Students talking

The general history concentration for our degree in history is about much more than simply memorizing dates.

As a history major, you can expect to play four exciting and challenging roles as you study the past:

magnifying lensDetective: Investigate and authenticate primary and secondary sources.

scales iconJudge: Evaluate and select historical information

thought bubblePhilosopher: Organize and interpret historical information.

conversation bubbleStoryteller: Explain history to others through narration and publication.

Our history major program will prepare you for a variety of careers—anything from insurance claims adjustment to college administration to nonprofits. Or, if you combine this with foreign language training, this major is the best option to prepare for graduate school, including history, law school, or library and information science.

What You Will Learn

This program will provide you with a generalist training in history. You will learn the fundamentals of analyzing and contextualizing bodies of:

  • social data
  • cultural data
  • political data

What It’s Like to Major in General History at Ball State

A general history major is the only major option in the Department of History that qualifies for the Degree in 3 program, which allows you to complete your bachelor’s degree in three years.

Whether you complete this program in three years or four years, you will gain valuable skills that are required by employers in many different fields.

Learn More about Degree in 3

The Department of History includes several faculty members who are currently working on Public History projects in which you can get involved. These include James Connolly, Emily Johnson, Jennifer DeSilva, Ron Morris, and Public History Program Director, Wendy Soltz.

These faculty publish frequently, earn grants and awards and are interviewed by the BBC, The New York Times, NPR, and other leading media outlets. Our faculty’s international reputation enhances the value of letters of recommendation written for students and contributes to Ball State’s reputation.

Read Their Bios

As a student, you can do research with us the day you set foot at Ball State.

Bracken Library has more than 2.3 million volumes of books, musical scores, archival records, and other information for you to search.

Plus, you will have access to the state-of-the-art technology and amazing primary resources held in the University's Archives and Special Collections and Digital Media Repository, GIS Research and Map Collection, and the Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment. 

Learn More about Our Libraries

Bracken Library

Public History students can take advantage of wonderful public history resources on campus such as the Archives and Special Collections and the David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA), within the city of Muncie such as Minnetrista and the Delaware County Historical Society, and regionally such as Conner Prairie, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Fort Wayne History Center, Indiana Historical Society, Indiana State Museum sites, Wabash County Historical Society, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Indiana Landmarks, and many (many) more.

Major Requirements

Completing this program will earn you either a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) in history with a concentration in general history. You must complete two years of a foreign language to earn the BA.

Through our curriculum, you’ll have the opportunity to explore history all over the world. You will also complete a Senior Research Project.

Completing the foreign language requirement for a BA will also set you on a path for graduate research in history, where, outside of U.S. history, reading knowledge of at least two foreign languages is essential for a Ph.D.

Our degree in history also offers a public history concentration, which is designed for students planning to immediately transition into a professional job after graduation.


Total: 39

  • prerequisites – 18
  • core courses and electives – 21


A few of the classes you will take include:

  • HIST 151-152 World Civilization 1-2
  • HIST 200 Introduction to History Methods
  • HIST 201 American History, 1492-1876
  • HIST 202 U.S. History, 1877 to Present
  • HIST 470 Senior Seminar

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Degree in General History?

Students with a degree in history can pursue graduate degrees or careers in fields inside and outside the humanities. Whether writing books or constructing websites, historians are trained in gathering and analyzing evidence.

Historians are detectives, and our majors have gone on to be:

  • lawyers
  • administrators
  • National Park Service rangers
  • librarians
  • digital media strategists
  • museum professionals
  • teachers
  • professors

Explore All of Your Options

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Ready to Apply?

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

Want to Learn More?

The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or, if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact the Director of the Public History Program, Wendy Soltz

Related Programs