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BHSU history majors explore the worlds of American, European, and regional history. The Black Hills are full of fascinating history. Our surrounding area offers students the chance to study the Gold Rush, tour ghost towns, and learn about the Native American Cultures.

This is a picture that was taken in the 1980s of Jonas Academic. This is where all of our history related classes at BHSU are held.

Our small classroom sizes allow students to form better connections with their peers and professors. Close classroom connections allow professors to guide you in considering career options. Many historians pursue the teaching professsion or continue their education in graduate school. Others might find jobs in government agencies, museums, historical societies, research organizations, and archives. Check out what our History program is doing 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 to life.

Diving Into The Past

Studying history at BHSU ensures an engaging student-centered experience with dynamic courses that offer the chance to study American, European, Latin American, African, and Native American history. Students can also learn outside of the classroom by traveling abroad with faculty members. Our location in the Black Hill allows for unique hands-on opportunities. Such as conducting research at the Case Library for Western Historical Studies or interning at one of the many museums in the surrounding area. Our History Department educates students inside and outside of the classroom and prepares graduates to enter into a variety of professional fields. Some benefits of studying history at BHSU are:

  • STUDENT-CENTERED CLASSROOMS: Small class sizes allow for increase discussion and interaction with professors who can help you look for jobs and internships.
  • RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: We offer students the chance to conduct research with a history professor or chart their 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 offer many hands-on opportunities outside the classroom and encourage students to explore.

Unique Opportunities

RESEARCH: Our extensive connections within the surrounding community allow students to join in ongoing research on and off campus to gain hands-on experience in a field that they love!

  • Veterans Legacy Program: Students can research and work with veteran families to develop public history materials for the five veteran cemeteries in the Black Hills.


You can discover the internships available in the Black Hills or expand your knowledge by participating in regional and national internships. Some of our students 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


You can earn a certificate for specialized training in a specific area of public history. Including museums, historic site interpretation, and archives. 



*Current students, please refer to the DegreeWorks Dashboard in MyBHSU to confirm your major requirements.

History and Geography of Food in Italy

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


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

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 team taught with a historian and geographer and includes a trip to Italy to research foods of different Italian regions.


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, Courtney 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.

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.

Contact Info

Kelly Kirk
Jonas Academic 125 Map
Phone: 605-642-6935

College of Liberal Arts
Black Hills State University
1200 University St. Unit 9003
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799-9003