Geneva College

Academics

History major


The Geneva College history, political science and sociology department

The history major at Geneva College encourages students to develop an historical imagination for the “how′s and why′s” of history as much as the “what′s, when′s, and where′s,” and to articulate their findings. It particularly seeks to help students approach the past in the spirit of biblical faithfulness. The major is intended to complement Geneva′s core curriculum and to encourage students to gain a liberal arts background as the basis for future development and contributions to the Christian community and society.

Why choose history at Geneva College?

Courses

  • All of our classes are small. Even the history surveys have 30 students or fewer each semester. Our upper level courses have enrollments of 15-20 students and often far fewer. 
  • We offer 200-, 300-, and 400-level history courses. The 200-level courses are surveys; the 300-level courses explore large themes within particular subfields; and the 400-level courses cap off the college experience with close, challenging reading in specialized topics.
  • All freshmen history majors complete an Introduction to History course that lays the groundwork for the major. It addresses areas such as ways to think about history, what it means to “do” history, how to write history, and career opportunities.
  • Unlike most institutions that require students to take only two-semester surveys in European History and US History, we require three semester-long surveys in each, thus providing greater opportunities to go into more depth.
  • Majors complete two of the four non-western survey courses offered (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Middle East).
  • We offer upper level courses (300- and 400-level) of interesting and sometimes rare varieties, including studies of Ancient Greece, genocide, U.S. cultural history, Spanish history, and global Christianity.
  • During the fall of their senior year, all majors complete a Senior Seminar course that is writing- and research-intensive and in which students produce a major research project. 
  • Seniors also complete a History and Theory course facilitated by all of the history faculty in a seminar setting that focuses on current trends in the discipline and that addresses specific topics related to the intersection of the Christian faith and history.

Pedagogy

  • There are a variety of pedagogical techniques used within classes, including lecture, discussion, group-work, and student presentations.
  • Students write a lot in our courses, as opposed to completing objective assessment exercises. We see this as a crucial pathway toward historical understanding and, more generally, intellectual growth. 
  • Students read a lot for our courses (textbooks, monographs, and primary sources), which deepens the richness and complexity of our encounter with the past. Professors often select many different types of texts for classes, from cultural and literary to autobiographical, historical, and artistic.
  • There is a focus on critical thinking within all of our classes, which helps students to develop their ability to articulate ideas.

Faith & Learning

  • All we do is undergirded by the integration of faith and learning. We contend that Christian faith helps us to see the past more clearly. 

Students

  • Because classes are small, students get to know each other, and often become close friends.
  • The professors know their students and advisees well. 
  • We have an active student-led History Club.
  • Many of our students take advantage of internships opportunities in nearby historical societies and museums.
  • On Tuesdays many of our majors get together for lunch.
  • We encourage History majors to participate in the Semester in Rome. Geneva allows 100% of students′ institutional aid to be used toward the program.

Faculty

  • We have four full-time faculty, all of whom teach most of our courses. We rarely use part-time faculty and never use TAs.
  • Several of the history faculty have graduate degrees in theology, in addition to PhD credentials in history.

What can you do with a history degree?

Build a solid foundation for graduate school or a career in a variety of fields, including:

  • Teaching in public or private schools
  • Museums
  • Higher education
  • Journalism
  • Library science
  • Law
  • Ministry
  • U.S. News & World Report National Top 100

    U.S. News & World Report recognizes Geneva College as a Top 10 Best Value School out of all North Region colleges, accounting for our academic quality and the net cost of attendance for those receiving the average level of need-based financial aid.

  • U.S. News & World Report National Top 100

    For the second year in a row, Geneva’s ABET-accredited engineering program placed in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs in the nation.

  • Christian College of Distinction

    Geneva was named a Christian College of Distinction, affirming the school’s dedication to high quality academics founded on the inerrant truth of God’s word.

  • College of Distinction Pennsylvania

    Designated as a Pennsylvania College of Distinction, Geneva is recognized as one of the best places in the state for students to learn, to grow, and to succeed.

  • College of Distinction

    As a College of Distinction, Geneva is nationally recognized for providing outstanding preparation that is highly valued by graduate schools and employers.

  • U.S. News & World Report Regional Top 20

    Geneva College placed in the Top 20 Regional College North Rankings as identified by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Geneva College ranks in the top 45 in return on investment

    Geneva College ranks in the top 45 out of 402 colleges in Pennsylvania analyzed for return on investment by AffordableCollegesOnline.org, a prevalent resource for college affordability and financial aid information.