It allows you to understand the context — social, political, cultural, economic, religious, intellectual, etc. — in which you live. Studying history frees the student from the confines of mere local awareness. Learning history, any history, necessarily and automatically broadens the mind and opens the soul.
As a History major, you will take courses in the history of the United States, Europe, and the wider world. In addition to lecture and discussion courses, students take junior and a senior seminar in historical research and writing. See degree requirements for details. Regular advising conferences are one-on-one. Faculty policy is open-door. Courses are taught by:
History majors at DeSales enjoy a wide array of opportunities for study abroad. Travel-study hybrid courses take our students to Ireland, Germany, Austria, Brazil, and South Africa. Through the DeSales Study Abroad in Rome Program, you'll have the opportunity to spend a semester studying in Italy during your junior year, at the same cost as a term at DeSales.
You may also receive credit for applied internships. In the past, history students have worked in archives in London, on archaeological digs in Rome, and with a United States Congressman.
If you intend to pursue a career in teaching history in public schools, you can obtain state certification through a joint program with the Department of Education. You will take courses to prepare your for Pennsylvania's teacher examinations, and in the second semester of the senior year you will teach in a local high school instead of taking classes. When you graduate, you will have both the Bachelor's degree and state certification. This program can be completed in four years.
Studying history is excellent preparation for law school. The JD is one of the most versatile graduate degrees in the United States today. Our graduates have gone on to study law at Catholic University of America, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, and St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota — in some cases with full scholarships!
History majors with an excellent high school record may apply in their first year to participate in the Faith and Reason Honors Program. All history majors who attain a GPA of 3.5 or higher have the option to write a senior thesis in their final two semesters of study. Those students who attain a GPA of 3.1 may apply to join the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society at DeSales University.
DeSales history graduates go on to:
- study at law school and pursue graduate degrees in History and Public History at universities such as Villanova, New York State, and Pennsylvania State
- work for government agencies and NGO’s, private companies, local banks, and non-profits
- work in the fields of journalism, marketing, and business
- teachinour record for placement in Pennsylvania school districts is excellent.
- What Can I Do With This Major?
We take our role to uphold the Catholic and Salesian Mission of DeSales University seriously. History faculty endeavor to incorporate the teachings of Saint Francis DeSales directly into all classes and programs. We strive for professionalism without pride. Our standards are rigorous, but their application is humane. It is in the spirit of Christian humanism that we support the search for truth in a curriculum that is international and multicultural in character.