Do stories of the past fascinate you? Do you enjoy making connections between what has gone before, how the world works today and what the future holds? Studying history will open doors for you academically and professionally.


The past has shaped our current world and has impacted every community and individual. Through the study of history, we learn about and evaluate human actions, ideas, goals and relationships. A historical perspective enables us to place politics, scientific discoveries, cultural advancements and global events in context. What might seem cliché is profoundly true: in order to make the best decisions for the present and the future, we must truly understand the past.    

History is the perfect major for someone who is interested in fostering a deeper connection with the past. My own interest in history began when I was a child in Maine. I was shown a cannonball that a British ship had fired through our neighbor’s house during the War of 1812. The notion that our neighborhood had once been on the frontline of a war fascinated me. In many ways the research that I do today, examining how international relations shaped the formation of American identity in the 19th Century, is tied directly to that cannonball.

David Dzurec III, Ph.D.

Why History is in Demand

  • Studying the past provides context for the present and perspective for the future.
  • Strong skills in writing, verbal and interpersonal communication, research, analysis and critical thinking are assets in any career.
  • With adept research and writing skills, history majors are thoroughly prepared to pursue graduate school and advanced studies in topics ranging from law to medicine and everything in between.
  • History majors have a range of opportunities and successful outcomes. Here are just a few famous examples: Chris Hughes (co-founder of Facebook), Martha Stewart, Conan O’Brien (talk show host), Ayn Rand (author) and 46th President Joe Biden.

Is it for me?

Are You:

  • Curious and persistent?
  • Eager to analyze information and draw conclusions?
  • A good storyteller?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for History

Faculty connection with students.    With small class sizes, professors get to interact with students individually. Dedicated faculty members work on research with students and offer tutorials in their own areas of expertise. We offer a close-knit campus community.
Flexible program.    The history major curriculum is designed so that students can easily add another major (double major) or explore a special area of interest. Advisors encourage students to customize their academic programs based on their professional and academic goals.
Student-driven research.   Independent research, with a faculty advisor, is a vital part of the history degree for many students. In addition to the research itself, students are encouraged to submit papers for publication or present at student or association conferences.
Philosophical approach.    In learning to be historians, students examine deep, critical questions not only about the information, but also about how civilization has interpreted and recorded the past. In the tradition of Jesuit education, student learning is integrated across disciplines.
Location.   Students can interact with local Lackawanna County historical organizations and experience the region’s role in American history. Trips to museums, historic sites and archives in New York and Philadelphia are frequent. Students have even interned at the Gettysburg battlefield and as far west as the Little Big Horn Battlefield in Montana.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You’ll learn how to:

    • Critically examine historical chronicles
    • Find reliable sources and discern valid evidence 
    • Identify and analyze questions that matter
    • Communicate well through written and spoken word
    • Understand how the past influences the present and the future


    Our students have the opportunity to take part in research with a faculty advisor and often submit papers for publication and/or present at conferences. For example, in April 2017, Maura Burns and Megan Seton presented research papers at the Eastern Region Conference of Phi Alpha Theta (the history honor society). Maura's presentation won an award for best paper.

    A number of history students have also won the library research prize, including Maura Burns in 2018, Kathleen Reilly in 2017, Christine Panzitta in 2014 and Rosemary Shaver in 2011.

    Research is also integrated into the classroom. For example, our digital history class is in the process of creating a website on coalmine disasters based on their research at the Lackawanna County Historical Society and the Scranton public library. Learn more here.


    Internships are not required for students pursuing a degree in history at Scranton. However, if you are interested in experiential learning, you have numerous choices including:

    • Lackawanna Historical Society
    • Little Bighorn Battlefield
    • Various Law Offices
    • Gettysburg Battlefield
    • Various Congressional and Senate Offices
    • Steamtown National Historic Site
  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    The foundation of a history major’s study at Scranton is U.S. and European history, which are both taken in the first year. Through major electives, students are encouraged to choose courses in areas of history that interest them.

    In a required sophomore seminar, “The Craft of the Historian,” students focus on how historians gather and document sources, find evidence and analyze information. History majors utilize these procedures through research projects and their continued undergraduate study. Seniors are also required to take a seminar in their final year.

    For art and music history minors, you’ll have the opportunity to visit museums in New York City and Philadelphia.

    Click here to see the curriculum to earn a history degree.

    Travel Courses

    The department offers travel courses to Italy, Germany, England and the Navajo Nation in Arizona. They also offer a course in Disney’s American History (HIST 271), which includes a trip to Disney World during intersession.

    Study Abroad

    In the past decade, history and international studies majors have traveled to and taken courses all around the world. Examples of study abroad opportunities include:

    • Australia
    • Denmark
    • England
    • Israel
    • Japan
    • Netherlands
    • Scotland
    • Wales
    • Brazil
    • Egypt
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Korea
    • Poland
    • Spain
  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus


    With a history degree, how can you not make a difference? We often connect the study of history with milestone events such as the French Revolution, Declaration of Independence or World War II. However, events are about people. The study of history will provide you with a deeper insight into human nature and the impact of events on human existence. When graduation arrives, you’ll be well prepared to learn from the past to make a better future for others. 

    • Brandon Golden, Class of 2014, headed to the Peace Corps in Africa after graduation.
    • Thomas Murtaugh taught English in Korea through a Fulbright teaching assistantship.
    • Other graduates conduct valuable global research that may help cultures to understand each other and to promote peace.
    • Many graduates work in public service, others have continued the tradition of exceptional teaching that they experienced at Scranton.

    The department of history has produced five Fulbright Scholars in the past 10 years. 


Where will history take me?

Many students pursue advanced degrees in history or other subjects. Others go directly into the workforce. Scranton has an impressive number of graduates who receive Fulbright fellowships or teaching assistantships throughout the world. The learning outcomes speak for themselves.

Top Graduate and Law Schools

Just some of the prestigious schools which have admitted our recent history graduates:

  • Boston College
  • Catholic University of America
  • College of William and Mary
  • Cornell University
  • Drexel University
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Chicago
  • Yale University

Leading Employers:

Here are some of the organizations in the public and private sectors employing Scranton graduates:

  • ABC News
  • AXA Consulting
  • Bankers Trust Company
  • Chase Manhattan Bank
  • Fox News
  • Judge Advocate General’s Corps
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Paine Weber
  • Teach for America
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Military

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

The skills learned as a history major at Scranton represent the best of the liberal arts. Critical thinking, exceptional communication skills, knowledge in a broad range of subjects and an ethical approach to your professional and personal life—these attributes matter and will lead you to success. 

Here is a sampling of graduates and their accomplishments:

  • Julia Frakes '17 accepted a position with Yale University Press.
  • Stephanie Pisko '12, received her J.D. from Seton Hall Law School in 2015 where she was editor-in-chief of the Seton Hall Law Review.
  • Benjamin Turcea '15 was awarded a Fulbright to Mongolia.
  • Katie Turnbull '10 works for AXA Consulting and has worked in Paris and New York City.
  • Tricia Ross '07, received her master’s degree from Yale University and is graduating with her Ph.D. from Duke University where she focused on the Protestant Reformation in her doctoral dissertation.  
  • Kathleen Sprows Cummings '93, is an associate professor of American studies at the University of Notre Dame and the director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. 
  • Yohuru Williams '93 is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Department of History
Roy Domenico, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of History
(570) 941-4143