History Major at Messiah College
At Messiah College, you’ll find there’s much more to a history degree than memorizing dates and facts.
In fact, a signature component of our nationally recognized history degree program at Messiah College is the intentional integration of classical historic study and progressive hands-on projects both in and outside the classroom. We’re confident that throughout the history program, you’ll find plenty of ways to link what you’re learning in the classroom with applied experience.
History major distinctives
As a history major at Messiah College, you’ll be able to:
- Intern with state and federal government offices, archives, public history organizations, museums, institutions of historic preservation and law firms.
- Participate in Messiah's cutting-edge public history programming.
- Study abroad in England, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, India and China. Or, consider studying in our nation’s capital.
- Delve into our library’s substantial history collection, computer-based bibliographic and statistical resources, up-to-date set of major monographs in each historical field and a far-reaching interlibrary loan system.
- Pursue independent studies and, if you qualify, undertake a major honors project under faculty supervision.
- Complete a minor in English, economics, journalism, communication, languages, business and/or politics.
- Take challenging and thought-provoking courses such as the Wild, Wild West, Social Movements in Twentieth-Century America, Greco-Roman Society and Culture, Modern Civilizations of Asia, and The History of Africa, among others.
- Join Phi Alpha Theta, one of the oldest national honor societies in America, or the History Club.
- Study history grounded in the ethics of historical Christianity.
Career options for history majors
- Museum workers
- Nonprofit workers
- Public policy experts
- Sales specialists
- Business executives
For more information on career planning for the history program, visit the Messiah College Career and Professional Development Center.
Internship and teaching opportunities for history majors
Messiah’s nationally recognized program places students in a variety of history internships. A few examples include:
- Library of Congress
- Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
- The Hershey Story Museum
- Gettysburg National Military Park
- African-American Historical Museum
- Office of former U.S. senator Rick Santorum
- National Baseball Hall of Fame
- Litigation division of CIA
- Students completing the social studies teaching certification complete the required student teaching experience during their senior year.
Engaging the present through the past
Your history degree coursework covers a wide range of historical periods and subjects around the world, ranging from American history, to the history of Europe, ancient Rome, India and Africa. Many students explore these countries firsthand by participating in a three-week cross cultural course or a semester-long study abroad experience. Some even complete an archaeological dig in Cyprus.
Closer to home, you’ll delve into the history of nearby Harrisburg, Pennsylvania through Urban History and Public History courses. You may even find yourself creating a digital historical map, an app, or a public history campaign. We’re one of the only Christian college history degree programs in the country to offer a public history concentration and an administrative studies concentration.
The history major also allows room for you to pursue additional studies. Many students complete a second major or a minor, and you’ll also be required to complete an experiential learning experience, which could include a research project, student teaching, an internship or one of the study abroad experiences listed above.
Prepare for a fulfilling career
Throughout your time in our history program, you’ll prepare for a rewarding career in teaching, government, law, business, museums and archives, historic preservation, public history, journalism and more. And, by learning about history in the Christian liberal arts tradition, you’ll cultivate important skills such as critical thinking, excellent writing and methods of research.
Earn your teaching certificate
If you are interested in becoming a history or social studies teacher at the secondary level (grades 7–12), you can also apply to Messiah’s Teacher Education Program. Combining your history degree with the teacher education requirements for the state of Pennsylvania, you’ll earn certification in social studies. History major courses are supported by courses in economics, politics, anthropology, sociology and more to prepare you to be a competent and confident social studies teacher.
Take history as a minor
History can also be taken as an 18-credit minor.