The History Program

Study history at Saint Vincent College and you will do more than read textbooks. You will make video documentaries, travel to historic sites, reenact famous trials, do research in archives all over America and abroad, visit museums, and create gallery exhibits. You will work with faculty experts in American, British, European, East Asian, and Latin American history.
You will write your own history and share it with students and faculty from campuses across the region. You will go on to a career in the classroom, the courtroom, the archives, the board room, or on board our nation’s naval vessels. Study history at Saint Vincent College and you will embark on a lifetime of learning and adventure.


What Can I Do With a Major in History?

Studying history at Saint Vincent College will develop students both personally and professionally. History majors

  • are part of a diverse community of young men and women who learn and develop skills that prepare them to understand the world and succeed in life.
  • work closely with supportive and distinguished faculty throughout your their four years at the college, benefiting from their personal tutelage.
  • complete research in exciting, far-away places such as London, Scotland, Spain, China, Italy, Greece, South Africa, and Ireland, as well as in Washington, D.C. and states from California, New Mexico and Florida to New York, Illinois and many others.
  • plan and carry out professional historical exhibits at locations all around campus. Student exhibits occupy space in Placid Hall, the Saint Vincent Gristmill, and in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery.

The benefits of being a history major don’t end with graduation. With a degree in history from Saint Vincent College in hand, our graduates

  • go on to graduate school at prestigious schools such as: Villanova University, George Washington University, Michigan State University, Kings College, London, University of Leeds, England, North Carolina State University, Lehigh University, West Virginia University, Duquesne University, University of Washington, American University and Drexel University among many others.
  • study law at Indiana University, Bloomington, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Washington and Lee University, University of Dayton and many others
  • teach at school districts around the country, including such places as Los Angeles, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, as well as more local districts such as Latrobe, Seneca Valley, Peters Township, Derry
  • begin successful careers in a variety of fields, including banking, manufacturing, museums and archives, and federal, state, and local governments, as well as a myriad of others.
History Major Requirements

The History major consists of 36 credits. The remaining balance of the 124 credits required for graduation can be composed of electives, or courses required for one or more minors or a second major. Students should choose electives in consultation with their major adviser.

Major Requirements (36 credits)

Area Studies
History majors are required to complete three of the following areas for a total of 18 credits at the 100 (introductory) level:
HI 102 and 103 (6 credits)
Western Civilization I: Ancient Greece and Rome & Western Civilization II: Medieval and Early Modern Europe
HI 104 and 105 (6 credits)
Contemporary Europe I & Contemporary Europe II
HI 106 and 107 (6 credits)
Topics in U.S. History to 1865 & Topics in U.S. History since 1865
HI 108 and 109 (6 credits)
Traditional East Asian Societies & Modern East Asian Societies
HI 110 and 111 (6 credits)
English History to 1485 & English History: 1485 to Present
HI 123 and 124 (6 credits)
Global History I & Global History II

Upper Division History Classes
History majors must take three courses (9 credits) from the 200 level class offerings.

Majors only courses
History majors will be required to take
HI 300: The Historian’s Profession in either the fall or spring of their your sophomore year;
HI 301: Junior Research Seminar in their your junior year; and
HI 302: Senior Writing Seminar in the fall of their your senior year.

Non-Western Course Requirement
The history major is required to take one course that is designated non-Western. This is not an additional course, but should be fulfilled by careful selection of either area studies or upper division courses.
Courses that are designated as non-Western include:
HI 108, HI 109, HI 123, HI 124, HI 208, HI 209, HI 224, HI 232, HI 233, HI 245, HI 270,
HI 280, HI 281.
Most non-Western courses will be offered on a two to four year rotation, so students should be
aware of what is available in any given academic year. For an updated list of non-Western
courses, consult with your adviser.

Teacher Preparation for Elementary and Secondary Certifications
Requirements for Certification in Secondary Social Studies (grades 7-12)
In addition to a major in History and fulfillment of the Core Curriculum, the certification candidate must satisfy the requirements of the Education Department of Saint Vincent College.

Minor in History
A minor in History consists of 18 credit hours. Six of these credit hours are in fulfillment of the Core Curriculum requirements. The remaining 12 credit hours may be taken from any of the 100 or 200 level courses that the History Department offers. The Department requires that three (3) of the 18 credits be at the 200 (intermediate) level.

Minor in Public History
The minor in Public History consists of 21 credit hours.
Required courses are: HI 201, HI 202, HI 550 (to be taken in that order) and HI 306 and HI 258.
The remaining credits may come from the following course options: AN 230, AR 280, AR 310, HI 307, HI 254. The option list may change as new courses are developed. Check with the department chair or your adviser for the most current list.
Recommended courses that would be a good complement to the minor include: HI 106, HI 107, HI 233, AR 102 and AR 200. HI 201 and HI 202 cannot fulfill history major requirements.

Interdisciplinary Courses
Some semesters, the History Department may offer interdisciplinary or cross-listed courses. Students are urged to consult the course listings for each semester on the availability of these courses.

History majors interested in pursuing law as a career should discuss this with their academic advisor in the History Department.

In addition, history majors are eligible to participate in a cooperative program between Saint Vincent College and Duquesne Law School that allows them bachelor's degree and Juris Doctorate degree in six years. In this program, qualified students who complete their first three years of study at Saint Vincent, fulfilling the Core Curriculum requirements and the requirements for the major, may transfer into the Law Program and complete the requirements for the Juris Doctor in three years. For details, see the explanation of this program in the Pre-Law section of the Saint Vincent Bulletin.

Student Work and Researchhistory-student-work
Student Work and Research in History

Each of our history majors will write a thesis during their junior and senior years. These theses result from independent research that students design and carry out, often with the support of funds garnered through the A.J. Palumbo Undergraduate Research grant program. 

In recent years, our students have traveled to archives in Spain, England, India, Italy, China, Washington, D.C., New York City and the American Southwest for their research.

History students at Saint Vincent College are regularly invited to present their research at numerous conferences, including the Western Pennsylvania Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference. Our students also present their research at the Annual Academic Conference at Saint Vincent College each year. Past presentations include:

  • Bob Gibson, Our Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You: An Examination of the Continuing Effects of Race in Baseball, by Sean Malone (C’14)
  • A Survey of Digital History and How Historians of Today Utilize its Capabilities,
    by Kelsey Harris (C’15)
  • Child Survivors of the Holocaust Reintegration into Society: Orphanages or Displaced Persons’ Camps, by Lauren Stanley (C’14)
  • The Existence of the Female Poisoner in Medieval England, by Michelle Koenig (C’14)
  • The Samurai in Myth, Modernity and Media, by Matt Petro (C’14)
History Internships and Careers

Internships are a valuable resource, and a way to apply classroom knowledge to the professional world. History Majors at Saint Vincent College have completed internships at a wide range of places, such as: 

  • the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh 
  • Historic Deerfield in western Massachusetts
  • the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., 
  • the Merchant’s House Museum in New York City 
  • Gettysburg National Battlefield Park 
  • Fort Necessity in western Pennsylvania 
  • Westmoreland County locations such as the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, the Westmoreland County Historical Society and Historic Hanna’s Town
  • Nearly a half-dozen locations on campus.

These internships, along with their class work, prepare our history students for a career in a variety of historical fields. Some of the current careers of our students include:

  • Professors of History at Southern Methodist University, Lafayette University and Purdue University
  • Museum Facilitator at Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Bushy Run Battlefield, the Compass Inn and many others
  • Principal of Latrobe Elementary School
  • Attorneys with a wide variety of firms
  • Teachers at Seneca Valley Middle School, Peters Township High School, Maryland’s Charles County Public Schools and many other districts. 
  • Officers in the United States Marine Corps
  • Learning Objectives

    Studying history at Saint Vincent College will enable students to:

    • Identify the particular forces most relevant to the development of an idea or institution, and trace the interactions of those forces through inception, development, transformation and decline
    • Relate historical forces to one’s own growth
    • Understand a work of literature in relation to literary and cultural history
    • Develop students’ intellectual understanding of both the facts of historical events and their broader significance
    • Nurture (students’) critical thinking skills 
    • Cultivate effective oral communication 
    • Develop effective written communication 
    • Enable students to more fully appreciate the complexity of human experience