History at BHSU


In order to graduate from Black Hills State University and a South Dakota Board of Regents institution, all students are required to produce an Academic Portfolio. As seen under the Portfolio Checklist, the requested documents are intended to indicate your growth as a historian as well as your depth of knowledge.

An Academic Portfolio is required of all History and History-Education graduates . All history graduates are required to submit portfolios by Noon on the first day of finals week, just before graduation.

A portfolio is useful to students when applying to graduate school or for employment.

We recognize that some graduates may not have retained copies of the requested documents. We ask that you look deeply, in binders and on computer hardware. If you still cannot find what you need, gather what you can find and come speak with one of the History faculty members. We shall see what we can work out.

Portfolio Checklist

View a printable version of the Portfolio Checklist.


Each assignment will have a cover page identifying the student, the course, the title (if there is one) of the paper or other work, the semester, year, and instructor.

Descriptions of Required Elements:

Reflective Essay: Students will review the materials they have included in their portfolios and write a brief essay describing what they have gained from the History program and how their perceptions and abilities have changed over the course of the program.

Transcript: Students will provide a current, unofficial copy of their transcript from WebAdvisor. It should include courses for which they are currently enrolled.

General Education level courses: (HIST 121 Western Civilization I, 151 United States History I, 152 United States History II, or 257 Early American Indian History and Culture): Students will provide a writing sample from one of the above courses, ideally done while at BHSU.

HIST 327 European History 1500-1815 (Writing Intensive): Students will provide a copy of the draft and final paper written for this class. The final draft needs to meet the Writing Intensive goals, including correct use of the Chicago Style.

HIST 328 European History since 1815: Students will provide a copy of the paper written for this class.

HIST 359 Recent American History: Students will provide a writing sample from this course (a paper or other writing).

HIST 480 Historical Methods & Historiography (Research IGR): Students will provide a copy of their Historiographic Essay, demonstrating their understanding of a historiographic approach to a historical issue.

HIST 115 Survey of Non-Western Civilizations OR 313 History of the Middle East, OR 412 HISTORY of the Far East, OR 418 History of Latin America (Non-Western component in the Major): Students will provide a sample of their written work from one of these classes, to show their ability to understand a non-western perspective.

Paper with early and final draft: The HIST 327 requirement fulfills this. Students who do not have both drafts for HIST 327 should use an early and final draft from another course.

Additional paper: This needs to be from an upper-level History class at BHSU, written in Chicago style, and showing use of primary & secondary sources. This should be the student’s best work that is not already included in any of the other required elements.