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What is History?

History, at the core, is the study of the human past. With special attention paid to written records, history majors use various research methods to create a narrative from a sequence of events. Such events are then looked at for cause and effect relationships and, ultimately, used to possibly create some sort of perspective on current events and problems facing society. In the exploration of cultural heritage and the evaluation of social institutions, Pitt-Johnstown History majors learn about the historical process and the research methods used to analyze and understand the process, with classes ranging from ancient history to the recent past.


What can I do with a History Degree?

As a Social Science major, of course, the world is fairly open to you and you can consider a multitude of careers. More specifically, though, with your degree in history you can be an educator, researcher, communicator or editor, information manager, advocate, or even a businessperson. The important thing to remember is that with a history degree, you can create your own career path. The inherent flexibility in the degree is fantastic, no matter if you are looking for something general or specific.


 Program Mission Statement

History, as one of the traditional disciplines of the liberal arts, forms part of the general education program of the college and offers introductory level courses to the entire student popluation. The study of history is also part of the major program of every student majoring in the social science disciplines, many of whom take several courses in history. Courses in history also factor prominently in the bachelor degree in Education, especially in Seocndary Education: Social Science. The history major is a carefully-planned curriculum that requires students to take both survey courses and specifically-focused upper level ones, to spread their study across the areas of European, American, non-Western and other fields of history, and to complete a capstone seminar that involves intensive individual research and writing.


What kinds of courses will I take?

The courses listed below are only a small glimpse into the History courses available on our campus. To view the full list of History course descriptions, click here.


This course explores the origins of the Western traditions and the changes that occur in the political, social, economic, intellectual, artistic, and other realms over time and with shifts in geographical focus. The course begins with the Bronze Age and ends with the Reformation and the Age of Exploration. Writing skills are emphasized. Students are trained in the writing of essays.


This course deals with geography, government, society, economy, philosophy, and religions of China, Japan, and Korea from prehistoric times to the 18th century. It emphasizes the role of China and its influence on its neighbors. 


A seminar on the moving visual image as historical artifact. Examines the impact of film and video on the historical profession. Seeks to provide expertise in the technologies of filmmaking required for scholarly use of visual resources.


An examination of the conflict between the United States (and its allies) and the empire of Japan, 1941–45. Both American and Japanese perspectives are explored.


This course explores the political, social, and cultural history of the cold war in the united states, emphasizing themes such as civil rights and civil liberties, the McCarthy period, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the Vietnam war, the rise of the new left and the new right, the Regan presidency, and the fall of the Soviet empire.


This course explores American politics, culture, and society in the 1960s. Topics include the "Camelot" years of the Kennedy administration, the great society, the Vietnam war at home, the civil rights movement and the rise of the new left and women's liberation movements, rock and roll, the sexual revolution and the counterculture, and the emergence of new age spirituality. 


History Links

These links have been provided for those who want more information on both the Pitt-Johnstown History Program, and the world of History as a whole.

Pitt-Johnstown History Department Homepage

Degree Requirements (.pdf)

Careers for History Majors

American Historical Association

Library of Congress

Johnstown Area Heritage Association

Contact Our History Faculty

Want More Information?

If you want to receive more information about Pitt-Johnstown in general, please visit the Admissions Office homepage by clicking the Mountain Cat!

Last Reviewed: January 10, 2012