Bachelor of Arts in History (B.A.)

Daphne Veitch, History Major

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). 

Program Highlights

  • On campus or online 
  • History and Military History Club
  • Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society
  • Historical Journal of Massachusetts

Learn from the past. Guide the future.

Are you ready to start earning your history degree?

A versatile history degree that will stand the test of time.

  • Outdoor metal world global sculpture

    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).  

  • One-on-one attention 

    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.  

  • Customized coursework 

    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. 

Program Details

Program Mission

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 program 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 program’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. 

Program Vision

Westfield State University 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. 

Learning Outcomes

OBJECTIVE 1: History majors will develop historical knowledge, awareness, perspective, and understanding.     

OBJECTIVE 2: History majors will develop critical thinking and analysis skills that enable 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.

OBJECTIVE 3: History majors will develop a sense of civic responsibility and social justice in preparation for global citizenship.

As a history major, I learned how to navigate complex historical events and contrast them to modern issues for problem solving.  The discipline taught me proper comprehensive analysis and writing techniques that greatly assisted me in my post-graduate studies of law; it really did set me up for success.

Jeremy Forgue, ’16

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: 

  • Education
  • Management
  • Research, Law, Activism
  • Administration
  • Museums/Archives
  • Historic Preservation
  • Politics/Government
  • Investment Counseling
  • Non-Profit Organizations
female professional presenter with screen behind

Ready to learn more?

Course Requirements

Requirements for the History Major - 45 Credits

Required Major Core - 27 Credits

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.

Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core.

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.

  • 15:1

    student-faculty ratio

  • 92%+

    of faculty hold doctorates

  • Study abroad

    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. 

Eleven History Department faculty members smiling in group photo. Six are standing and five are sitting.

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.

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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Bachelor of Arts in History (B.A.)