Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Arts

Major (Traditional & Law-Track), Minor, Teaching Endorsement



Why This Program?

Exploring history at The Cliff is an adventure.

History is trillions of different threads just waiting to be unraveled, each one connecting our past and present to what's ahead. The history program at Briar Cliff is designed to make you stand out in the career you decide to pursue. Along the way, you'll uncover and discover things you never knew about humankind and yourself. Our history program's course schedule was created to help you gain hands-on experience, explore your interests, and see the world.

  • Internship for Credit: Students may pursue an internship credit at local museums, law firms, libraries, or businesses. It's a chance to gain invaluable real world experience and sometimes even make some additional money. Each year Briar Cliff students compete for a paid internship at the Sioux City Public Museum funded through the Blair Chicoine Memorial Fund. Blair Chicoine, who graduated from Briar Cliff in 1974, was widely known for his contributions to local history education and was a prominent figure in the Lewis and Clark re-enactments. His wife, Rosie, also a graduate of Briar Cliff, set up the endowment fund in his honor. The award recipient receives three credit hours for the winter or spring term, along with a stipend of approximately $1,000 upon completion of the internship. Coordinated by the Sioux City Public Museum, the internship provides experience in historical preservation, archival management and museum instruction.
  • Choose Your Thesis: Whether it's a passion for the Renaissance, a desire to better understand the Civil Rights Movement, or an affinity for rock and roll, whichever niche of history fascinates you, our senior capstone project allows you to immerse yourself in it. The senior thesis represents the "capstone" of the history degree, the last step in a student's undergraduate education at Briar Cliff. In the course of the seminar, you will select a topic, search for clues, organize a bibliography, conduct research and write a thesis to give us your take. Our graduates love getting the opportunity to slice off their own piece of history and examine it through a lens no one else ever has!
  • See the World: There's no better way to get a grasp of world history than to see where it happened for yourself. History majors have the chance to embark on historical travel opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. We've journeyed to London, Paris, Rome, Munich, the Swiss Alps sometimes, all in the same trip! 
  • Join the Club: Established in 1985, Alpha Gamma Eta, Briar Cliff University's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honors history student organization, recognizes the best history students at Briar Cliff. The department initiates new members into Phi Alpha Theta when needed as part of an annual celebration for all History majors and minors at Briar Cliff. Not history student? The Briar Cliff History club encourages intellectual curiosity and community among BCU students by organizing historical movie viewings, scholarly talks, living history events, and museum field trips. The History club is open to any student with a passion for history and fun.

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Traditional History Major

The curriculum for the traditional major includes a breadth of introductory and specialized courses in American, European, and World history as well as Historical Inquiry and Senior Thesis.  At a streamlined 39 credit hours, this track allows room for students to combine history with additional minor or major degrees in other fields of interest.

History - Law

Designed for those interested in a career in law, the History-Law track curriculum includes a mix of 9 history courses and 5 courses in legal studies for a total of 42 credit hours. 

History - Secondary Education

Students pursuing this path earn a double-major in history and education en route to acquiring a license to teach middle and high school social studies.  The program offers core teaching endorsements in American and world history as well as optional add-ons in American government, sociology, geography, psychology, and economics.