History, B.A. (Liberal Arts)

Program Code: HIST_BA

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

World Campus

Direct Admission to the Major

Incoming first-year students who meet the program admission requirements are admitted directly into the major. Admission restrictions may apply for change-of-major and/or change-of-campus students.

For more information about the admission process for this major, please send a request to the college, campus, or program contact (listed in the Contact tab).

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in History, a minimum of 123 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 18
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 36

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. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

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 Keystone/General Education Course 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.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 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.

Cultures Requirement    

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.​

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HIST 302WUndergraduate Seminar3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select one sequence of the following:6
Western Civilization I Keystone/General Education Course
and Western Civilization II Keystone/General Education Course
World History to 1500 Keystone/General Education Course
and World History since 1500 Keystone/General Education Course
American Civilization to 1877 Keystone/General Education Course
and American Civilization Since 1877 Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 12 credits, in consultation with an adviser, at the 100-200-level, one course from each of the following field categories: Europe, United States, Global, Pre-Modern 112
Select 3 credits at the 100-400-level3
Select 12 credits at the 400-level, at least one course which must be in Global History12

Integrated B.A. in History and M.A. in History

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Requirements for the Integrated B.A. in History and M.A. in History can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Apply a critical lens to the study of the past, understanding that history is not simply an account of what happened but the result of a process of interpretation and contextualization.
  2. Analyze the complex causality of past events, articulating how and why past events are affected by a variety of causes and influences—including, but not limited to, political, economic, religious, social, and environmental conditions and/or changes.
  3. Demonstrate chronological thinking, making sense of the past through periodization, and tracking patterns of change and continuity over time.
  4. Evaluate and interpret both primary and secondary source materials, judging credibility, reconstructing historical context, and making inferences about genre, audience, perspective, and purpose.
  5. Create historical arguments on the basis of evidence, in ways consistent with standards of academic integrity.

Academic Advising

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.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
http://starfish.psu.edu
http://www.la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/education/majors-and-minors

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Abington

Sharon Holt
Program Chair, History
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7807
sxh73@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

University Park 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
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ENGL 137H, CAS 137H, or ESL 153HIST SURVEY COURSE II*3
HIST SURVEY COURSE I*3GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3
WORLD LANGUAGE LEVEL 13GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE (GQ)3
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE (GQ)3WORLD LANGUAGE LEVEL 23
 15 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CAS 1003100/200 LEVEL HIST COURSE*3
100/200 LEVEL HIST COURSE*3100/200 LEVEL HISTORY COURSE*3
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3GENERAL EDUCATION CURSE3
WORLD LANGUAGE LEVEL 34B.A. KNOWLEDGE DOMAIN3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
HIST 302W3ENGL 202B3
100/200 LEVEL HIST COURSE*3100/200/LEVEL HIST COURSE*3
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3400 LEVEL HIST COURSE*3
B.A. KNOWLEDGE DOMAIN3GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE3
ELECTIVE3ELECTIVE3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
400 LEVEL HIST COURSE*3400 LEVEL HIST COURSE*3
400 LEVEL HIST COURSE*3HEALTH AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY1.5
OTHER CULTURES3ELECTIVE3
B.A. KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS3ELECTIVE3
ELECTIVE3ELECTIVE3
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY1.5 
 16.5 13.5
Total Credits 121

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University 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.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

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.

Career Paths

Penn State History majors have enjoyed success in a wide variety of fields. They are found in careers that relate to the major, such as historic preservation, museum work, and education; a healthy representation of our majors go on to law school and graduate school. However, it is not unusual to find former history majors in areas that might not immediately come to mind. Penn State history majors can be found in architecture, software development, web development, banking, federal government work, and the Peace Corps, to name just a few. They tend to do well because their basic skills are sound.

Careers

  • Law
  • Secondary Teaching
  • Historic Preservation
  • Governmental Organizations
  • United Nations Organizations
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Industry Leaders

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE HISTORY PROGRAM

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
108 Weaver Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-1367
ele2@psu.edu

https://history.la.psu.edu/

World Campus

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
108 Weaver Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-6203
lrd131@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-history-bachelor-of-arts-degree/overview

Abington

DIVISION OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7807
sxh73@psu.edu

http://abington.psu.edu/history