Chairperson: John C. Mitcham, Ph.D.

 History is humanity’s memory, and Duquesne University’s Department of History strives to foster students’ understanding of that memory.  The Department’s coursework covers all regions of the globe and time from the ancient world to the modern era, and encourages students to range broadly over the vast expanse of the past as well as to pursue their own particular interests. The History Department offers a Major/Minor in History, Minors in Latin and Classics, and an Undergraduate Certificate in Public History. 

Learning Outcomes

The History Major/Minor will help students:

  • Develop an understanding of the United States of America and the world, and how and why different cultures have developed as they have.
  • Think deeply and critically about the world and its peoples.
  • Research, synthesize and analyze a multitude of sources.
  • Write astutely and clearly.
  • Apply the methods of historical scholarship in contemplative and ethical ways.
  • Prepare for graduate school, careers and lives as educated, conscientious citizens.

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 30 credits must be taken within the major. All majors are required to take:

  • Six credits must be in World/Global History (Latin American, Asian, African, or Middle Eastern); three credits in History 311W Writing History (which should be taken no later than junior year, preferably sometime between a student's third and fifth semesters); three credits in a Public History course (PHST); three credits in a 400W-level (it must be a "W" course); at least one elective at the 300-level. 

*Students may count six credits of Latin (LTN) towards the History Major.

*All 100-level courses in HIST, CLSX, and ARHY will count towards the Major.

Majors must complete HIST 311W Writing History before enrolling in 400W-level classes.  No more than six AP credits or 12 transfer credits in History can be applied to the major requirement.  

Requirements for the Minor

Students who wish to minor in History are required to take 15 credits in the subject field (either HIST, CLSX, or PHST courses).  Three credits must be in World/Global History (Latin American, Asian, African, or Middle Eastern), three credits at the 300 or 400-levels.  Only one 100-level course may be counted towards the minor, but the course cannot also be counted for the Bridges Core. 

No more than six history credits transferred from another institution can count towards the history minor.

Honors in History

Students who are planning to pursue a graduate degree in History should apply for the Department's Honors Seminar, HIST 491W, in the fall of their senior year. This research and writing course is offered every spring and provides students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding and strengthen their use of historical methodology. Students completing that seminar and meeting the other required criteria earn Honors in History.
Honors Seminar Track criteria: 

  • a 3.3 overall QPA
  • a 3.5 QPA in their History courses
  • the completion of Writing History (HIST 311W) with a grade of B+ or better
  •  two letters of recommendation from History professors attesting to the student's ability to do
    advanced research and writing
  • advanced research and writingthe completion of the Seniors Honors Seminar with a grade of B or better

Alternative route to earning Honors in History: This also requires two 400W-level courses (but not 491W) and an additional history course along with the designated grades criteria.

  • a 3.3 overall QPA
  • a 3.6 QPA in History courses
  • completion of eleven courses within the major of which at least nine are DU graded courses
  • completion of Writing History with a grade B+ or better
  • completion of at least two 400W courses with a grade of B+ or better
  • two letters of recommendation from a professor who taught 311W and/or 400W-level courses

Pre-Law Track

History is great preparation for education in and the practice of law.  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.

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.  

Joint Degree Programs

B.A. in History/B.S. in Education

As the constant demand for secondary teachers well trained in both pedagogy and content areas increases, one way for students to prepare better 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 students 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.

B.A. in History/B.S. in Business Administration

The College of Liberal Arts offers a joint degree program with the School of Business.  Students in the program must complete the requirements for both schools and thus should consult with their College Advisors early in their studies to plan appropriately.  Combining History with Business offers excellent career preparation in that the combination offers students the breadth of a liberal arts education with more specific business skills.  There is also a Certificate in Business available.

Dual Major Programs

As undertaking a double major program, rather than simply pursuing two majors, may result in a more coherent course of study, the Department, in cooperation with others, has created the following options for students wishing to concentrate in the following complementary fields.

  • History and English (54 credits: 30 in History; 24 in English)
  • History and Women’s/Gender Studies (54 credits: 30 in History; 24 in WGS)

Public History Certificate

The Public History Certificate puts history into practice by collecting, preserving, and presenting historical material to the general public, serving present and future generations alike. It explores methodologies like Oral History, Archival Studies, Digital Humanities, and Museum Studies. It raises important ethical questions while it encourages civic engagement, promotes social justice, and advances economic development based on the belief that revitalizing the past benefits local communities. Students with a public history certificate may find job opportunities in government, museums, archives, libraries, state and national parks, historic homes, corporations, and other organizations that safeguard the past; they also will be well qualified for MA or PhD History or Public History programs.

Learning Outcomes:

  • To add value to students' Duquesne degree by providing them with additional knowledge, skills, and credentials that pertain to the collection, preservation, and dissemination of historyical material.
  • To provide students with a grgeater theoretical understanding of the field of Public History.
  • To provide students with opportunity to apply their historical research and writing skills on community-engaged projects. 
  • To prepare students professionally. 

Requirements for the Public History Certificate

Students are required to take 15 credits in the subject field (PHST and approved HIST courses). Of those, three credits must be in PHST 223: The Practice of Public History; three credits in PHST 490: Public History Internship (ideally taken after completing all other coursework), six credits in PHST or crosslisted electives; three credits in a 300 or 400 level HIST course (ideally in American History).

A minimum of six credit hours must be completed in residence at Duquesne. No Advanced Placement (AP) or CLEP exams may count toward the Certificate.

Students can both major in History and obtain a Certificate in Public History. Said students can have one Public History course count toward their History major.

Classical Civilizations/Latin

The study of the Classics is a balanced investigation into the societies of ancient Greece and Rome, two of the most enduring and influential in the western world. It also explores their interactions with peoples and cultures throughout the Mediterranean and its environs, including Europe, North Africa, and the Near and Middle East.  This interdisciplinary program embraces Latin language and the literature, history, politics, religion, philosophy, archaeology, and art of classical antiquity.

Learning Outcomes

Students who pursue a minor in Classical Civilizations or Latin will:

  • Gain an appreciation for the contributions made by earlier cultures to current discourse on social, political and moral issues.
  • Develop and ability to analyze the wrritten word through critical study of written texts.
  • Understand the value of clear thought and eloquent speech to the formation of a successful citizen of the world. 

Requirements for the Classical Civilizations Minor

  • Students who wish to minor in Classical Civilizations are required to take 15 credits in the subject field (CLSX or and approved crosslisted courses).  Up to six credits of Latin courses may count towards the minor.

Requirements for the Latin Minor

  • Students who wish to minor in Latin are required to take 12 credits in the subject field (LTN courses), as well as three credit hours in CLSX.