Gain historical perspective to help guide your future career.
Earn your bachelor’s degree in history and gain a comprehensive understanding of the past while you develop important analytical skills—like research, writing, communication, source evaluation, critical thinking, and analysis—that will enable you to succeed in a wide variety of careers. You also have the flexibility to earn your degree fully online, so you can learn from anywhere while balancing work, life, and school.
Your history degree can help you prepare for a teaching career. Become a creative, engaging, and innovative educator with a rich and rigorous background in history in our optional teacher licensure program for middle and secondary education (grades 5–12).
- On campus or online
- Affordable tuition
- 45 credits
- Time to completion: 4 years
A versatile history degree that will stand the test of time.
Approved and accredited educator preparation
The Westfield State University program for licensure for teachers of history has been recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies. Our educator preparation programs are also approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).
Get personalized advising from expert department faculty who are as invested in your success as you are. Plus, your coursework includes faculty–student research collaboration, so you will directly benefit from their expertise and experience.
Our extensive range of courses enables you to choose classes that relate to your interests and goals. In addition to survey courses in U.S. History, World History, and Western Experience, our faculty teach over 35 different specialized electives covering topics like U.S. Women’s History, the Modern Middle East, Contemporary Africa, and more.
The undergraduate history major is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the past while teaching important skills, including research, writing, communication, source evaluation, critical thinking, and analysis that enable students to succeed in a wide variety of careers. The department believes that a historical perspective is valuable in nearly every profession.
History provides the essential background for understanding the roots of social issues and current global problems to build a deeper understanding of our contemporary world by studying the past and present.
The department’s mission supports that of the university in a number of areas, including providing quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and cultivating academic excellence through curriculum that emphasizes scholarly writing and research. We provide training and the development of skills that can lead to graduates becoming responsible leaders in the greater community as well as engaged citizens.
The Westfield State University History Department strives to be the premier institution in the Northeast region for the study of History and History Education through its commitment to student engagement and success.
- Ensure that history majors develop historical knowledge, awareness, perspective, and understanding.
- Provide instruction and guidance to enable majors to develop and apply historical research and writing skills.
- Enable history majors to develop critical thinking and analysis skills that allow them to critique historical sources and arguments, understand standard and varied forms of historical expression, produce and express their own historical interpretations, and synthesize historical material in written and verbal forms.
- Encourage majors to develop a sense of civic responsibility and social justice in preparation for global citizenship.
What jobs can you get with a history degree?
History provides the essential background for understanding the roots of social issues, current global problems, and more. Your history degree will allow you to build your career in areas such as:
- Research, Law, Activism
- Historic Preservation
- Investment Counseling
- Non-Profit Organizations
Requirements for the History Major - 45 Credits
Required Major Core - 27 Credits
Students must earn at least 21 of their history credits from Westfield State University.
- HIST 0131 - United States History and Government to 1865
- HIST 0132 - United States History and Government 1865 - Present
- HIST 0101 - Western Experience I
- HIST 0102 - Western Experience II
- HIST 0113 - World History to 1600
- HIST 0114 - Modern World History
- HIST 0121 - The Historian
- HIST 0202 - Introduction to Historical Research and Analysis
- HIST 0395 - Senior Seminar
- or HIST 0332 - Methods of Teaching History: Middle and Secondary (for students seeking Licensure for Teacher of History)
History Distribution Electives - 18 Credits
Student must select six history electives totaling at least 18 credits. Students may not select more than four courses from any one area of history (United States, European, or World) in fulfilling this requirement.
Students must complete at least two electives at the 0300-level. A three-credit internship may be used to fulfill one 200-level elective course. Students may not take more than two independent study courses. Students who are considering graduate school strongly are encouraged to take a foreign language.
Students interested in teacher licensure MUST meet with the program director, to ensure that they enroll in courses which meet the requirements of that program.
Get big-school features with small-school advantages.
We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support.
You’ll join fellow motivated students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.
of faculty hold doctorates
in 35+ countries
Accessible faculty and personalized attention
As a history major at Westfield State University, you’ll benefit from the expertise of both our history and philosophy faculty. Every history class has 30 students (or fewer) and the advisor-to-advisee ratio is 1:12. You’ll receive one-on-one, specialized attention to help you succeed and meet your academic and professional preparation goals. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to work and study alongside your professors, giving you a unique first-hand learning experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Westfield State University accredited?
Westfield State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The Westfield State University program for licensure for teachers of history has been recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies. Our educator preparation programs are also approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP).
Do I have to submit SAT/ACT scores or an essay when I apply?
Westfield State University does not require an application essay, SAT and/or ACT scores, or letters of recommendation (except for special program admissions).
All first-year applicants are reviewed for admission based on their high school record. First-year applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) in order to qualify for admission to a state university.
Learn more about the application process and admissions here.
How much does Westfield State University cost?
Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost — with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more.
Will I receive academic support?
We’re invested in your success. Whether you need a little help adjusting to college, study strategies, tutoring, or disability services, the team at the Academic Achievement Department is ready to help. Our mission is to provide you with the tools to explore academic opportunities as well as to plot strategies for continued growth.
Learn more about our student support services here.
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Prepare for your career.
Gain career-relevant experience through internships off campus at museums, libraries, historic sites, and more. You can gain additional hands-on experience through the History Department’s Historical Journal of Massachusetts, History Club, Military Club, and Phi Alpha Theta—the National History Honor Society.
Related Programs, Majors, or Minors
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