New online bachelor’s degree in history creates 21st-century 'problem-solvers'

May 09, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The study of history develops skills valuable in the 21st-century workplace, and students can now earn a history degree online through Penn State.

Penn State is accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester for the new bachelor of arts degree in history, being offered online through Penn State World Campus and the College of the Liberal Arts.

“Students of history are problem-solvers,” said Thomas Christopher Lawrence, associate teaching professor of history and director of online education for the history department. “We ask broad and nuanced questions and are able to arrive at creative solutions.”

Lawrence, who is a historian of the later Roman Empire and early medieval Europe, said students of history gain both broad knowledge and practical skills.

History majors pursue careers in a wide variety of fields because of the major’s emphasis on information gathering, critical analysis, problem-solving, the written presentation of ideas and arguments and other highly valued workplace skills, he explained.

“Students today must be prepared to live and work in an increasingly globalized world, one in which available information can be overwhelming,” Lawrence said. “In such a world, students must learn how to write, read and analyze texts, communicate with global audiences, comprehend complex causality, and evaluate the context and credibility of primary and secondary sources.”

History majors will become “professionals and managers who are prepared for the complex analytical tasks of the 21st-century workplace,” Lawrence added.

Taking the program online, he said, “allows us to reach students we wouldn’t have been able to reach before.”

Amanda Mulfinger Bolig, director of program planning and management for Penn State World Campus, said the degree is expected to appeal to adult learners, especially military students.

“We are pleased to add this to our College of the Liberal Arts online portfolio,” she said. “History increases our global understanding by teaching us about culture, religion and art as well as politics and war.”

The degree requires completion of a minimum of 123 credits, including 36 credits within the history major, including courses in U.S. history, European history, global history and pre-modern history.

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about the new history degree.

Last Updated May 09, 2019