No matter what you major in, the PSU History program will enrich your academic career and give you the valuable skills and methods of inquiry, analysis and synthesis that help you think like a historian. Our program is particularly strong in United States, global and women’s histories. Upper-level courses are rotated in order to maximize your chance to learn about a wide variety of subjects.
Why do people enjoy studying history? There are many reasons: for the shock of finding familiar behavior across wide reaches of time and culture, for the puzzle of trying to understand practices alien to their own, for the challenge of mastering information about human life in the past, or for the insight to handle contemporary social concerns.
By graduation, students who have majored in history will be able to:
- Identify the significance of key ideas and issues, periods and people, events and movements in world history.
- Identify the significance of key ideas and issues, periods and people, events and movements in United States history.
- Locate historical and scholarly sources using electronic and print media.
- Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources.
- Communicate effectively through polished narrative, persuasive, and analytical writing and presentations.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the range of careers and contributions beyond the classroom that draw on the skills and knowledge developed through historical study.
Studying history provides an imaginative, intellectual and empathic experience similar to travel. The “destinations” may at first appear to stand still—colonial New Hampshire, colonial India, revolutionary France, Civil War Virginia—but the more deeply you investigate them, the more complex and fascinating they become. The study of history can extend across any area or artifact of past human endeavor, from policies to parades, from ballads to battles, from the whaling industry to whalebone corsets. Through thematic and geographically framed courses, PSU History students examine the factual and interpretive contours of the field, while connecting the discipline to other areas of academic study and everyday life.
We encourage you to consider history as your major or minor. The study of the past will sharpen your critical-thinking abilities, provide for a well-rounded liberal arts education and cultivate a lifelong love of learning. Rooted in the traditions of the liberal arts, the history major also fosters proficiencies and skills needed for graduate study in many fields.