History Degree

The study of history is the study of human experience.

At Park University, our Bachelor of Arts in History degree program is designed to give students the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of human encounters through their own and other’s cultures and societies as they have developed over time. Whether you want to embark on a career as a history teacher, writer, archivist, lawyer or any number of different career paths, a degree in history can prepare you to pursue your own unique career path.

Locations & Learning Options

As a student in our 16-week Bachelor of Arts in History program, you will be required to take face-to-face classes at our Parkville, Missouri campus. Students who choose to pursue a minor in history are required to take face-to-face classes in Parkville as well.

The Bachelor of Arts in History degree requires a minimum of 122 completed credit hours, including 36 hours of degree-specific core curriculum and approved electives in your area of concentration. Refer to your catalog for a complete listing of coursework for this degree.

  • Parkville, MO
  • Parkville, MO

B.A. MAJOR – 36 HOURS , 2.75 GPA

HIS 107 Historical Thought………………………………. 3 cr.

HIS 400 History in the Public Realm (I)

-OR- …………………………………………………. 3 cr.

HIS 401 The Living History Experience (I)

HIS 454 Senior Project in Public History

-OR- …………………………………………………. 3 cr.

HIS 455 Senior Seminar Paper

TOTAL ……………………………………………… 9 cr.

Each major will select an area of concentration from the following list for successful completion of the major in consultation with a faculty advisor. Freshmen are required to select the area of concentration by completion of second semester and transfer students are required to select the area of concentration by completion of first semester of enrollment.


  • European/Classical
  • United States
  • Public History

The European/Classical and United States concentrations distributed as follows:

• A primary area of concentration, selected from the above list, in which nine courses are taken.

• Two (2) – 300 level courses

Three (3) – 300 level colloquiums (HIS 320, 324, 331 or 334)

Two (2) – 200 level courses

One (1) – 200 level seminar (HIS 251 or HIS 261)

One (1) – 100 level course

• Students must obtain a minimum course grade of “C” to receive credit toward the major.

The interdisciplinary concentration of Public History consists of courses distributed as follows:

• HIS 203: Introduction to Historic Preservation (3 cr.)

• HIS 204: Introduction to Museum Studies (3 cr.)

• HIS 207: Introduction to Archival Management (3 cr.)

• HIS 240: Introduction to Oral History and Methods (3 cr.)

• HIS 305: The Art of Expression in Public History (3 cr.)

• HIS 316: Historic Material Conservation (3 cr.)

• HIS 338: Preservation Law (3 cr.)

• Select one 200 level seminar (3 cr.)

• Select one 300 level colloquium (3 cr.)

• Students must obtain a minimum course grade of “C” to receive credit toward the major.

All Majors must pass a written critical essay based on a topic within their specific concentration. Majors will be provided a scholarly article of approximately 25-30 pages and will have one week to write an essay of 8-10 pages in which he/she will: explain and assess the article and its arguments and evidence, and discuss its significance as a work of historical scholarship. Once the qualifying materials are picked up, Majors are expected to turn in their responses for evaluation. Failure to submit the exam on the due date will be regarded as having failed. Majors must have a pass percentage of 70 or higher in order to graduate. A student may take the written examination only twice. The written examination will be graded by three full-time faculty members. Each member’s numerical score will be added together and divided by three to compose the pass percentage. The examination is based on a “Pass” or “Fail” grading system. (Offered only in October and February of each academic year).

The Senior Seminar Paper permits students to develop, research, write and defend a major essay, composing of 25-30 pages, of original historical research on a topic of their choice. This course is the culmination of their major and builds on training and writing completed in the earlier history courses. Students will work closely with one member of the Program of History. The student will defend and discuss their seminar paper during their Senior Oral Comprehensive Examination.

All Majors must pass a one-hour oral panel presentation covering their senior seminar/senior project topic. The panel presentation shall occur during the final semester prior to graduation. This permits for retake during the student’s last semester in case of failure. The panel board will be composed of three members including the department chair, students’ history advisor, one faculty member selected by the student, the Program Coordinator for History, and /or one faculty member selected by the students’ history advisor. If for some reason there is a doubling of responsibilities of any member, the student will select an alternative faculty member. Students may only sit for the oral panel presentation twice. The examination is based on a “Pass” or “Fail” grading system. (Offered each fall and spring semester only.)

*Prerequisite: Completion of HIS 107 (Public History students are exempted), HIS 400 or HIS 401, HIS 454 or HIS 455 (for Public History students), fifteen credit hours in concentration, and a minimum of 90 credit hours.

Majors are required to pass both the Junior Qualifying Exam and Senior Oral Comprehensive Examination and submit all documents related to the Student Portfolio in order to graduate. The Junior Qualifying Exam, Student Portfolio, and Senior Oral Comprehensive Examination are not required for students minoring in history.

Each Major is required to complete eight credit hours of a reading and speaking knowledge of a language other than English.

MINOR – 18 HOURS, 2.75 GPA

HIS One course from each area of concentration .. 18 cr.

One 100 level course (100-199)

Two 200 level courses (200-299)

Three 300 level courses (300-399)

TOTAL ……………………………………………. 18 cr.

Dr. Debra Sheffer

Chair, History, Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies
Professor of History

Dr. Timothy Westcott

Program Coordinator
Associate Professor of History

Learn about the diversity of human history and its impact on today’s global society.

At Park University, we strive to help our students better understand diverse human societies and cultures through different types of analysis. The study of history is the study of what women and men of the past have left behind, what they have created and what imprints they have left on the global society.

Learning about the past will help you become a proactive, critical thinker as you move forward in advancing your career.

WWI Valor Medal Review

During World War I, Sgt. William Butler served with the renowned 369th Infantry Regiment, and his heroism made headlines. But he never got the Medal of Honor. Park University's History Department is working on a project to help change that.


Our programs will prepare you for a career as a:

  • Historian
  • Archivist
  • Teacher
  • Researcher
shelf full of books with a ladder
students taking notes in class

Program Highlights

When you pursue the Bachelor of Arts in History degree, you may choose from one of three primary areas of concentration: European/Classical, United States or Public History. These areas of study will teach you research techniques, problem-solving skills, and how to critically evaluate evidence to better understand the evolution of various cultures and societies and the impact of this evolution on the global society.

Park University Nisei Exhibit

"Park University history majors designed and installed two permanent exhibits at the university marketing specific anniversaries - the United States centennial entering the Great War and the seventy-fifth issuing of Executive Order 9066."

Public History majors designed and installed two permanent exhibits marking specific anniversaries—the United States centennial entering the Great War and the seventy-fifth issuing of Executive Order 9066. The two installations began during the spring 2017 semester and continued over the summer months.
Christopher Bledsoe, Mark Lees ‘17, Ryan Mason ‘17 and Hannah Provin reviewed 1,300 original documents related to Park’s Nisei student history to design and install an exhibit that narrates the commencement with Executive Order 9066, public reaction, university presidential leadership, alumni relations, Nisei student engagement, and reflection.

Nick Blakeley, Sara Lemke and Tyler Payne designed an exhibit that narrates the beginning of Park’s service during the Great War with the Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.) students, listing all alumni and student war participants, remembrance of the ten Park Academy and College killed in service, and honoring Medal of Honor recipient George S. Robb.

Related programs

Park University’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.