At the center of the liberal arts, the study of history will broaden your horizons touching on the entirety of human endeavor—politics, economics, societal concerns, psychology, thought and religion.

Duquesne’s history department offers a range of courses—at both the undergraduate and graduate levels—that cover a variety of historical periods and regions, from ancient world history to modern American history. As a liberal arts student, your opportunities to diversify your thinking through a challenging curriculum will equip you with essential skills that you—and future employers—will find invaluable. You will learn to think critically, to write with authority and to apply your knowledge of history to reimagine your world.

Our faculty members walk alongside you with a strong foundation in historical research, analysis and interpretation, encouraging you to participate in internships, study-abroad programs and research opportunities to enhance your learning experiences.

We are a community of genuine teacher-scholars who will challenge you to go beyond the surface, ask hard questions, and cultivate in you: 

  • The development of methods of historical scholarship in contemplative and ethical ways, as you may deepen your understanding of the U.S. and the world.
  • Understanding of how and why humans and different cultures have developed as they have across history.
  • The drive to become scholars as well as educated and conscientious citizens.

Duquesne's Department of History is a valuable resource and intellectual training ground if you are interested in pursuing a career in history, whether in academia, government, politics, business or other fields. 


Program Information

Our History major provides deep historical knowledge, enhancing understanding of the US and the world. It prepares you for diverse careers in academia, government, politics, business, and beyond.

Program Type

Major, Minor



Academic Department




Required Credit Hours


"What makes this program unique is the diversity of paths you can take. The curriculum is flexible, so no two students will get the same experience. Every student picks and chooses what topics to study to best suit their interests and passions."

—Nathan Gierczynski

Major & Minor in History

Two tracks through the discipline

When you pursue an undergraduate degree in history at Duquesne, you will be immersed in a variety of courses in American, European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Asian and African histories. You will explore an intellectual landscape that will prepare you for careers in academia, government, law, politics and a host of other professional arenas.

Your courses are taught by faculty who are all published scholars in their fields, bringing to the classroom both their enthusiasm for the discipline and the rich insights of their scholarship. They’ll walk alongside you to provide a strong foundation in historical research, analysis and interpretation. They’ll challenge you to participate in internships, study-abroad programs and research opportunities to pursue your bigger goals, diversify your thinking and reimagine your world.

You can choose to major or minor in history at Duquesne, choose a minor in classical civilizations or obtain a certificate in public history. 

History is not only fascinating to pursue on its own but is equally valuable to pair with other programs and schools across Duquesne's diverse academic landscape. One way to do that is by declaring a minor in history. The history minor is designed to:

  • Supplement a student’s major while enhancing the academic experience.
  • Allow a student to pursue interests in historical events and periods.
  • Provide a basic foundation in historical processes.

If you wish to minor in history, please discuss your options with your student success coach or the history department’s undergraduate director.

Students who wish to minor in history are required to take 15 credits in the subject field (either HIST, CLSX, or PHST courses). Of those 15 credits:

  • 6 credits must be in either the U.S. history or Western civilization surveys.
  • 3 credits must be in Latin American, Asian or African history.
  • 3 credits must be at the 300 or 400 level.
  • Only one 100-level course may be counted toward the major. That course cannot also be counted for the Bridges Core.
  • No more than 6 transfer credits may be applied toward a minor.

Program Requirements

For the history major

You'll be required to take 6 credits that add a wider worldview to your curriculum, including courses that cover Latin American, Asian, African or Middle Eastern history.

Common world history courses include:
  • HIST 161 Latin American Civilization
  • HIST 231 Pre-Colonial Africa
  • HIST 254 History of the Modern Middle East
  • HIST 291 History of Japan
You'll be required to take two courses that are writing intensive so you can build your writing skills while furthering your studies in historical events, traditions and themes.
  • HIST 311W Writing History
  • Any 400-level Writing Intensive course - examples include - 
    • HIST 401W Medieval Europe
    • HIST 411W Early Modern Europe
    • HIST 433W Gender in US History
    • HIST 448W World at War
You'll be required to take a course in public history, which provides more diverse perspectives than learning the details of historical events themselves. You will have the opportunity to pick from a number of courses in public history, such as:
  • PHST 206 Introduction to Oral History
  • PHST 215 Introduction to Archives
  • PHST 223 Practice of Public History
Lastly, you can fill the remainder of your program with electives of your choosing. A student must complete 1 elective course at the 300 level.  

There are dozens of interesting and exciting courses offered each semester out of our history department, so we strongly encourage you to get creative with your selections!

History: A great pairing with other liberal arts programs!

As history and English are closely allied disciplines, and as a double major program may result in a more coherent course of study, the departments created some options if you wish to concentrate in both fields. 

You'll have the option to complete the double major with history as your primary major or with English as your primary major.

As the constant demand for secondary teachers well trained in both pedagogy and content areas increases, one way to prepare for a career in education is to get both a B.A. in history and a B.S. in secondary education. 

The department has put together a program, in conjunction with the School of Education, which will allow you to receive both degrees. The credits for the joint program will total 128 to 136 credit hours, depending on the number of credits required to complete the college’s language requirement.
Combining history with business offers excellent career preparation in that the combination provides a breadth of business skills and a liberal arts education. There are a number of business certificates available through our Palumbo-Donahue School of Business that you can add to your curriculum.

The School of Law has a 3/3 program that allows qualified students to earn both an undergraduate degree in history and a law degree in six years. It is a highly competitive program to which students must apply in their junior year.

Students apply for this program during the fall semester of their junior year. The department offers a series of law-related courses and recommends that majors who plan to apply to law school select from one or more of these classes.