History, B.A.

Program Overview

Are your favorite stories those of history's defining moments, of courageous heroes and epic battles? Do you have a passion to share these stories and the lessons in them? Do you feel called to educate future generations? If so, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in History will allow you to blend your zeal for history with your desire for meaningful work.

With research interests as varied as peasant rebellions in China, Japan, and Korea; European construction of identity through art; and gender and class in the American west, PLNU history professors are active scholars who believe history is so much more than rote memorization. Faculty use traditional and contemporary approaches to historical study in their courses, inviting you to experience history for yourself in the classroom, at an internship, and while studying abroad; one course is even taught sailing along the California coast!

This experiential learning will equip you with a solid foundation of historical knowledge, as well as the essential writing, research, and communication skills necessary for teaching high school, going on to graduate school, or moving into a variety of others careers such as law, foreign service, conservation, intelligence, and broadcast journalism.

“I had the opportunity to participate in two internships through PLNU. One was with the San Diego City Attorney's Office and the other was with the U.S. Probation Office.” 

John P Vander Feer, J.D., Class of 1985
Superior Court Judge, State of California

Additionally, as a history major you can join the History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta, or the Pre-Law Society, both of which help to foster meaningful relationships with your peers. You might also choose to present your research at an academic conference; participate in events hosted by our Institute of Politics and Public Service and the Margaret Stevenson Center for Women's Studies; or travel around the world on a faculty-led trip, studying history’s greatest stories in the locations they took place. Whatever your interests are, PLNU offers a multitude of ways to connect with your passions.

Dr. Rick Kennedy Rowing a Boat

Spotlight

Rick Kennedy, Ph.D.

For years, Dr. Rick Kennedy, professor of history at PLNU, has been taking a group of students on a California history course where they also learn to sail. Passionate about both history and sailing, Kennedy calls the course “intense” and “experimental.” His students call it “beyond extraordinary.”

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

To be a history major at PLNU means you get to unabatedly pursue some of the most fascinating knowledge while developing skills in the fields of analysis, research, collection, organization, and evaluation, which can be utilized and applied to all fields of work.

At Point Loma Nazarene University, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with countless historical, social, environmental, and political subjects that can teach you about the past and present in ways that will prepare you for your future in the workforce. History is essential to learning about change and continuity through time. Being a history major at PLNU, you’ll learn how to communicate ideas, analyze text, contextualize concepts, and develop arguments in a new and compelling way that any employer, peer, or associate would be fortunate to be acquainted with. 

A Bachelor of Arts in History helps develop and cultivate an inquisitive mind to think critically and creatively, and can lead to unprecedented heights of success in any path you decide to choose. The bedrock skills of every historian — research, critical thinking, and writing — are applicable across a wide range of careers.

A Bachelor of Arts in History can lead to (but is not limited to) the following careers:

  • Teaching and education
  • Law
  • Foreign service and international development
  • Archivist
  • Museum curation
  • Journalism and communications
  • Librarian
  • Writer or editor
  • Documentarian
  • Nonprofit and humanitarian work
  • Politics and public affairs
  • Archaeology 

Where are PLNU History Graduates Now?

Recent alumni have worked for museums, law firms (Best Best & Krieger LLP), international nonprofit organizations (Action Without Borders, Inc. or Idealist), banking and financial organizations (1st Financial Bank USA), Fortune 500 companies (Activision Blizzard, Inc.), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Here are more examples of positions that PLNU history alumni currently hold:

General and Operations Managers

2020 Median annual salary $92,650
General and operations managers are in charge of directing the operations of their organizations. They have many responsibilities which include delegating resources and materials, supervising daily operations, creating policies, and putting new policies into practice. General and operations managers must be strong leaders who can be good models for employees and encourage them to reach their full potential. 

Lawyers

2020 Median annual salary $122,960
Lawyers are dedicated and knowledgeable people that are required to support and assist clients prepare for court. Lawyers must be able to stay organized and compile documents such as contracts, lawsuits, deeds, wills, and appeals. They must also be able to stay composed under stress as they often speak on behalf of their clients in court. Lawyers are reliable researchers as they must be well-versed on legal concepts, previous cases, judicial opinions, and other legal regulations in order to help their clients receive fair representation in a court of law. 

Postsecondary Teachers

2020 Median annual salary $80,790
Postsecondary teachers instruct students beyond the high school level in a wide variety of academic and technical subjects. Most postsecondary teachers work at public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, and junior or community colleges. Other than fixed hours of direct teaching, postsecondary teachers have flexible schedules. Their other responsibilities may include administrative duties, advising students, and conducting research.

Alumni listed the following skills as the top strengths they acquired as a history student at PLNU: 

  • Data analysis
  • Event planning
  • Research
  • Fundraising
  • Social networks
  • Curriculum development

Using Your History Degree: 

History majors are passionate intellectuals who are dedicated to their respective historical fields. Studying history proves to be a firm foundation for countless potential careers as it prepares you to be a well-rounded and informed individual with a complex understanding of the history of human nature. 

As American writer and novelist Pearl Buck once said, “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” PLNU history majors do just that, search the past and subsequently learn to understand the development of human nature and culture. Being a history major is the ideal choice for someone who wants to further understand humanity’s past, present, and future. 

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.

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