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History Overview

The history program offers courses in American, European, and non-Western history that provide students with a grounding in the many ways historians have made sense of the world. Understanding how diverse societies, economies, states, and cultures have developed and changed over time is crucial to evaluating and adapting to today’s ever-changing world. Because of our small class sizes, you'll do assignments and projects that would be unthinkable at larger universities. We encourage you to pursue your passions, and our program has the flexibility to make it an integral part of your education.
Degrees Offered
  • BA
Program School

The study of history is more than reconstructing events of the past. It is the study of societies and their institutions, economics, cultures, and beliefs as they evolved over time. Our history major is designed to prepare students for a variety of career paths. There are courses that teach skills that our graduates will use in museums, historical societies, living history sites, and state and national parks, as well as government agencies and non-profit organizations. In addition, Chatham has agreements with law schools that enable students to complete their undergraduate education and law school a year earlier than most.

— LOU MARTIN, Ph.D., associate professor of history

Photo of a professor wearing a suit speaking with Chatham University students outside.

Campus Community Profile: Jean-Jacques Sene, Ph.D. 

Learn more about Jean-Jacques Sene, Ph.D., associate professor of history & cultural studies.  

Explore the History Degree:

Throughout your coursework, you’ll learn to acquire, organize, analyze, and clearly communicate information in other words, to think critically and write well. You’ll appreciate one-on-one mentoring with a professor, discussing questions that matter, having the opportunity to do original research, and going beyond presidential politics to understand how people have experienced historical change.

  • All students complete a capstone seminar that channels the knowledge they’ve accumulated into a discipline-specific project under close faculty guidance. Chatham is one of the few universities across the country that offers such an independent and student-driven program.
  • Graduate with an advanced degree through one of our partnerships, including the Accelerated Graduate Program in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, the 3/3 program at Duquesne University Law School, and the Early Assurance Program with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Students who want to teach history in high school can complete the certification requirements and graduate in four years with a BA in history and secondary teacher certification in social studies. Alternatively, you can complete the Integrated Degree Program and graduate in five years with a BA in History and an MAT with teacher certification in social studies.

Industry and the Working Class in Europe and America

This course seeks to understand who built America, under what conditions they labored, and to understand their hopes, dreams, and struggles to create a better future for themselves and their families. The course traces the historical development of the American working class from colonial times to the present. Particular attention is given to the formation of working class political and economic organizations and their impact on American history.

Oral History, Neighborhoods, and Race

Through this course, students will learn about oral history and the racial dynamics of American cities, especially Pittsburgh, since World War II. Students will learn about the history of racial inequality in cities and the efforts of people to both combat and maintain that inequality. They will then conduct oral history interviews to further explore the lives of people in two neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.

Digital Local History

This course examines current methods and technologies used in the production of digital history, with a particular focus on incorporating local history resources into online historical media.

View Full Curriculum

Our Faculty

If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty
Photo of Jean-Jaques Sene
Associate professor of History; Cultural Studies; Conflict Studies
Photo of a Costa Rican rain forest and mountain

Global Focus Program

Chatham’s award-winning Global Focus program engages our students in the critical and holistic exploration of one specific country or region of the globe every year. The program reinforces cross-cultural ties and internationalization initiatives in the Greater Pittsburgh area and beyond. Featured countries have included Indonesia, Canada, Southern Africa, Germany, Brazil, Chile, and Vietnam. For the 2021-2022 academic year, our focus is Costa Rica.

Explore the Global Focus Program : Checkerboard 1 - Global Focus Program
Photo of the facade of the Supreme Court in Washington DC.

History & Law

Chatham's pre-law program is designed to encourage and support students with an interest in careers in law. It also helps students prepare to attend law school. The program includes the pre-law advisor, a pre-law minor, co-curricular programs offered in partnership with the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, as well as the support of an advisory committee.

Photo of flags of different nations flying in front of the United Nations building.

International Studies Certificate

It’s easy to enhance the degree with a certificate in international studies in one of five major global regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The certificate includes a language requirement, history and culture courses, and an international field experience (which Chatham helps to fund).