Dr. Joe Belein, History faculty member

History is the oldest liberal arts discipline. Study of the past will inspire your future, because the talents of a well-rounded History major—confident communicator, critical thinker, and effective researcher and writer—are greatly valued in our rapidly changing world.

You’ll also study human behavior across time and cultures, an important starting point for success in a global economy.

History is excellent preparation for graduate or law school. But you’ll also find History majors in any field you choose to pursue. For example, recent Penn State Behrend History graduates are employed in business, education, law, industry, pastoral ministry, state and local government, law enforcement, library and museum management, the military, and information technology—a diverse and exciting list of occupations. If you are interested in a teaching career, the college has an agreement with Edinboro University of Pennsylvania that can fast-track your completion of Pennsylvania teacher certification in middle-level or secondary social studies.


Why Penn State Behrend?

The School of Humanities and Social Science’s 14:1 average faculty to student ratio in upper-division classes means that you will enjoy mentoring relationships with your professors. But because Behrend is a four-year and graduate college of Penn State, you’ll also have access to the opportunities and resources of a preeminent global research university.

After foundational study in American, European, and non-Western history and anthropology, you’ll move on to specialized courses and study a specific topic or period in depth. At this point, you’ll also work closely with a faculty mentor to develop your own research project. (Penn State Behrend awards nearly $350,000 a year in undergraduate research grants; having your research funded at the undergraduate level is unusual and highly impressive to graduate school admissions counselors.) You’ll vie for the History program’s annual endowed John Rossi Research Prize for the best student research paper, and have opportunities to present your work at conferences. Some History students even have their research published in professional journals.

History majors can study abroad for a semester, for a summer, or over spring break, and frequently assist at an archaeological dig in Petra, Jordan, that is supervised by a Penn State Behrend faculty member.


Contact Dr. Leigh-Ann Bedal, Program Chair of History, with any questions (lxb41@psu.edu/814-898-6070).

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