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History Program

Bachelor of Arts

Briar Cliff believes that students must become more broadly educated in order to be prepared to live in an increasingly complex society. By gaining awareness of historical traditions as well as the critical thinking skills of the historian's craft, students will be better prepared to confront this complex society as informed citizens. The purpose of the major is to bring together both the factual background and the analytical tools necessary to understand and interpret historical events.

Upon graduation, students majoring in history will be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of key themes, issues and trends that have shaped the history of humankind by taking required courses in American, European and non-western history. Their knowledge in this area will be assessed by the individual courses that we require through exams and other course requirements. 

Students will develop skills of written and verbal expression. Opportunities to develop these skills will be available throughout the educational process through oral presentations and reflective and research papers. Our senior project requires students to write a substantial research paper, to present their findings and to defend their assertions. As such, this capstone course will assess their oral and written communication skills.

Students will develop skills of critical thinking and analysis. In both their classes and their senior project, they will need to weigh competing historical interpretations. This skill will be assessed both in their class papers and in their senior project.

Students will demonstrate knowledge of methods of the historical craft including both conceptual approaches to history and research methodologies. As part of their capstone sequence, they will examine different historical approaches in the seminar on the intellectual history and the fundamentals of research in the methods course. Their success will be assessed both in these classes through written assignments and class participation and in their senior project.

Core History Courses

HIST 110 - An Introduction to World Civilizations
HIST 113 - Western Civilization I
HIST 114 - Western Civilization II
HIST 203 - Historical Inquiry
HIST 231 - American History to 1877
HIST 232 - U.S. History Since 1877
HIST 337 - Twentieth Century World History
HIST 468 - Intellectual History
HIST 470 - Senior Thesis
SPEC 111 - Public Speaking
WRTG 109 - Introduction to College Writing
WRTG 159 - Contemporary Argument and Research

Additional Program Requirements

All history majors must take three elective HIST classes and complete one of the following courses: HIST 351, 352 or 353.

To satisfy university competencies, history majors must complete any 3- or 4-credit hour math course, SPEC 111, and 10 hours of community service.

History majors must also present their senior thesis.