At which campus can I study this program?
The B.A. degree program in History focuses on the study of the evolution of American and European institutions. This program enables students to pursue history in the traditional mode as a study of written records.
What is History?
History is an interdisciplinary field that offers a unique analytical perspective on the world. To understand history, we not only need to understand politics and war, but also the significance of cultural, religious, social, and intellectual developments. The study of history provides a breadth of knowledge and an understanding of diverse perspectives. This diversity includes the opportunity to incorporate anthropology, the scientific study of humanity, into their coursework. A history major will not only enable a student to have a better comprehension of the development of today's complex world, but will also help a student develop a range of skills that are applicable in a wide variety of careers, including education, law, museum studies, and business.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You are looking for a degree program where you can develop highly marketable research, writing, and communication skills.
- You want your degree to satisfy your love of history and anthropology and expand your awareness of global cultures.
- You are eager to improve your historical knowledge to help you better understand the development and significance of current events.
- You are looking for a major that pairs well with a diverse array or even double majors.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have at least third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in History, a minimum of 124 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
|Requirements for the Major
3 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 3 credits of General Education GWS courses.
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned.
Requirements for the Major
Each student must earn at least a grade of C in each 300- and 400-level course in the major field.
To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences
|or ENGL 202B
|Effective Writing: Writing in the Humanities
|Western Civilization I
|or HIST 10
|World History to 1500
|Select three of the following:
|Western Civilization I
|Western Civilization II
|World History to 1500
|World History since 1500
|American Civilization to 1877
|American Civilization Since 1877
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
|Scope and Methods of History
|or HIST 302W
|Select 12 credits of the following:
HIST at the 400-level
|Intermediate Field Methods
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas
|Select 3 credits in each of the area categories: United States, Europe, and World from school-approved list
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required and Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
Breadth in the Knowledge Domains (Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)
- Arts (GA): 3 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 3 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits
- Inter-Domain Courses (Inter-Domain): 6 credits
- GN, may be completed with Inter-Domain courses: 3 credits
- GA, GH, GN, GS, Inter-Domain courses. This may include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the 12th credit level or the requirements for the student’s degree program, whichever is higher: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
Program Learning Objectives
- Master historical thinking: To master historical thinking, students must be able to recount and explain the course of events and the relationships between the forces that influenced the ways events unfolded. They need to be able to present events in chronological order, demonstrate a basic understanding of cause and effect among the events they are assessing, and explain the historical significance of their research topic.
- Master historical and historiographic analysis: To master historical and historiographic analysis, students must be able to analyze multiple sources for an historical event or issue for their differing perspectives, to assess why they agree or disagree, and to explain how the differing perspectives can inform our understanding of the event and the study of history. The skills required to master historical and historiographic analysis include the development of critical reading skills, the ability to discern bias or prejudice, the ability to evaluate contradictory data and claims, and the ability to effectively utilize quotes.
- Demonstrate historical research capabilities built upon the analysis of primary and secondary sources: To master the use of sources in historical research, students must first be able to locate relevant historical records from the time period being studied (primary sources) as well as scholarly research that analyzes and interprets those primary sources and/or the historical topic being studied, and to apply both categories of sources in their papers. While both primary and secondary sources must be utilized, students are expected to base their own analysis and interpretation on the content of the primary sources.
- Demonstrative skills in effective written communication: To master written communication, students must be able to express their findings in a clear and articulate manner. They are expected to construct a thesis statement and then advance their thesis through a series of well-developed paragraphs and examples. They should connect each section of their paper with appropriate transitions, while avoiding grammatical errors that detract from their argument. Finally, they need to complete their paper with a short, crisp conclusion.
The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Amy Carney, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Erie, PA 16563
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2023-24 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contains suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
History, B.A. at Erie Campus
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|First Year Seminar
|HIST 10, 2, or 21
|HIST 11, 1, or 20
|Foreign Language Level Two
|Foreign Language Level One
|European History Course
|ENGL 202A or 202B†‡
|HIST 20, 1, or 11
|HIST 21, 2, or 10
|Foreign Language Level Three
|Non-Western History or Anthropology Course
|400-level HIST course*
|American History Course
|400-level HIST or ANTH course*
|400-level HIST or ANTH course*
|400-level HIST or ANTH course
|BA Knowledge Domain
|BA Knowledge Domain
|BA Knowledge Domain
|Total Credits 124-125
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy Cultural Diversity Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ), Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS) and Integrative Studies (Inter-domain) requirements. N or Q (Honors) is the suffix at the end of a course number used to help identify an Inter-domain course, but the inter-domain attribute is used to fill audit requirements. Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of 'C' or better.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
Foreign Language Level One
This requirement is governed by a placement dictated by the number of levels of foreign language completed prior to admission to college.
European History Course
For European, Non-Western and American History Courses see program-approved lists.
BA Knowledge Domain
Students are permitted to complete all 9 credits in any one of six domains or a combination thereof, but courses may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major. The six domains are Arts (GA), Humanities (GH), Social & Behavioral Sciences (GS), Natural Sciences (GN), Quantification (GQ) and Foreign Language if the coursework is in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit proficiency of the first foreign language. Student's primary major.
Academic Advising Notes: The course series listed above is only one of many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The number of electives required varies per student. Please be sure to consult with an adviser about your intended plan.
Penn State Behrend has a comprehensive support system to help you identify and achieve your goals for college and beyond. Meet with your academic adviser often, talk with your history professors, and take advantage of the services offered by the Academic and Career Planning Center beginning in your first semester.
History is the foundation for many interesting career paths. Recent Penn State Behrend History graduates are employed in education, law, state and local government, parks management, law enforcement, library and museum management, business, industry, ministry, the military, and information technology—a diverse and exciting set of occupations.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
Recent Penn State Behrend History graduates have pursued advanced education in history, law, secondary education, and library studies. The universities they’ve attended include University of Delaware, University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, West Virginia University, University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University, Marquette University, Michigan State University, Mercyhurst University, Duquesne University, SUNY Buffalo, University College London, and Scotland’s University of Edinburgh.
If you are interested in a teaching career, you can fast-track your completion of Pennsylvania teacher certification in middle-level or secondary social studies through Penn State Behrend’s agreement with Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
170 Irvin Kochel Center
4951 College Drive
Erie, PA 16563