History Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree On-campus

About History

Explore the lessons of history to excel in many fields.

In today's world, knowledge of history and its lessons can have an impact on all areas of life - business, law, education and much more. At California University of Pennsylvania, choosing the B.A. in History program will help you develop deep historical knowledge as well as strong critical thinking skills to prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities.

Studying history will develop your abilities to read critically, think analytically, communicate ideas effectively and examine human problems in light of ethical values. You will work closely with your history professors to learn about traditional and contemporary theories, philosophies and ideologies.  You'll explore the functions and roles of major governmental, quasi-governmental and non-governmental institutions in different political systems, cultures  and societies throughout the ages.

Gain a career advantage with Cal U's top undergraduate program in history.

A history degree prepares you for broad-based employment opportunities, including jobs in government, higher education, insurance, law,research, media and communications. Seven U.S. presidents have held history degrees. Other positions for history majors: corporate CEO, senator, member of Congress, archives and museum worker, foreign intelligence analyst, foreign trade specialist, federal or state agency historian, journalist, law enforcement officer, communications specialist, public relations director and radio/television/film researcher.


Specialized study:  At Cal U, history majors study with faculty who represent a wide range of expertise in the field. History faculty specialize in areas such as: American history, European history, public history, Native American history, environmental history, African American history,  ancient and medieval history, modern European history, French history, race and ethnicity in America, religious persecution, contemporary American history, Constitutional history and the history of sport. The history degree program also offers courses in the history of law and Latin American and world history. 

New perspectives: Students not only study history itself, but also learn how to study history. The Craft of History course teaches basic historiography and historical methodology. Students receive a hands-on introduction to historical research and writing, and learn about various schools of history to prepare for upper-level history courses. Other courses offer unique ways to study history. For instance, The History of Scientific Thought and Technological Innovations course focuses on how science and technology have impacted societal change over time, including military innovations, political and economic revolutions, religious and philosophical thought, and labor relations.   

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Student-to-faculty ratio at Cal U.
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in history, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

In addition to a strong foundation in historical knowledge, students can choose topical courses for study, including History of Sport; History through Wargaming; History of Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Modern World; Native American History; and History of Law.  All of our professors actively engage in research and in publishing and communicating their findings. History faculty members are widely recognized on campus for exceptional educational programming, from hosting monthly Civil War Roundtable events to teach-ins and an annual Hip-Hop Conference. Cal U history professors also serve as historical consultants and on-air experts for television and radio programming.


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Graduate Outcomes

Teacher, archivist and museum curator are just a few of the professions directly related to the history major. Students also find that undergraduate study in history is an excellent foundation for careers in law, religion, the Foreign Service and diplomacy, and government. In addition, history majors are employed in marketing and communications fields, the business sector, and the insurance industry. Our students have gone on to complete graduate programs in history at Carnegie Mellon University, West Virginia University, Duquesne University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Kentucky, University of Norwich and many more.


History (B.A.)
A Cal U professor teaches a history class.

Award-Winning Faculty

History faculty members have been nominated for or have won Presidential Distinguished Merit Awards, the highest honor a faculty member can receive at Cal U. Our history professors have been recognized for outstanding teaching, research and service. Our professors are published authors as well as active researchers and dedicated teachers.

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Campus Connections

The history department sponsors Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society and one of the highest rated national honor societies. Membership is a recognized mark of excellence. Students also can participate in the Fencing Club and the Silvi Vulcani Club (dedicated to pre-1601 studies).

History students work at a local history center.

Unique Opportunities

History majors participate in internships in settings such as parks, museums, government offices and more. Students also have opportunities to do hands-on community history work in area schools in local history and public history classes. Cal U history majors work in the campus archives and at local historical societies. Cal U history students have completed internships at Fredericksburg National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Park, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Heinz History Center, Coal and Coke Heritage Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum.

B.A., History Courses


Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 16
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
History Survey Courses 6
General Education Courses 6
Second Semester 15
ENG 102  English Composition II 3
History Survey Courses 6
General Education Courses 6
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 15
HIS 295  The Craft of History 3
History Elective
General Education Courses
Fourth Semester 15
History Elective 3
General Education Courses 9
Minor OR Free Elective Course 3
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 15
History Electives 6
General Education Course 3
Minor OR Elective Courses 6
Sixth Semester 15
History Elective
Minor OR Elective Courses 
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
HIS 491  Readings in History 3
History Elective 3
Minor OR Free Elective Courses 9
Eighth Semester 15
HIS 495  Seminar in History 3
Minor OR Free Elective Courses 12
Total 120

Program Notes

Minimum GPA 2.0, Minimum Credits 120

Program Requirements

Required Major Courses

  • HIS 295  Craft of History
  • HIS 491 Readings in History 
  • HIS 495  Seminar in History

History Survey Courses

  • Pick two from: HIS 101, 104, 111
  • Pick two from: HIS 102, 106, 112

Non-western History Courses

  • Pick two from: HIS 309, 310, 317, 323, 324, 345, 352, 353, 366, 367, 370, 410, 425, 430; POS 322,325, 326

History Electives

  • Pick five (at least three at the 300-400 level)

Free Electives

  • 37-38 credits, with at least 20 credits at the 300-400 level

B.A., History -Minor


History (Minor)

History Faculty

Dr. Clarissa W. Confer


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Dr. Paul Crawford


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Dr. Kelton Edmonds


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Sean Madden
Professor and Director of Global Studies


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Dr. Michael Slaven
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Dr. Craig A. Smith


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Dr. Laura Tuennerman
Professor of History; Director of the American Democracy Project at Cal U


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