Historians explore the processes of change that cross societies,
connect cultures, and link our increasingly complex and global present
with the past. By offering a range of courses covering the diversity of
historical experience across the globe and from ancient times to the
dawn of our own century, our curriculum presents a rich field of
narrative and analysis.
Students gain a deepening awareness and
curiosity about the past, acquire the essentials of the historian's
craft, and develop a sense of historical connection with the wider
world. By exploring narratives and analyzing patterns of change,
students will develop the skills of critical thinkers and writers: the
independent identification and interpretation of sources, the
construction of meaningful arguments, and the clear explanation and
compelling expression of evidence and ideas.
The Department of History and Political Science offers a major and
minor in History, as well as an Integrated Social Studies Teacher
Licensure (grades 7-12).
Major in History
History majors must take a 1000 level and
2000 level course, then required sophomore methods, plus a senior
research seminar. Other requirements include electives in each of our
four main geographic areas of specialty: American Europe, Asia, and
Africa. See the Otterbein University Catalog for the complete History Major Requirements.
Minor in History
The History minor requires the completion of five courses. See the Otterbein University Catalog for the complete History Minor Requirements.
Areas of Specialty include:
- European History
- American History
- Asian History
- African History
Otterbein’s history faculty
have a wide range of expertise and interests. Our areas of research and
teaching span the globe to include Africa, America, Asia, and Europe and
stretch across time from pre-modern to modern history. Professors’
individual areas of interest are diverse. Members of the history faculty
have published on such topics as:
- Early modern Dutch business history
- Gender and African intercontinental empires
- 20th Century Viennese psychoanalysis
- Women in colonial British America
- Labor conflict in the American West
In our scholarship and in our teaching, we show students what it
means to consider issues through a variety of historical approaches
including intellectual, economic, political, and social history
Study and Internship Opportunities
Otterbein students have many opportunities to experience history outside of the classroom:
- Students can join the college’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.
- Students can make connections between class learning and the
community by participating in service learning. For example, history
students have collected oral histories from immigrant communities in the
Columbus area and researched American Civil War soldiers connected to
- Students can engage in firsthand, independent research through an independent study project or the Honors or Distinction Programs.
- A range of internships can also be arranged at the local, state, or national level.
Career Opportunities and Future Paths
A degree in
history provides students with the training and background needed to
attain success in a variety of professions and pursuits, including
teaching, working in public history (including museums), law school and
government, business, library and information science, and community
- Career Opportunities: Students majoring in history
are prepared to enter a variety of occupations and professions. Career
paths include working for archives, historical societies, museums, and
public institutions as well as any job that values clear writing, strong
communication skills, research experience, and analytical thinking. For
further information about what you can do with a history major, we
suggest you visit the American Historical Association’s Careers for History Majors web site. Faculty advisors in our department are available to help you develop an individualized career plan.
- Teaching: For those interested in history education jobs, the history program cooperates with the Education Department
to prepare students for careers in Social Studies education at the
Middle Childhood or Adolescent to Young Adult level. Students seeking a
license to teach Integrated Social Studies at the 4-8 grade level will
have a major in Education. Those interested in a 7-12 grade level
license major in History and apply separately for admission to the
teacher licensure program through the Education Department once they are
enrolled at Otterbein.