Students in front of history club bulletin board during a meeting

History

Understanding the past holds the key to unlocking your future. A degree in history provides the global perspective and skills in research, writing, and critical thinking required to succeed in numerous careers. Commonwealth University history graduates are employed in government, politics, law, business, public history, education, and more.

Degrees & Offerings
  • B.A.
Location
  • Bloomsburg
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
Department
College
Program Contact
Chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy / Associate Professor
Illustration of Mountain

Make History at CU

Studying the past illuminates how history has shaped the world we live in today.  As philosopher George Santayana observed, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. If anything holds the key to understanding warfare, famine, and social crises, it's the analysis and understanding of history." At Commonwealth University, our students develop historical awareness and acquire tools to interpret the past in meaningful ways. Through the lens of history, we cultivate empathy, critical thinking, and a profound appreciation for the diversity of human experiences.

Bachelor of Arts Program in History

The Bachelor of Arts Program in History is designed to provide a broad, balanced education in the discipline of history. Students will develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and written and oral communication through research and the application of their studies. Our faculty possesses attitudes and values conducive to life-long and continued learning, as well as to active and effective citizenship.

History graduates are prepared to enter diverse career fields including education, editing, publishing, business, archival management, foreign service, government, tourism, and historical preservation.  Combined with the appropriate courses, it provides a strong background for graduate programs in history, law, business, education, library science, and other fields.

This program teaches students the methods of historical investigation and introduces them to the various schools of historical interpretation. It includes introductory and advanced courses in American, European, and non-western history. The research and writing skills developed in this program open additional career opportunities in many fields. 

Course Delivery Format

  Bloomsburg

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Lock Haven

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Mansfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Clearfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

Courses and Curriculum

To provide diversity and a better understanding of the student's world, the History program requires two surveys in United States history, and two surveys in world or regional history. To facilitate understanding of the historian's craft, students must take Historical Methods and Capstone: Research and Writing Skills. The remaining 15 of the 39 academic credits for the major come from upper-level offerings, at least of which one course must be in United States, one in European, and one in non-western history.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

History Minor

Degree Requirements - Minor

Upon completion of the B.A. History degree program, students will be able to:

  1. Students build historical knowledge to interpret the context and impact of the past.
  2. Students explain multiplicity of perspective and causation in History and display empathy toward people in their historical context.
  3. Students identify, summarize, appraise, and synthesize other scholars’ historical arguments.
  4. Students develop critical research methods by creating historical questions, developing research strategies to answer them, collecting, organizing, and evaluating varying types of historical evidence.
  5. Students effectively communicate historical arguments and narratives through a variety of media by using arguments and evidence, synthesizing and interpreting the past ethically, and exhibiting understanding of conventions of the discipline.

Upon completion of the History minor, students will be able to: 

  1. Students build historical knowledge to interpret the context and impact of the past.
  2. Students explain multiplicity of perspective and causation in History and display empathy toward people in their historical context.
  3. Students identify, summarize, appraise, and synthesize other scholars’ historical arguments.
  4. Students develop critical research methods by creating historical questions, developing research strategies to answer them, collecting, organizing, and evaluating varying types of historical evidence.
  5. Students effectively communicate historical arguments and narratives through a variety of media by using arguments and evidence, synthesizing and interpreting the past ethically, and exhibiting understanding of conventions of the discipline. 
Commonwealth University History

Experiential Learning

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Career Placement

One in five history majors pursues a career in education, according to American Community Survey data, while 11% work in the legal field and 15% work in management. In fact, education, the legal field, and business make up around half of all careers with a history degree. They work in government, administration, and public services, fields that require strong communication and writing skills.

The study of history provides ideal preparation for careers or graduate study in law, public policy, business, theology, and education. Many recent graduates are employed in:

  • Government
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Secondary and Higher Education
  • Museums and Historical Societies
  • National Park Service
  • Cultural Heritage and Tourism
  • Historic Preservation and Consulting
  • Libraries and Archives
  • Foreign Service
  • Law
  • Editing and Publishing 

Your degree in History will have you prepared for success in one of our Commonwealth University graduate programs!

  • MBA Business Administration
  • M.Ed. College Student Affairs
  • M.Ed. Secondary Education
  • M.S. Information Technology
  • M.S. Instructional Design and Technology
  • M.S. Sport Management
  • MSW Master of Social Work

Other institutions our students have continued their education at include:

  • Appalachian State University, M.A. Public History
  • Baylor University, M.A. Museum Studies
  • Binghamton University, M.A. Anthropology
  • Boston University, Pardee School of Global Studies, M.A. International Affairs
  • Columbia University Teacher’s College, M.A. Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Duquesne University, M.A. Public and Applied History
  • Florida Atlantic University, M.Ed. Educational Leadership
  • Fordham University, J.D. School of Law
  • Johns Hopkins University, M.A. Museum Studies
  • Millersville University, M.A. History
  • Mississippi State University, M.A. History
  • Penn State University, J.D. Dickinson School of Law
  • Penn State University, M.Ed. Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling  
  • Penn State University, M.S. Homeland Security
  • Shippensburg University, M.A. Public Administration
  • Slippery Rock University, M.A. History
  • Tulane University, School of Architecture, M.A. Preservation Studies
  • University of Akron, M.Ed. Student Affairs
  • University of California, San Diego, Ph.D. History
  • University of Delaware, Ph.D. History
  • University of Kentucky, M.LS. Library Science
  • University of Maryland, M.Ed. Student Affairs
  • University of Maryland, Ph.D. History
  • University of Pittsburgh, M.A. Public and International Affairs
  • University of Pittsburgh, M.LS. Library Science
  • University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D. Middle Eastern Studies
  • University of Wisconsin, M.A. History
  • University of Wyoming, M.A. Anthropology
  • Villanova University, M.A. History
  • West Chester University, M.A. History 
  • Widener University, J.D. School of Law
  • Paul Clifford – AVP and CEO Alumni Association, Penn State University
  • Todd Arrington '94 – Site Administrator, James A. Garfield National Historic Site
  • Michelle Géczy ’94 – Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, The Berndt Group
  • Christina Zamon ’99 – Head of Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University
  • Aaron Hackman '05 – Director of Student Affairs, Nova Southeastern University
  • Patrick Velliky '08 – Vice President for Government Affairs, Envision Healthcare
  • Todd Wolinsky ‘09 – Social Studies Teacher, Central Columbia High School
  • Jerome Manley ‘10 – Executive Director of Early College Programs, Commonwealth University
  • Michael Sisto '10 – Visitor Services and Museum Shop Coordinator, Roberson Museum and Science Center
  • Marlie Manning '11 – Executive Director, Venango County Historical Society
  • Logan Hetherington ’15 – Associate, McNees Wallace and Nurick LLC
  • Elizabeth Miller ‘17 – Exhibition Research Coordinato, 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Sami Muscella '20 – Assistant Archaeologist, Camp Security 

From honorariums to full-tuition waivers, scholarships exist to reward your hard work and dedication to the major. Find more information here

This is the most prestigious award given by the Department of History at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg. It recognizes the outstanding graduating senior each academic year and is awarded based on academic performance, commitment to humanistic learning, and service to the department. 

This award is presented annually by the Department of History at CU-Bloomsburg to the student who submits the best research project in an upper-level history course completed during the calendar year. 

Douglas Miller Memorial Scholarships 
History major or minor; 3.0 GPA minimum 
Requires 500-750 word personal statement

Robert D. Warren Digital History Scholarship 
History major or minor; 3.25 GPA minimum 
Preference for career interest in/commitment to digital humanities, public history, or archival work

Mary A. Moore Taubel Scholarships, six awards 
Rising seniors, requires research paper on a historical topic and two letters of recommendation from Department of History faculty members 
Rising juniors, requires two letters of recommendation from Department of History faculty members 
Rising sophomores, requires one letter of recommendation from a Department of History faculty member

John J. Serff Memorial Scholarship 
Rising senior History or Education – Citizenship major

William A. Turnbach Scholarship 
Rising junior or senior major in History or Foreign Language(s) 
Preference for Hazleton, West Hazleton, Bishop Hafey graduates

Erma M. Hefferan Scholarship 
History or Education – Citizenship major; preference for students planning to teach

Erma M. Hefferan Study Abroad Scholarship 
History or Education – Citizenship major; preference for students planning to teach 

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Practical Learning

Internships

History faculty will work with you to develop a collaborative internship experience. Recent internship placements include:

  • Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
  • Office of Homeland Security of PA
  • National Constitutional Center
  • Congressman Chris Carney’s Office
  • Law Offices
  • The National Museum of the United States Navy
  • Eisenhower National Historic Site
  • International Security Intern, New America
  • Local/County Historical Societies
  • The Smithsonian Institute
  • The National Park Service
  • The Piper Aviation Museum

Internships in Washington, D.C. are available through Commonwealth University’s affiliation with The Washington Center (TWC).  

Clubs and Organizations

History Club

The History Club's purpose is to facilitate students' interest in history and to foster professional growth. It is open to all CU-Bloomsburg and CU-Mansfield students. The club meets frequently during each semester and plans activities that enhance history education on campus. They also explore local Pennsylvania history and its diverse cultures through day and weekend field trips. The organization's President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are elected by History Club membership. Contact an advisor for dates and times. The History Club is a great way to meet new people who are interested in history.

Social Science Club

This club, open to any CU-Lock Haven student, holds many activities both on and off campus. From fundraisers and documentary viewing parties to political forums and field trips, event highlights include:

  • Fundraiser benefiting refugees in Sudan and Darfur
  • Forums concerning election and health care issues
  • Halloween Ghost Walk highlighting CU-Lock Haven’s paranormal history

Typically, the club organizes an annual weekend-long trip to a historically or culturally significant location. Past destinations include:

  • Gettysburg
  • Pittsburgh
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore

Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

All three Commonwealth University campuses host chapters of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. To be eligible, a student must have completed twelve semester hours of History courses, achieved an overall QPA (Quality Point Average) of 3.0, and attained a QPA of 3.1 in all history courses. Invitations are mailed to eligible students at least once per year. Members are encouraged to participate in regional meetings. 

The CU Difference

Stepping Stone
Nearly half of the history majors identified by an American Community Survey went on to graduate school.
3+3
Accelerated program
agreement between CU-Bloomsburg and University of Pittsburgh
Unique Program Features
Diehl Center for Law School Preparation and Law School Advisory Board

Program Contacts

Bosworth

Jeff Bosworth

  • Chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy / Associate Professor
  • Mansfield
Holle Canatella headshot Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania

Holle Canatella

  • Associate Professor; Program Director – Lock Haven Honors
  • Lock Haven
CommonwealthU University Employee

Richard Goulet

  • Associate Professor of History, Political Science, International Studies, and Foreign Languages
  • Lock Haven
Oast

Jennifer Oast

  • Professor and Assistant Chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy
  • Bloomsburg
CommonwealthU University Employee

Robert Sandow

  • Professor/Chair, History, Politcal Science, International Studies, and Foreign Languages
  • Lock Haven
CommonwealthU University Employee

Laxman Satya

  • Professor, History, Political Science, International Studies, and Foreign Languages
  • Lock Haven

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