Studying History deepens our understanding of the world and its interconnections, its diverse peoples and cultures.

Student sitting in class

Do you want to make history?

Studying History reveals the changes and continuities that ebb and flow around us. Diseases, agriculture, civil rights, childrearing practices, political dynasties, and furniture all have histories. The past shapes the present, from the environment to forms of government, to the way we think about gender and race.

Our faculty introduce students to a variety of time periods, regions, and approaches to history. You'll learn how history is made through your own investigation of the past. Choose courses that follow a theme like Revolutions, a geographic focus like East Asia, or an era like the 20th Century. You'll refine and apply your knowledge through research projects and internships.

Follow your passion while developing valuable skills in critical reading, writing, research, and analysis. Our students build fulfilling and versatile careers as teachers, lawyers, librarians, archivists, consultants, and museum curators, as well as in business, health care, and government.

Category I: Introductory level

Any three courses chosen from the following:

HIST 100 World History I 4
HIST 101 World History II 4
Latin American History
HIST 128 Modern European History 1789-1989 4
HIST 140 Early American History 4
HIST 141 Modern American History 4

Students considering a major in history should complete Category I by the end of their sophomore year. History majors may substitute other history electives for survey courses if they have received a grade of four or five on an advanced placement exam in history, or a score of 5, 6, or 7 on an international baccalaureate exam in history.

Category II: Specialization

Three courses with a specific focus defined by the student. This focus may be geographical (such as Asia, Europe, or the U.S.), thematic (such as race, gender, or revolution) or temporal (such as modern). One course in Category I may count in Category II. A specialization in public history requires four of the following, with HIST 253 ideally as the first course:

HIST 205 Global Environmental History 4
HIST 252 History & Material Culture 4
HIST 253 Introduction to Public History 4
HIST 254 History Through Novels & Film 4
HIST 368 Sem. Public Hist: Sites of His 4
HIST 370 Internship 0

HIST 368 and HIST 370 may count as Category V

Category III: Breadth

Three courses covering required topics:

one course with a focus on race and ethnicity history

Latin American History
AST 240 Black Intellectuals and Entrepreneurs 4
HIST 210 African American Experience 4
HIST 217 Caribbean History 4
HIST 231 Understanding Islam & Historical Perspectives 4
HIST 237 Holocaust 4
HIST 240 The Atlantic World 1500-1800 4
HIST 201 Japanese History: Politics, Society, and Everyday Life 4
HIST 202 Asia to the Eighteenth Century 4
HIST 203 Power & Culture: East Asia 4
HIST 206 Rise of Modern China 4

one course in early or pre-modern history

HIST 202 Asia to the Eighteenth Century 4
HIST 205 Global Environmental History 4
HIST 207 Family, Gender, and Sexuality in Chinese History 4
HIST 222 Greek & Roman History 4
HIST 223 Medieval History 4
HIST 224 The Renaissance 4
HIST 231 Understanding Islam & Historical Perspectives 4
HIST 240 The Atlantic World 1500-1800 4
HIST 241 Revolutions in the West 4
HIST 371 Seminar in Early American History 4

one course in historical gender studies

HIST 204 Japanese Culture: Gender, Family and Society 4
HIST 207 Family, Gender, and Sexuality in Chinese History 4
HIST 215 Women and Gender in US History Before 1890 4
HIST 216 Women and Gender in U.S. History Since 1890 4
HIST 230 Women and Gender in Europe 4
HIST 360 Seminar in the History of Women and Gender 1790-1920 4
WGST 204 Roots of Feminism 4
HIST 205 Global Environmental History 4
HON 205 Global Environmental History 4

Category IV: Methods

All majors must take HIST 260: Interpreting the Past, in the sophomore or junior year. By petition, students in the accelerated BA/MA History program may count HIST 397 to fulfill the Methods requirement for the undergraduate major.

Category V: Capstone

At least one history course at or above the 350 level: this requirement may be fulfilled with a seminar, an internship, a thesis, or an independent study. Majors must declare how they plan to fulfill the independent learning requirement before the end of their junior year.

A minor in history consists of five courses, at least one of which should be at the 100 level and at least two at the 200 level.

You'll work closely with your advisor to develop a program that's tailored to your interests and career goals. We encourage our students to augment their required courses with in-depth study in the liberal arts and additional courses in the major. Dual degrees, interdisciplinary programs and a wide range of minors -- including a minor in public history and a minor in gender history -- are also available.

We also offer a minor in history for students pursuing other majors. Students choosing a minor in history are required to take five courses, at least one of which should be at the 100 level and at least two at the 200 level.

Internships and research are central to our program. You'll gain practical experience while refining your focus and making connections with leaders in the field. Internships may take place in film or television studios, or in some of the Greater Boston Area's museums, archives, historic buildings and other historical sites. Recent internship sites include:

  • Plimoth Plantation
  • The Paul Revere House
  • The Simmons University Archives
  • The African Meeting House
  • The Mary Baker Eddy Library
  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Career Opportunities for Graduates

  • Researcher, interpreter, or publicist at an historic house.
  • Public relations work for a museum or historic site such as the Old South Meeting House, the Black Heritage Trail, or the Women's Heritage Trail in Boston.
  • Developing websites or films about sites such as the sloop Adventure in Gloucester and Lowell Industrial Park.

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

Offered As
  • Major
  • Minor
Apply NowVisitRequest Info

Our Faculty