jazz,” a radio show.

portrait photo of Tisbe Rinehart on the UW campus

Getting Personal About Wilderness

UW senior Tisbe Rinehart, a wilderness guide for UW adventures, attended a wilderness therapy program as a teen — a difficult experience she explores in her CHID senior thesis.

Will Sanchez sitting on a bench on the UW campus.

Networking for Change

Will Sanchez (BA, Comparative History of Ideas, 2022) has developed connections to build on — with leaders in nonprofit, tech, and political circles.