History is the oldest liberal arts discipline and retains its value today in forming versatile, well-rounded individuals with the core analytic communication, critical thinking, and research skills that are in demand in today’s rapidly changing world. The knowledge and skills gained in the History program at Penn State Behrend provide the foundation for success in graduate or law school, as well as careers in business and other fields.
The program provides a solid foundation in American, European, and non- Western history and anthropology through introductory courses in the first years of study. After mastering the basics, students proceed to specialized advanced courses in which they study a specific topic or period in depth. At this point, students work closely with highly trained faculty to develop a research program and conduct their own historical research. The history program awards an endowed prize for the year’s best student research paper. Students also regularly present their research at conferences and some have published their work.
In addition to coursework, the program offers opportunities for students to embark on independent study to complete original research projects or gain hands-on public history experience by interning with a history-related institution. Students have the option to study abroad and have spent summers at universities in England and Germany, and at an archaeological dig in Petra, Jordan.
Penn State Behrend also has an agreement with Edinboro University that allows political science and history majors to obtain Pennsylvania teacher certification in secondary social studies.