By learning about the past, we learn to know ourselves, and the world in which we live. Our undergraduate History program offers unique opportunities to explore the nature of human experience through hands-on research and study, in a collaborative learning environment at a small, private liberal arts college. You'll move beyond textbooks, conducting research using primary sources such as journals, letters, and articles from a variety of historical periods. You'll also benefit from close interaction with top faculty who are exceptional educators, valuable mentors, and accomplished researchers in their respective fields of history. The History program is offered as both a major and a minor.
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.
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.
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:
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. Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells.
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:
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.
Complement your major area of study with one of our diverse minor degree programs. The History bachelor’s degree at Wells is available as both a major and minor. If you’re interested in studying history, you might also want to explore our minors in:
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.
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."
Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in History at Wells College. Apply now.
Ready to learn more about Wells College and our History Bachelor of Arts program? Request more information.