History Program
Home > History > Majors & Minors


Program Director: Thomas E. Williams, Ph.D.
Division of Humanities, Education, & Arts

Programs Offered:
  • BA in History
  • BA in History w/ Secondary School Teacher Licensure in Social Studies
  • Minor in History

Bachelor of Arts in History
The Bachelor of Arts degree in history involves a wide range of classes in American, European and World history that broaden our student’s knowledge of human society and culture. Learning goals in individual history courses are listed in more detail in their respective syllabi. More generally, in lower division courses the learning goals are focused on content. Students are introduced to some basic concepts of historical study: among these are an awareness that patterns of change and continuity occur over time and are rooted in specific contexts; and that history is interpretive and there may be a variety of ways of seeing and understanding the past. They will also be introduced to the various dimensions of history-political, social, economic and cultural. The learning outcomes in individual courses are assessed by a student’s performance on tests, in classroom discussions, and in written work. The senior seminar, requiring original research as well as professional writing and presentation, is designed to assess the overall program goals.

Learning Outcomes for History Majors
After completing a lower division course, the successful student will be able:
  • To read, comprehend, recall and discuss historical interpretation and data
  • To place events and the interpretation of those events in their appropriate time and place
  • To compare historical developments across cultural/geographical boundaries
  • Students also will be expected to have a grasp of the relevant geography

Upper-division courses in the history major seek not only to develop a fairly complex understanding of the content of each course, but also to provide an awareness of history as a discipline. Generally, upper division courses will focus much more than lower division courses on reading, researching, and writing skills essential to the discipline of history. After completing an upper division course, the successful student will be able:
  • To effectively utilize library and electronic research resources
  • To be able to gauge the quality and appropriateness of source material
  • To evaluate and critique different historical perspectives and explanations
  • To organize information and ideas in support of their written arguments
  • To properly document sources and effectively use them in support of interpretations and arguments

The critical thinking and communication skills developed in the study of history translate into success in a wide variety of venues, and several professions recognize the value of historical training. Consequently, a history degree provides excellent preparation for those pursuing careers in museum and archival work, law, government/politics, international service, journalism, public relations, and business. The history major is an important foundation for those in training for a teaching career, and especially for those pursuing a secondary education teaching certificate in social studies. It is also valuable for those who intend to enroll in a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree after graduation, and in general for those who are seeking a career in higher education.

Departmental Honors
The history faculty may invite qualified and interested majors during their junior year to consider writing an honors thesis in history. Successful completion of the thesis will result in graduation with departmental honors in history. Candidates for honors must have a 3.0 or above overall grade point average with a 3.3 grade point average at the end of the first semester of the junior year in the major. Candidates for honors must form a committee of three faculty, one of whom must be drawn from the History program who shall chair the Honors Committee.

The name of each thesis candidate and the working title of the thesis must be submitted to the Program Chair by September 15 for May graduates and April 15 for students completing in December. If honors candidates are to graduate in the semester they are enrolled in Honors Seminar (HIS 4002), all requirements for the completion of HIS 4002 must be completed one week before the deadline for the submission of graduating senior grades. Honors theses in history must conform to the Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style.

Note: All students are required to complete 33 credits of upper-division work (3000-4000 level courses).

Bachelor of Arts in History with Secondary School Teacher Certification in Social Studies
This degree allows students to get licensed to teach Social Studies in grades 7-12. Students complete the B.A. in History with the modifications described below. In addition, they complete a sequence of study and field experiences in Education. For details on the Education component of the program, refer to the Secondary education Program in the Education section of this catalog.

Bachelor of Arts in History with Secondary School Teacher Licensure
This degree prepares students to be licensed to teach Social Studies in grades 7-12. In addition to completing the B.A. in History, students must complete a sequence of study and field experiences in Education. During senior year students complete fifteen weeks of full-time student teaching at the 7-12 level. All student teaching must be done in the immediate area of the College.

View course requirements for a BA or minor in History

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