Bachelor of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences
History is the investigation of change and continuity in human societies. The focus is to understand the development of these societies in order to enhance comprehension of both the past and present.
Today’s historians explore such topics as the causes and consequences of war, foreign policy, popular attitudes and beliefs, religious and legal traditions, the social roles of women, electoral politics, immigration, race and racism, commercial and industrial development, and conflict between social groups.
In piecing together the puzzle of human experience, historians use many means of investigation and many kinds of evidence. But their goal is always the same: not simply to gather and report facts, but to interpret the past and understand its relationship to the present.
For undergraduates, history can open the way to understanding why people and institutions act as they do. It also provides an essential background to comprehend current political, economic,cultural and social problems. History sets daily events in perspective and generates a serious and usable awareness of trends in today’s world. Of equal value, historical thinking is a flexible, widely used form of reasoning and a problem-solving discipline.
Students learn to gather and organize information efficiently, analyze and evaluate evidence critically, argue persuasively and communicate ideas clearly. History stresses the importance of defining problems accurately and examining their origins in the search for solutions. It also exposes students to a variety of ways problems can be attacked. These intellectual abilities, combined with a realistic understanding of people and institutions, are the basis for many careers.
Employers and professional schools look for the solid academic backround, proven intellectual abilities and mature judgment that the History major provides. Students use their knowledge, research skills, and communication abilities as a springboard to a variety of careers. The most common career paths include business, government and law, and museums, schools and universities. There are very few careers for which history does not provide essential preparation.
The history major is designed to provide a progression of introductory, intermediate and advanced courses. It focuses on critical thinking, understanding and communication, not memorization.
History majors must complete 33 credit hours in history (typically 11 courses). A total of nine credit hours is to be chosen from introductory courses on US and World History. A total of 18 credit hours is to be taken from a wide range of junior and senior-level courses. Our courses cover a wide range of regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States), periods (ancient, medieval, early modern contemporary), and topics (environmental, health, international, military, and women’s history). Finally, six credit hours focus on the development of advanced research and writing skills.
Within these limits students are free to design their own programs emphasizing areas of greatest interest. In addition to scheduled course offerings, students may arrange reading or research courses, or internships on specific topics with individual faculty members.
A significant part of the history major is the commitment of the faculty to effective teaching at all course levels, whether introductory, intermediate or advanced classes taught by professional historians with specializations in a wide range of topics, periods and regions. This direct access to faculty, both inside and outside the classroom, is of great importance, especially to freshmen and sophomores.
History majors and minors are a vibrant community of about 250 students. The department recognizes the best undergraduate work in history each year by awarding scholarships. Students get involved in small-group workshops, conferences, student publications and other opportunities. The History Society is an organization of students interested in historical topics that organize film screenings, field trips, public lectures and other events. Majors have the opportunity to join the local chapter of PHI Alpha Theta, the international history society.
Every effort is made to place interested students in internships related to their career goals.
The most important areas of preparation are reading, writing and critical thinking skills. History students should have a genuine curiosity about their own and other societies and the motivation to pursue serious study.
We invite you to visit us in person or get acquainted with our website to learn about our program, faculty and activities.
Department of History
BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at www.bgsu.edu.
Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.
NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for History, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: choose.bgsu.edu/catalog/HIST