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History Major at Messiah College

Combine your love of learning with your desire to gain practical skills as you work toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at Messiah College, a nationally ranked Christian college. Our progressive curriculum integrates faith and intellect, and trains students to meet society’s needs for skilled critical thinkers, writers and decision-makers. Our program creates a new type of history student: one who excels in the classroom through academic engagement, and, simultaneously, demonstrates the practical applications of a history degree.

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distinctives

What Makes Our Program Different?

  • Our faculty, student interaction

    As a history student, you are guaranteed a close relationship with your professors. Our faculty are scholars and authors, but are also friends and mentors who have a genuine interest in helping students discover a world of opportunities in the field of history.

  • Our emphasis on career prep and experiential learning

    Every history student is required to complete an experiential learning component, which can range from studying abroad, to interning, to student teaching. And, we diligently work with our Career and Professional Development Center to connect you with the resources you need to prepare for interviews and employment opportunities. We also incorporate class requirements that purposely help you focus on career development, and have intentional career advising meetings and guides that help you prepare for your future job.

  • Our nationally recognized digital history program

    The History department at Messiah College is a leader among Christian colleges in combining the study of history with the application of digital technology. You’ll study classic historical texts, and you’ll also design computer-based historical maps through projects such as the Digital Harrisburg project. You’ll learn historical periods, and will create a public history campaign proposal or participate in an archaeological dig as part of a cross-cultural course in Cyprus. And through it all, you’ll get to work in the field of history before you’ve even graduated.

  • Our Center for Public Humanities

    As a history major, you’ll have the opportunity to be part of the Center for Public Humanities, which implements innovative programs, events and initiatives that engage the broader community in meaningful inquiry, conversation and action. The Center brings together students, faculty and community members discovering what it means to be dynamic partners in the most important civic, scientific and cultural conversations and issues of the 21st century.

  • Our innovative curriculum

    We’re also one of the only Christian college history degree programs in the country to offer a public history concentration and an administrative studies concentration!

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Courses and curriculum

What will I learn?

As a history major, you can choose to pursue a general history course of study, or you can pick a concentration in American history, classical and medieval European history, modern European history, public history, administrative studies or world history. You can also participate in our successful teacher education program and earn your social studies teaching certificate for grades 7-12. No matter what you choose, you’ll leave Messiah College with an exceptional knowledge of the past and the skills to help you succeed in your future career path.  

What courses will I take?

Beginning your first year, you’ll take core courses in the history major that will prepare you for upper division classes in the concentration of your choice. Throughout the bachelor degree program, you’ll get to choose from a variety of classes, some of which are listed below.

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Careers and outcomes

Want to be a teacher? What about a museum curator? How about furthering a business through fundraising or marketing? A history major can prepare you for any one of these careers, among many others. The transferable competencies you learn through this program such as reading comprehension, analysis, critical thinking, storytelling and communication skills prepare you to take your knowledge and apply it to your specific interests. Just take a look at where some of our alumni have gone—prestigious graduate schools, dream jobs—each uniquely prepared to succeed with their history degree.

Jobs Held by Alumni

  • Archival assistant
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Museum curator
  • Pastor
  • Philanthropy director
  • Reporter
  • Social studies teacher
  • Vice president for sales
  • White House staff

Graduate Schools Attended by Alumni

  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • New York University
  • Penn State University
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Virginia
  • Villanova University
  • Yale University

Alumni Success

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Our Faculty

The history faculty at Messiah College are a passionate team of nationally recognized educators, scholars and practitioners who are dedicated to helping you discover the past, embrace the present and prepare for the future. They hold doctoral degrees from prestigious institutions and are experts in a variety of discipline sub-fields such as public history, American history, digital history, medieval studies, world history and historical archaeology. Combining their critical faithfulness with enthusiasm for the subjects they love, they’ll prepare you to be part of a new generation of historians while thoughtfully guiding you along the way. 

Their experience in instructing, writing, publishing and practicing history also translates into ample opportunities for you to get involved in notable learning opportunities both in and outside of the classroom. 

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“Each of us brings expertise, knowledge and connections at the highest level of the discipline whether it’s ideas, theories, practices or, sometimes, personal connections. We love our students, we want to care for them, and so we try to take all of that really top-level expertise and diligently share it with students.” Jim LaGrand, professor of American history
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