History at BHSU

GET YOUR DEGREE IN HISTORY FROM BHSU

The diverse coursework of the BHSU history major explores the worlds of American, European, and regional history. Living in the Black Hills also gives student the opportunity to study the Gold Rush, tour ghost towns, and learn about the Native American Cultures.

Your professors will guide you as you consider various career options. Although many historians enter the teaching profession or go to graduate school, others find employment in government agencies, museums, historical societies, research organizations, and archives.

Check out what is happening within the History program at BHSU with Alumni and the History Faculty

The History program at BHSU offers

  • Excellent regional history resources at the Case Library on the BHSU campus
  • Many internship opportunities for hands-on learning experiences at area museums and archives
  • An active student History Association which takes field-trips and promotes history
  • Outstanding faculty who make history come alive

Diving into the past

Studying history at BHSU ensures an engaging student-centered experience. Dynamic courses offer the chance to study American, European, Latin American, African, and Native American history, along with the opportunity to travel abroad with faculty members. Thanks to BHSU’s location in the Black Hills of South Dakota, unique hands-on opportunities exist such as conducting research at the Case Library for Western Historical Studies or gaining skills as an intern at one of the numerous museums in the Black Hills. The History Department at BHSU prepares its graduates to enter into a variety of professional fields.

  • STUDENT-CENTERED CLASSROOMS: Small class sizes allow for increased discussion and interaction with professors.
  • RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: Numerous opportunities exist to either conduct research with a history professor or chart your own undergraduate research experience.
  • INTERNSHIPS: Internships are available year-round with a variety of archives, historic sites, parks, and museums in the Black Hills region.
  • INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Whether presenting at an international conference or traveling abroad with a faculty member, BHSU professors aim to create global citizens by giving students hands-on experiences beyond the classroom.

Unique opportunities

RESEARCH: Participate in ongoing research on and off campus to gain hands-on experience in a field that you love.

  • Veterans Legacy Program: students research and work with families of interred veterans to develop public history materials for the five veterans cemeteries in the Black Hills region. 

INTERNSHIPS: Discover unlimited possibilities for an internship in the Black Hills or strive to participate in a regional or national internship. Students from BHSU have interned with: 

  • Adams House 
  • Adams Museum 
  • Days of ‘76 Museum 
  • Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission 
  • Journey Museum (Rapid City) 
  • Keystone Historical Society 
  • Museum Members of Congress 
  • Mt. Rushmore 
  • Rockpile Museum of Gillette (Gillette, WY) 
  • Sanford Visitor Center 
  • Vore Buffalo Jump 

CERTIFICATES: Earn a certificate for specialized training in a specific area of public history including museums, historic site interpretation, and archives.


HISTORY COURSE REQUIREMENTS

"History and Geography of Food in Italy" Students in Front of the Duomo, Florence

FIND YOUR CAREER

There are employment opportunities in a variety of sectors:
» Archives
» Editing
» Education
» Forest Service
» Government Agencies
» Grant Writing 
» Historical Preservation
» Historical Site Interpretation
» Historical Societies
» Law School 
» Museums
» National Parks Service
» Publishing
» Research Organizations

History of Modern Germany

BHSU course History of Modern Germany includes a faculty-led international trip to European countries including Germany, Hungary, and Poland. Offering another opportunity for international travel is the History and Geography of Food in Italy course. This course is teamtaught with a historian and geographer and includes a trip to Italy to research foods of different Italian regions.

Student Experiences

Justin Bergeson

A member of the cross country and track teams, Justin Bergeson is a graduate of 2015. While at BHSU Bergeson served as a mentor for the history department and assisted other students with their history studies. After graduation, Bergeson worked for Senator John Thune in his Washington D.C. office and is now attending law school at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Courtney Buck

Graduate of 2017, Courntey Buck is currently attending law school at USD. During her time with BHSU, Buck was a University Honors Scholar and conducted research regarding historical trauma on Pine Ridge reservation. She was also on the student leadership team for the Veterans Legacy Program where she developed several biographies and ran trainings on conducting oral history interviews.

Donald Keifert

Graduate of 2016, Donald Keifert interned at Mt. Rushmore during his time at BHSU and developed a personal research project on the experiences of Lakota servicemen during WWII. Keifert also had the opportunity to work at Sanford-Homestake Visitor Center in Lead, the Abbey Musuem in Maine, and the Journey Museum in Rapid City.

Hugh Cook

BHSU offers one-of-a-kind opportunities to travel abroad and continue studies. Hugh Cook, graduate of 2017, studied abroad in Lithuania and presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Cook researched the history of the pine beetle in the Black Hills. After graduating, Cook went on to work for Senator Enzi in Washington D.C.

Justin Bergeson

A member of the cross country and track team, Justin Bergeson is a graduate of 2015. While at BHSU Bergeson served as a mentor for the history department and assisted other students with their history studies. After graduation, Bergeson worked for Senator John Thune in his Washington D.C. office and is now attending law school at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Kelsey Loftus

Graduate of 2019, Kelsey Loftus studied abroad multiple times. She took the study abroad course, “History of Modern Germany.” Loftus also presented at Botho University International Research Conference in Botswana with Dr. Adam Blackler on the need for greater education on the Herero-Namaqua genocide in Namibia.

Lucas Fralick

Currently enrolled in the History Master’s Program at the University of Wyoming, Lucas Fralick is a University Honors Scholar graduate of 2016. Fralick served as Student Senate President and researched President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb.

 

Required Core

  • 3 HIST 115 Survey of Non-Western Civilizations
  • 3 HIST 121 Western Civilization I (gen ed)
  • 3 HIST 122 Western Civilization II
  • 3 HIST 151 United States History I (gen ed)
  • 3 HIST 152 United States History II
  • 3 HIST 240 Intro to Public History & Cultural Resources
  • 3 HIST 257 Early American Indian History and Culture (gen ed)
  • 3 HIST 480 Historical Methods & Historiography

American History - Take 2 of the following courses

  • 3 HIST 359 Recent American History
  • 3 HIST 369 Modern American Indian History and Culture
  • 3 HIST 379 Environmental History of the US
  • 3 HIST 450 American Colonial History
  • 3 HIST 455 American Civil War & Reconstruction
  • 3 HIST 460 American Military History
  • 3 HIST 465 Westward Expansion of US
  • 3 HIST 467 History of the Black Hills
  • 3 HIST 469 American Foreign Relations
  • 3 HIST 476 History of South Dakota

European History - Take 2 of the following courses

  • 3 HIST 322 Ancient Greece and Rome
  • 3 HIST 327 European History 1500/1815
  • 3 HIST 328 European History since 1815
  • 3 HIST 425 Medieval Europe
  • 3 HIST 441 History of Modern Britain
  • 3 HIST 444 History of Modern Russia
  • 3 HIST 447 History of Modern Germany

Non-Western/World History - Take 1 of the following

  • 3 HIST 313 History of the Middle East
  • 3 HIST 319 World Environment History
  • 3 HIST 412 History of the Far East
  • 3 HIST 418 History of Latin America

History Electives
Take 2 additional courses from the above categories


Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

 

A minor is required with this major plus electives to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

  • 3 ENGL 101 Composition I
  • 3 ENGL 201 Composition II
  • 3 MATH Gen Ed - Mathematics
  • 3 SPCM Speech 101, 215, or 222
  • 6 Gen Ed - Social Sciences
  • 6 Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities
  • 6-8 Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab

Required Core

  • 3 HIST 115 Survey of Non-Western Civilizations
  • 3 HIST 121 Western Civilization I (gen ed)
  • 3 HIST 122 Western Civilization II
  • 3 HIST 151 United States History I (gen ed)
  • 3 HIST 152 United States History II
  • 3 HIST 257 Early American Indian History and Culture (gen ed)
  • 3 HIST 476 History of South Dakota
  • 3 HIST 480 Historical Methods & Historiography
  • 3 SEED 415 7-12 Social Science Methods

American History - Take 2 of the following courses

  • 3 HIST 359 Recent American History
  • 3 HIST 369 Modern American Indian History and Culture
  • 3 HIST 379 Environmental History of the US
  • 3 HIST 450 American Colonial History
  • 3 HIST 455 American Civil War & Reconstruction
  • 3 HIST 460 American Military History
  • 3 HIST 465 Westward Expansion of US
  • 3 HIST 467 History of the Black Hills
  • 3 HIST 469 American Foreign Relations

European History - Take 2 of the following courses

  • 3 HIST 322 Ancient Greece and Rome
  • 3 HIST 327 European History 1500/1815
  • 3 HIST 328 European History since 1815
  • 3 HIST 425 Medieval Europe
  • 3 HIST 441 History of Modern Britain
  • 3 HIST 444 History of Modern Russia
  • 3 HIST 447 History of Modern Germany

Non-Western/World History - Take 1 of the following

  • 3 HIST 313 History of the Middle East
  • 3 HIST 319 World Environment History
  • 3 HIST 412 History of the Far East
  • 3 HIST 418 History of Latin America

History Electives 

  • 3 Take one additional course from the above categories

Pre-Professional Teaching Core 

  • 1 EDFN 295 Practicum: Pre-Admission Teaching
  • 1 2 EDFN 338 Foundations of American Education
  • 1 3 EPSY 302 Educational Psychology
  • 1 3 EPSY 428 Child & Adolescent Development
  • 3 INED 411 South Dakota Indian Studies
  • 3 PSYC 101 General Psychology (gen ed)
  • 3 SPED 100 Intro to Persons with Exceptionalities

Professional Secondary Ed Teaching Core 

  • 3 EDFN 365 Computer Based Technology & Learning
  • 3 EDFN 375 Methods of Technology Integration
  • 3 EDFN 440 Classroom Management
  • 2 MLED 480 Middle Level Methods
  • 3 SEED 408 Planning, Managing & Assessing the 7-12 Diverse Classroom
  • 3 SEED 450 Reading and Content Literacy
  • 1 SEED 495 Practicum: Pre-Student Teaching
  • 3 EDFN 475 Human Relations
  • 12 SEED 488 7-12 Student Teaching

Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

  • 3 ENGL 101 Composition I
  • 3 ENGL 201 Composition II
  • 3 MATH Gen Ed - Mathematics
  • 3 SPCM Speech 101, 215, or 222
  • 6 Gen Ed - Social Science - (2 classes from different subjects)
  • 6 Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities
  • 6-8 Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab

A minor is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 120 hours. Students are encouraged to pursue a minor, but to be certified to teach, a content PRAXIS exam must be passed in both the major & minor areas of study. 

  • 3 HIST - 300/400 History Elective
  • 6 HIST - 300/400 Non-US History Electives
  • 3 HIST - 300/400 US History Elective
  • 3 HIST 121 - Western Civilization I
  • 3 HIST 151 - United States History I
  • 3 HIST 152 - United States History II
  • 3 HIST 121 Western Civilization I
  • 3 HIST 151 United States History I
  • 3 HIST 152 United States History II
  • 3 HIST 476 History of South Dakota
  • 3 HIST 300/400 Non-US History Elective
  • 3 HIST 300/400 US History Elective
  • 3 SEED 415 7-12 Social Studies Methods*

3 Take one from the following:

  • HIST 115 Survey of Non-Western Civilization 
  • HIST 313 History of the Middle East
  • HIST 412 HIST of the Far East
  • HIST 418 History of Latin America

* This is required only for those taking Secondary Education. Those taking Elementary Education should replace this with an additional three hours of History electives.

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Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.