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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.



*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 teamtaught 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, 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.

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