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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

Faculty Expertise

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
  • 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 perspectives.

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 Otterbein.
  • 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 service.

  • 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.

/ Department of History and Political Science

La Trice Washington
p/ 614.823.1019
e/ LWashington@otterbein.edu


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