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History, BA

The History (BA) program is often used as a springboard to graduate school, government services and business careers. Our program has a large network of alumni working in areas such as government, education, business and public history.

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What Will I Learn?

History majors are expected to do work in three major areas:

  • American history
  • European history
  • Non-Western history

Courses are also offered in public history. Within each of these fields, there is a broad range of courses organized by topic or by time period. You will have the opportunity to sample a variety of topics. All courses emphasize content knowledge and skills development. Additionally, you will develop strong writing, research, communication and critical thinking skills. Before you graduate, you will complete a capstone experience by developing a major project using the skills you have obtained.

Kaitlin Fergeson on a horse

Meet Kaitlin Fergeson

"Having such a good relationship with the professors has made me feel confident both in myself and in my abilities."

How Kaitlin Found Success at Ship

What are the requirements for this degree?

In addition to general education requirements, this major requires a solid core in history courses with a lot of opportunities to pursue personal interests through history electives. You are also required to assemble and submit a portfolio to document your academic growth and major accomplishments.


You are encouraged to pursue minors in such fields as:

  • Communication/journalism
  • Business
  • Public administration
  • Anthropology
  • English
  • Political science
  • International studies

Common double majors include:

  • Political science
  • Public administration
  • International studies

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

History majors are well prepared to take civil service exams successfully and to provide the skills needed and wanted in many government jobs. Our department's focus on global history prepares students for careers with international organizations and government agencies that seek individuals with an understanding of other societies and cultures.

Other career paths for history majors include:

  • Writers and editors
  • Journalists
  • Documentary editors
  • Producers of multimedia material
  • Archivists
  • Librarians
  • Information managers
  • Museums and historical organizations
  • Cultural resources management and historic preservation

Our students also pursue graduate studies in a wide variety of fields, such as divinity school, public history, public administration and law school.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in History can pursue an accelerated Master of Arts in Applied History through the 4+1 B.A./M.A. program.

What Career Outcomes Do Alumni Have With This Degree?

A list of of the top job titles for History alumni
The estimated salary for History alumni

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have?

There are plenty of great opportunities outside the classroom including internships, studying abroad, research, events and volunteer opportunities. Nearby sites that offer opportunities for Ship students include:

  • Fashion Archives Museum of Shippensburg University
  • Cumberland County Historical Society
  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • Pennsylvania State Museum and Archives
  • United States Army Heritage and Education Center
  • United States Civil War Museum

You can also join the History Club to take part in activities and field trips to historical sites, as well as Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. The student-run organization also connects with alumni often, allowing you to learn about careers through lectures, workshops and shared experiences. Ship also has an active chapter of Pi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, for those who qualify.

Contact The History & Philosophy Department Dauphin Humanities Center 122-124 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1621 Fax: (717) 477 - 4062