“The skills I learned as a history major have been incredibly helpful. Being able to do deep research on a topic, analyze and synthesize your findings, come to a conclusion, and then communicate that all effectively is something I have to do on a weekly basis. It was my love for doing historical research that led me on this path, and even though I don't do too much historical research these days, the research and communication skills you learn are very applicable to other fields.”

Alice Kalinowski, History '15

The craft of history interprets the past. History examines the lives of people, the consequences of ideas, and the products of human ingenuity. Historians engage in deep inquiry and persuasive debate. They craft narratives about the past based in evidence. The skills students gain through the study of history allow them to analyze and interpret evidence and evaluate how human societies change over time.

Choose from a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in history, or a minor in history or history of science, or select history as a teachable minor. Careful training in research, writing, critical reading, and interpretation makes history graduates attractive to a wide number of employers who value those abilities, especially in fields of law, library and museum work, finance, journalism, and public administration. Students also study history to advance their own liberal education and to train their minds.

Or, choose the major in Group Social Studies that is designed for students seeking teacher certification in secondary, middle, or elementary school.

The Department of History is a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

History Scholarships

Give Today

Benefits students regularly enrolled in any history course.

This fund is for History or Social Studies students studying abroad.

Benefits deserving junior or senior history majors.

Public History Badge

The Public History badge allows students to enhance their degree program through place-based and community engaged projects drawing on current practices and methodologies.

Certificate in medical and health humanities

The Certificate in Medical and Health Humanities allows students to broaden their understanding of medicine and health by incorporating the diverse perspectives of a variety of disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences. 

Outstanding Alumni and Students

94% of GVSU alumni respondents rated their academic experience in the History and Social Studies majors as excellent or good.

Mike Burns, History '10 Spotlight

Mike Burns, History '10

Manuscript Editor, Marine Corp University Press

Ashleigh Palmiter, Social Studies '10 Spotlight

Ashleigh Palmiter, Social Studies '10

Social Studies Educator, Grand Rapids Public Museum

Darwin Harris, History '19 Spotlight

Darwin Harris, History '19

Law student, West Virgina University

View More Outstanding Alumni

Where Are Our Social Studies and History Graduates?

Where Are Our Social Studies and History Graduates?

GVSU History Alum Eric Baumgarten

GVSU History Alum-in-Residence and Lead Buyer for GE Aviation Eric Baumgarten speaks about the value of a History degree in the Business world, October 2019

Current Students

What Does Truth Mean in History?

How to Find Truth in History

Daisy Soos, a History and Nursing double major, worked on a research project in 2021 titled "Truth in History," which resulted in the compilation of two videos in connection with University Libraries.  

Scholarship Recipients

Alex Jablonski, History '11 Spotlight

Alex Jablonski, History '11

2011 Quirinus Breen Prize Recipient

Rebekkah Bowen, History & Political Science Spotlight

Rebekkah Bowen, History & Political Science

2020 Frances Anne Kelleher Memorial Scholarship Recipient

View More Scholarship Recipients

Department News

GVNext: History Department News

The entrance to the Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, with the name posted above the doors.

Socializing through the ages: Great Lakes History Conference to explore how we communicate, from social media to pretzels

The hybrid conference is scheduled for October 22 and 23, with both in-person and online options.

Oct 19, 2021

Speaker answering audience member question

Constitution expert: Political cartoons, newspapers paved the way for Constitution's ratification

Akhil Reed Amar, one of the nation's leading legal scholars on the Constitution, was the keynote speaker for the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies' Constitution Day program.

Sep 16, 2021

View More GVNext: History Department News

Twitter feed for @GVSUHistoryDept

Profile picture for @GVSUHistoryDept
GVSU History Department
Profile picture for @GVSUHistoryDept
GVSU History Department
It's #givingtuesday! While there are many different funds to which you can donate, we hope you'll consider donating to one of our scholarships that benefits history majors! Visit gvsu.edu/history for a link to donate. #lakershelpinglakers #gvsu #lakerforalifetime #GVgt
Profile picture for @GVSUHistoryDept
GVSU History Department

Follow @GVSUHistoryDept on Twitter

Upcoming Events and Opportunities


There are no upcoming Events at this time

View More Events