History department

Historians need a variety of skills to effectively interpret the past to the present. They must be critical thinkers, excellent writers and adept oral communicators. They need to analyze and evaluate historical data, and come up with interpretations of their own which are consistent with the evidence they have uncovered. 

At Bluffton, you will develop each of these skills and more with the help of Fulbright scholars, published authors and historians teaching your classes and preparing you for your next steps. In addition, our history professors approach the study of history in conversation with the university’s Mennonite peace church heritage. 





One of the virtues of the history major at Bluffton is its flexibility. Requiring a total of 40 semester hours, the major itself remains small enough to combine with another major or a combination of minors to speak to your individual career interests.

History classes at Bluffton are frequently revised to reflect new sources and interpretations. As a history major, you will be encouraged to intern with a local or state historical agency or museum. Advanced students may assist professors with research projects and will be encouraged to complete  departmental honors research projects.

Kenny Beeker

Our students

Kenny Beeker, a communication and history double major from McComb, Ohio did a three-month Community Heart and Soul internship as a senior.

"I’ve learned a lot about working with a large, diverse group of people. I couldn’t do this without the skills I developed both in communication and in history at Bluffton—from being able communicate effectively to being able to analyze data.” >>> Kenny's story


While the history major remains excellent training for law school, students aiming for a career in law-related fields can major in any number of areas. Students interested in a career in law are strongly recommended to complete the pre-law minor.

With a history major, your career options are numerous. You will be prepared to enter careers in business, secondary education or voluntary service, or graduate programs in history, law and library science.  >>>occupational outlook

This major can be completed in three years if you are a dedicated and ambitious student.





Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) integrated social studies education licensure

To teach social studies or history in secondary school students need to complete a history major along with professional education courses to obtain an adolescent/young adult license in integrated social studies.

Middle childhood education with social studies concentration

Students interested in teaching social studies in middle school, grades 4-9, must complete a middle childhood education major with social studies as one of the two areas of concentration. The middle childhood license requires concentrations in two areas; social studies, mathematics, natural sciences or language arts.

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Pre-law program/minor


At Bluffton, we believe that the best preparation for a legal career is a broad background in the liberal arts.

When law schools assess candidates for admission, they are most interested in an applicant's grades, letters of recommendation and scores on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Most commonly, Bluffton students heading for law school have majored in communications, criminal justice, economics or history. Sometimes they have combined these majors into a double-major, or with a minor in peace and conflict resolution.

Bluffton's pre-law minor emphasizes the historical, political, social and economic foundations of society, while providing you with the skills you need in research, writing, communication, critical thinking and conflict transformation.

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The minor in political science introduces students to the systematic study of power in society. The minor builds on the state-centric models common in the field with a unique focus on individual and community-level analyses of structures, behaviors and outcomes. The core classes of the minor introduce students to the current state of the field. Further coursework, through electives, is flexible ranging from prescriptive coursework on policy and justice to descriptive coursework on systems and history. Broadly, students can focus on domestic, local or international levels of analysis with economic, policy, legislative/legal or historic emphases shaped by both the courses and research interests. Those interested in pursuing careers in political science are encouraged to pair the minor with a departmental honors project.

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International Studies minor 


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Want to learn more about Bluffton?

Alumni build on the past

Living History

Bluffton alumni have taken their history degree many different directions: education, law, library science and more.
>>>tell me more

Pre-law minor
pre-law minor

Bluffton's pre-law minor emphasizes the historical, political, social and economic foundations of society, while providing you with the skills you need in research, writing, communication, critical thinking and conflict transformation.

Fulbright Scholar

Perry Bush

Learn from a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Perry Bush taught American studies in southeastern Ukraine through the Fulbright Scholar program.
>>> tell me more