History Major.

Apply the lessons of history to the present day.

Build your skills in written and oral communications and historical research and analysis through Nichols History Program. You’ll delve into U.S. history, as well as the history of other peoples and cultures, enhancing your understanding of multicultural dynamics in the workplace and society. A history degree provides knowledge and skills that are invaluable if you plan to pursue graduate studies in:

  • law
  • education
  • business
  • public service

If you want to teach, you may also enroll in the Educator Preparation Program and apply for a license to teach history or social studies at the middle and secondary school levels.

As a history graduate with strong skills in historical research and analysis, you will be well prepared for careers in fields such as education, law, government, business, management, public relations, writing and research.

In addition, a growing public interest in regional history has created employment opportunities for historians in museums, historical sites, archives and historic preservation societies.


History majors must complete 120 credit hours (approximately 40 courses), including courses from the foundation curricula, focused electives, and these required specialization courses:

HIST 201
United States History to 1865
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course examines the evolution of the American colonies, the Revolution, forces leading to the Constitution, the Federalist era, the Jacksonian era, and the causes of the Civil War. Previously HIST-101.

HIST 202
United States History since 1865
3 Hours, 1 Semester
  Beginning with Reconstruction, this course follows the evolution of American economic, political, and social development through reform eras, wars, and global emergence. Previously HIST-102.
HIST 208
World Civilizations II
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course focuses on the five centuries after 1450 as technology and military and political organizations resulted in the creation of international trade systems and power alliances, leading to the decline in western imperialism and reemergence of major Asiatic civilizations. Previously HIST-108.

HIST 359
United States History Since 1945
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course will survey key topics in American history since 1945. Topics include the Cold War, hot wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, the Cuban Missile Crisis, civil rights, feminism, the environmental movement, and politics and culture.

HIST 369
World History Since 1945
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course will survey key topics in world history since the peace settlements in Europe and the Far East at the end of World War II. Topics examined will include the political and economic structures of the peace of 1945, the role of the new United Nations, the causes of the Cold War, the Korean War, the end of European empires in Asia and Africa, crises over Cuba and Vietnam in the 1960s, the fall of the Iron Curtain, the emergence of the European Union, as well as tensions and war in the Middle East over oil, Israel, Iran and Iraq, and international terrorism.

HIST 480
Seminar in History
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course will examine the history of historical writing, the use and evaluation of historical sources, why interpretations differ, and how historians are influenced by forces other than the facts. A research paper is required for this course.


Elective Courses (4 required)

HIST 315
Constitution and American Democratic Tradition
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course will examine selected topics in American constitutional history from the founding period to the mid 20th century. A significant component of this course is a detailed examination of the United States Constitution and the Massachusetts State Constitution, including their origins, interpretation, and evolution.

HIST 322
Women in American Society
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course considers the role that women have played in American life from the colonial period to modern day. Special consideration will be given to such topics as the perceived role of women, their actual status and contributions in the Lowell mills, the Abolitionist movement, suffrage, and the 20th century civil rights movement.

HIST 339
History of Modern Europe Since 1815
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course considers the evolution of modern Europe, including the social, political and economic developments of major European nations from the fall of Napoleon’s Empire in 1815 to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on the Industrial Revolution, European nationalism and imperialism, the causes and effects of the world wars and the Cold War, the fall of Communism, and the drive toward European Union.

HIST 340
Political and Historical Leaders
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course examines leadership, behavior, and style, and its potential for contributing to change in business, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. How leaders interact with the climate of the organization and its situational context, both political and environmental, will be examined through case studies of important figures in political, business, and social history.

HIST 352
American Economic History
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course traces the evolution of American economic life from its agricultural/rural origins and economy through the industrial revolution, the rise of industrial capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Great Depression era and its aftermath, to the emergence of our modern, post-industrial urban society of today.

HIST 355
Civil War
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course examines the Civil War and the process of rebuilding the nation at the end of America’s bloodiest war. It will cover the causes for the war, the principle battles, the political and military personalities involved, the war’s consequences, and explore why the Union emerged victorious.

HIST 356
American West
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course focuses on the movement of people to the Trans-Mississippi American West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will explore their impact on and interaction with the Native American people and the environment.

HIST 360
America and Vietnam
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course examines the U.S. experience in Vietnam from 1950 to 1975 and includes the conduct and controversies surrounding the war as well as the results for America and Southeast Asia.

HIST 470
Special Topics in History
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course is designed to present certain topics not covered in the usual program yet considered of value to the student of history.

HIST 490
Internship in History
3 Hours, 1-2 Semesters

Qualified students who have departmental approval may apply for internships at Old Sturbridge Village (OSV), an early 19th century outdoor history museum. Such internships will be supervised by department members and OSV staff. Other internships may be possible as well.

*History majors enrolled in the Educator Preparation Program follow a difference set of course requirements.

College Catalog

Review or download the college catalog for additional details and information about courses and requirements.

Key Faculty
Edward Warren
  • Edward Warren
  • Program Chair
Thomas Smith
  • Thomas Smith
Paul Lambert
  • Paul Lambert

Questions about the History Program? Contact Professor Edward Warren, Program Chair, at edward.warren@nichols.edu or 508-213-2255.