What do President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Sport Center anchor Chris Berman, presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, journalist Wolf Blitzer, Joe Biden and possibly, you, have in common?

All were history majors before going on to achieve illustrious careers.

History majors don’t just study what has happened in the past. As a history major at Alvernia University, you’ll acquire skills and knowledge that can prepare you for a variety of careers in fields including teaching, law, government service, writing, researching, genealogy, business and politics.

Perhaps most importantly, however, you’ll achieve a better understanding of the world and its people. History informs us of who we are, and from where we came. It is a foundation of the liberal arts, and vital to our comprehension of ourselves and world around us.


Why should you study history at Alvernia University?
Because at Alvernia you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a manageable setting with personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has an average 12:1 student-faculty ratio, with fewer than 20 students in most classes. This facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students. In these small class settings, you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s faculty members aren’t just teachers. They’re experts in their fields who are committed to passing along their knowledge and expertise to their students. In small class settings faculty members become mentors and advisors, intent on helping you learn, grow and succeed.

Research Opportunities
Alvernia offers opportunities for history majors to work with faculty members on research projects relating to their areas of concentration. This collaboration prepares students for professions and/or graduate school.

Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors.

You also can explore the possibility of joining Phi Alpha Theta, an honors society for history majors, during your senior year.

Get Real
Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides psychology students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.

You’ll have opportunities for experiences such as internships, co-ops, clinical experiences, field experiences, community service and campus events. Participating in these types of experiences help you stretch and grow toward your full potential.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at www.alvernia.edu/getreal.

Study Abroad
Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined. Studying abroad can be particularly enriching for history majors, as it puts you directly into the places where history was made.

Many history majors have benefitted from participation in a Study Abroad program in countries including New Zealand, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Palestine, China and Mexico.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Study Abroad program at www.alvernia.edu/studyabroad


History is a versatile major that can prepare you for a variety of exciting careers. History majors at Alvernia University have gone on to work as journalists, historians, congressional aids, community relations directors, demographers, museum curators, historic preservation specialists, public relations executives and lobbyists.

Studying history helps you develop effective research and writing skills, and provides you with the ability to think critically about problems and issues. These skills, along with a curious nature and desire to keep learning, are attractive to prospective employers and may set you apart from other candidates for positions.

Earning a history degree at Alvernia can also prepare you for graduate school. History graduates have been accepted into a variety of graduate programs, including law, business and medical, at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, Penn State University and the University of Pennsylvania. Past Alvernia graduates have found employment at the White House, EPA and in marketing and computing careers. Recent census data suggests that today’s students are likely to have 4-7 careers over their lifetimes, and a history degree supports a broad and deep range of skills.

For more information about Alvernia’s history program, contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu.


All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, and history majors must complete 36 credits in the major.

In addition to courses on U.S. and European history, you will have the opportunity to study topics such as Africa, Latin America, women’s history and military history.

Courses for history majors are:
HIS 110 World Civilizations
HIS 112 The Study of American History
HIS 121 The Study of European History
HIS 230 Women in History
HIS 240 Topics in Global History
HIS 245 Topics in Native American History
HIS 250 Interdisciplinary History
HIS 255 Historical Biography
HIS 260 Pennsylvania and Local History
HIS 281 Topics in Military History
HIS 300 Colonial America
HIS 303 20th Century World History
HIS 307 Greco-Roman Civilization
HIS 308 American Revolution and Constitution
HIS 319 Late Antiquity and Early Medieval
HIS 322 Early National & Jeffersonian America
HIS 323 The High and Late Middle Ages
HIS 334 Jacksonian and Ante-Bellum America
HIS 337 Early Modern Europe
HIS 344 The Era of the Civil War
HIS 349 The Age of the Revolutions
HIS 352 America’s Industrial Revolution and the Age of Reform
HIS 353 The European Century
HIS 364 America’s Trial: The Depression through the Korean War
HIS 426 Research Seminar
HIS 461 Social Studies Methods: Pennsylvania’s Founding and the World
HIS 493 Contemporary Historiography

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the 2015-2016 Academic Course Catalogue at http://www.alvernia.edu/academics/catalogs/Catalog_2015-16/index.html.

Your Real World Learning Experience
Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment. All Alvernia students participate in service learning, a teaching and learning experience that enables students to get real-world learning while benefiting a community partner. Examples of recent service learning courses include:

  • Sustainable Communities
  • Marketing Management
  • Event planning
  • Management in the Nonprofit Sector
  • Advertising Workshop
  • Transcultural Nursing
  • The Ethical Treatment of Animals
  • Lancaster Historical Society
  • Pennsylvania Railroad Museum
  • US Army Heritage and Education Center Archive National Museum of Industrial History

History majors also are encouraged to spend a semester at The Washington Center, an organization that offers residential academic programs and internships in the nation’s capital.

If you participate in The Washington Center program, you can gain practical experience by working in a Congressional office, government agency, news network or an agency devoted to legal affairs, international relations or business and economic issues. Or, you may have an opportunity to intern with a non-profit organization that addresses environmental concerns, women’s issues, the arts, education, science or labor relations.

You can learn more about the Washington Center and opportunities available there at www.alvernia.edu/about/ethics-and-leadership/washington.html. Also, you can find out more about real world learning at www.alvernia.edu/academics/experiential_learning.

Research Opportunities
Research is a valuable aspect of any education. History majors must complete Research Seminar, a course you’ll take as a senior in which you’ll undertake a significant project that results in a research paper.

Faculty members in Alvernia’s history department have professional experience in a variety of areas, and will help you decide what kind of project would be most beneficial to your career goals. Faculty members also conduct their own research in a variety of subjects and mentor students as they conduct research.

You may have the opportunity to participate in an action research and service learning project in an area such as the Dominican Republic, where you might write proposals, conduct fundraising or feasibility studies, tutor an English as a Second Language student, write public service announcements or work on developing a website.

The Honors Program
If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alvernia’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities. You can learn more about the Honors Program and how to apply at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors/index.html.

The Eight-Semester Plan
You can do it! It’s easy to stay on track to graduate in four years if you pay close attention to what classes you need and make sure to take them in a timely manner. Advisors are available to assist in planning academic programs, course selection and registration, but it’s your job to make sure that you meet all academic requirements and comply with University policies.

Academic programs vary among students. Start planning well in advance for an internship, study abroad or other off-campus experience, as you’ll need to assure that you will be able to complete all required coursework.

Study Opportunities beyond Campus
Your college years are the perfect time to broaden your horizons and participate in experiences that will change your life. Alvernia offers some great opportunities for students who want to spend some time studying beyond its campus.

In addition to spending a semester at the Washington Center, you might want to consider a semester abroad. History can really come alive when you study it in the very area in which it unfolded.

Study Abroad Programs
Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. History students have studied and traveled in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco, Palestine and China.

You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance.

You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office at www.alvernia.edu/studyabroad or by contacting studyabroad@alvernia.edu.

Year-by-Year Major Map


Think Globally

  • Explore opportunities for study abroad, alternative break trips, pilgrimage to Assisi, the Washington Center and service trips
  • Start at the Study Abroad Office or studyabroad@alvernia.edu

Take the Right Classes

  • Review general education, University and Major requirements
  • Be aware of which semester required courses are offered
  • Focus on getting good grades

Get Good Advice

• Get to know history faculty and your advisor
• Visit the Educational Planning Center on the first floor of Bernardine Hall

Real Life Learning

  • Explore opportunities for upcoming practicums
  • Utilize skills acquired in First Year Experience

Make the Right Connections

  • Identify peers that support your academic goals
  • Get involved by volunteering with The Holleran Center. Look into writing for The Alvernian, or get involved with the Student Government Association or some of the many other student clubs and community organizations

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Develop a working resume
  • Assess strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Begin the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


Think Globally

  • Review opportunities for a study abroad experience and, if interested, start planning with the Study Abroad Office

Take the Right Classes

  • Make sure you’ve reviewed which semester required courses are available
  • Focus on getting good grades

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to history faculty and your advisor about your career interests and opportunities that may enhance your chances of finding a job in that area
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center

Real Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program
  • Shadow in jobs that related to your specific interests
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Volunteer for community service
  • Stay involved in clubs and organizations
  • Observe the roles of those in leadership positions
  • Form a study group

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Update working resume
  • Assess strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Complete the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


Think Globally

  • Participate in Alvernia’s Study Abroad program
  • Participate in service trips or “May”mester

Take the Right Classes

  • Secure internship if applicable
  • Identify project for Research Seminar
  • Focus on getting good grades and improving GPA
  • Work with advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Get familiar with Vault.com, a career services library available on Educational Planning Center’s website

Real Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program
  • Shadow in jobs that related to your specific interest
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Secure a research mentor to oversee your research project
  • Assume leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in your field

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Get feedback on your working resume from Educational Planning Center
  • Get resume ready for practicum applications and job fairs
  • Work on getting recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Look for coaching opportunities


Think Globally

  • Look for service opportunities

Take the Right Classes

  • Make sure you are on track for your Research Seminar project
  • Make sure you’ve taken, or can take, all courses necessary for graduation

Get Good Advice

  • Work closely with advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Ask for advice from professionals in your area of interest

Real Life Learning

  • Successfully complete your internship, if applicable
  • Participate in off-campus activities, such volunteering with an Alvernia community partner through the Holleran Center

Make the Right Connections

  • Continue in leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in your field
  • Attend campus events at which alumni are present
  • Meet professionals in the community who work in your area of interest

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Fine tune your resume
  • Search for jobs through Vault.com
  • Finalize recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Attend the Alvernia Job Fair

Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you.

You can learn more about all student services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/student-services.

Educational Planning Center
The Educational Planning Center offers advice and support to help you with any problems or issues related to your Alvernia education. It also assists with career exploration and preparation. The office is open every day and can be contacted at 610-796-8266.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/career-services, or by emailing career.services@alvernia.edu.

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at www.alvernia.edu/financialaid/index.html or by emailing financialaid@alvernia.edu.

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the history program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or at http://www.alvernia.edu/admissions/.

Faculty Members
Alvernia’s history program is staffed by dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with students. Faculty members have extensive experience in various areas, and bring their professional expertise to the classroom. They often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience, and serve as mentors to aspiring students.

Alvernia’s history professors are actively engaged in research, have written articles that have appeared in prestigious publications and have presented nationally and internationally at conferences. Some of their areas of specialty include:

  • The American presidency
  • Modern European
  • Leadership in popular culture
  • The History of Science and Ideas
  • 20th Century World History Leadership
  • Popular Culture
  • The Early American Republic

You can learn more about Alvernia’s history faculty at http://alvernia.edu/academics/arts-and-sciences/humanities/history/faculty.


There is so much more to college than classes, and history majors at Alvernia have some excellent opportunities to get involved in activities that are both enjoyable and provide beneficial, hands-on experience. Students who get involved and engaged in extra-curricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy include:

  • If you’re interested in journalism, you can learn first-hand by working on The Alvernian, the university’s student newspaper. If you are interested in writing, editing, design, photography and/or marketing, you’re encouraged to get involved. Editorial positions are available for qualified participants.
  • The Zephrus is Alvernia’s literary magazine. Published each spring, it contains original poetry, fiction, essays, photography and artwork by Alvernia students. Sigma Tau Delta members serve as editors, with faculty members as advisors.
  • Maybe you’re like to serve as a member of the Campus Activities Board, or get involved with Alvernia’s Student Government Association. You can learn about these opportunities, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities.
  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. The Center partners with a variety of organizations to provide Alvernia students with opportunities to serve. You might assist with telecasts or cover community meetings for Berks Community Television, or serve as a community disaster educator for the Berks Chapter of the American Red Cross. Perhaps you would help to socialize and care for animals at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, or tutor senior citizens in basic computer skills. You can read more about volunteer opportunities at http://alvernia.edu/about/holleran-center.


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