Experience history through a hands-on, research-intensive bachelor’s degree program at Wells College.

Areas of Study


A Look inside the History Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

As a history major at Wells College, you’ll find that studying history isn’t about memorizing names and dates: it’s about good storytelling and experiential education. You’ll learn to construct scholarly arguments, analyze source material, and draw evidence-based conclusions—skills you can apply to virtually any career. You’ll have opportunities to gain real-world experience through internships in the community or across the country or study history overseas through our undergraduate study abroad program. You’ll also get to explore history through innovative education methods such as game playing and roleplaying, in which you take on a famous historical persona, research and prepare for the role outside of class, and discuss the issues of the time through that individual’s viewpoints in classroom debates and even on social media.

The History BA program is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, allowing you to draw on wide ranging areas of study including economics, political science, art history, film and media studies, philosophy, and many more. Classes are small and discussion-based and offer rewarding opportunities to engage with faculty and peers in a supportive, community-like learning environment. Our scenic campus in Aurora, New York, and the surrounding area is also rich with history, offering history majors an ideal location to research and explore.

What You’ll Learn as a History Major

  • How to think historically and understand why events happened, how people experienced them, and how they shaped societies
  • How to develop an argument, defend your point of view, and support it with evidence
  • Research, writing, and verbal presentation skills
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

History Clubs and Other Aurora Campus Programs

Share your love of history while building leadership skills by getting involved with one of many active groups on campus. We are a small college but offer a wide variety of co-curricular activities. Below are just a few of your options:

  • Political Activism at Wells College
  • Campus Greens Environmental Club
  • Japanese Culture Club
  • Collegiate Counsel (student government)
  • The History Society
  • Model United Nations
  • P.O.W.E.R. (Praising Our Work, Ethnicity, and Race)

You can also get involved with planning, organizing, and participating in exciting annual events such as the Peachtown Native American Festival and Education Week, Activism Symposium, and others supported by modern languages faculty such as Tapas Night, Hispanic Heritage Month Film Series, and more.

Ready to find out more?

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our History program?

Ready to Apply?

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in History at Wells College.

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the History

One of the unique aspects of our History BA program is the emphasis on hands-on learning and the wealth of opportunities you have to take your undergraduate education outside of the classroom and gain real-world expertise.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Wells College has established relationships with local historical societies and museums throughout the Finger Lakes region of New York to provide many options to learn and talk and teach others. In recent years, history majors at Wells have held a number of internships including:

  • Ithaca College library archives, Ithaca, New York
  • National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
  • New York City Landmark Preservation Commission
  • Rochester Historical Society, Rochester, New York
  • Seward House, Aurora, New York
  • Wells Fargo Historical Services, San Francisco
  • Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, New York

Want to study European history in Berlin, England, or Florence? In the History bachelor’s degree program at Wells, you can gain transformative experiences and amazing memories through study abroad programs around the world.

Career Options for History Graduates

When you earn your bachelor’s degree in History from Wells College, you’ll enter the job market or graduate school prepared to succeed. Career and graduate options for history majors include law, library science, education, writing, museum work, or the diverse field known as public history.

Current Research in History

Professor of History Michael Groth has written a new book, Slavery and Freedom in the Mid-Hudson Valley, which will be published by SUNY Press in 2017. He recently gave a presentation on the topic at Mount Gulian Historic Site, one of different lectures and performances commemorating the life of James F. Brown, a former slave who became the master gardener of the Verplanck family’s Hudson River estate during the decades preceding the Civil War.

Cynthia J. Koepp, Professor of History, attended the 15th annual “Reacting to the Past” conference in New York City. She participated in two workshops: “Greenwich Village, 1913: Labor, Suffrage, and the New Woman” and “Patriots, Loyalists & Revolution in New York City, 1775-76.” Professor Koepp was recently interviewed by Sweden Public Radio for a program on “the history and future of work”—one of her research areas. She also gave a public lecture at the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, N.Y., entitled “Examining a Stereotype: Women and the Witch Craze, 1560-1680.”

Explore Other Programs at Wells


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Chip Capraro

Michael Groth outside of Stratton 08/22/2023

Michael E. Groth

loslie rogner schumacher

Leslie Rogne Schumacher

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