At Bellarmine, our history students learn the research, organization, critical thinking, speaking and writing skills to gain a deeper understanding of the world. Our location in Louisville provides rich resources for student internships in institutions and organizations that archive and process historical documents, historic homes and museums, law firms, and non-profit organizations.

Why earn your History degree at Bellarmine?

At Bellarmine, our history students prepare for the job market by developing important research, organizational, analytical, critical thinking, speaking and writing skills, while gaining a deeper understanding of the world and its peoples. Bellarmine's history degree provides an opportunity for rigorous study of the history of diverse regions and time periods from a variety of perspectives. Students will be introduced to not only classroom experiences but will also be supported by on-campus involvement opportunities and by the larger Louisville region through internships and community engagement.

Program Highlights

The history program equips graduates to continue in graduate school or embark on careers in both the public and private sectors. History majors work closely with the faculty to learn the methods of historical research and use of primary sources to engage in their own original research.

History majors are encouraged to participate in an internship at a local, state, or national organization. The Louisville community provides rich resources for student internships in institutions that archive and research historical documents, historic homes and museums, law firms, government offices and various non-profit organizations. Combined with year-round support from the Office of Career and Development, students build their experiences and depth of knowledge in ways that are tailored to fit their needs, in support of their career goals and aspirations. The History major curriculum supports students on a personal and academic level in order to be fully prepared for employment or graduate studies after completion.

There are also extracurricular activities in the department. The Bellarmine Historical Society provides opportunities for students to invite speakers, view films, and go on field trips to sites of historical interest. Each year students may join our Model Arab League delegation, which participates in regional conferences. Students who excel in the discipline will be invited to be inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, a national honor society with 860 local chapters.


“The educational foundation I received at BU has helped me throughout my career as an archivist. Having a broad liberal arts background with a major in history gave me skills in research, communication, and critical thinking. BU also provided me an excellent network of friends and colleagues throughout the city, county, and world. Bellarmine will be an excellent choice as you continue on your journey!”

Jennifer Cole, MA, MLIS ’01
Associate Curator of Special Collections
The Filson Historical Society

Learning Goals

  1. History graduates will have an understanding of essential historical and political perspectives, drawn from the wide global spectrum of human experience.
  2. History graduates will have an ability to read and analyze primary and secondary texts critically.
  3. History graduates will have an ability to interpret evidence and think historically.
  4. History graduates will have an ability to disseminate their discoveries and ideas by oral and written means.

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses are required to complete the program?

For a History Major:

  • Basic courses: HIST 116, 117, 201, 202, 323, 324 and 12 hours selected from 300- or 400-level History courses. (For the maximum 36 hours permitted in the major, students may select six additional hours from 300- or 400-level History courses.)
  • Required related courses: PS 101, PS 203, PS 204. History majors must also complete six credits of a foreign language (ancient or modern) or satisfy the Bellarmine College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts foreign language proficiency requirement.

For a History Minor:

  • 24 credit hours including: HIST 116, 117, 201, 202, and 12 hours selected from 300- or 400-level History courses.
What employment opportunities are available with a history degree?

Graduates with a history major pursue careers in a wide variety of fields.   Some of our graduates pursue careers in government service or in politics at the local, state, or federal level. Many embark upon careers in business or in non-profit organizations. Others work in museums, public and private archives, and other institutions in which artifacts and documents must be maintained and studied. Still others--with an education degree--teach social science at the high school level. Students who major in history frequently go on to pursue post-graduate degrees in law, history or other fields.

Do you provide job or internship placement?

Yes. Bellarmine guarantees every student the opportunity to have an internship, develop a career plan and build a professional network. The Louisville community provides resources for history student internships in institutions and organizations that archive and process historical documents, historic homes and museums, law firms, and non-profit organizations.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Please go to Bellarmine’s financial aid website for detailed information on financial aid packages. Additionally, students can work with our Faculty Development Center to apply for grants and awards outside of the Bellarmine offerings.

How many hours can I expect to spend studying outside of class time?

Students have their own learning styles so this can vary greatly. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend an average of two hours studying for every hour you spend in class.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of Bellarmine's History Program are found in almost every imaginable occupation, including the military, law, political campaigns, teaching, finance, public relations, coaching, government, business, advertising, education administration, libraries, and archives.

Our graduates have pursued graduate degrees at Auburn University, Columbia University, Hebrew Union College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University (Chicago), Morehead State University, the Southern College of Optometry, the University of Chicago, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Illinois, the University of Louisville, the University of Melbourne (Australia), and Xavier University, among others.

History graduates have gone to law schools at the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University, St. Louis University, Indiana University-Bloomington, Indiana University-Indianapolis, George Mason University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Notre Dame.

Student Involvement

The Bellarmine Historical Society pursues the research and presentation of Bellarmine’s own history, and encourages students’ interest in the history of the region, state, nation, and world through extracurricular activities.

Phi Alpha Theta: The program has membership in the Phi Alpha Theta history honor society for students who qualify, based on GPA and the number of history courses taken, and wish to join.

The Pre-Law Society is an organization geared to students who plan to attend law school upon completion of their undergraduate program. Its goal is to prepare students for law school admission through on-site law school visits, interviews with law school representatives, LSAT mock exams, guest lecturers discussing careers in the field of law, and other extracurricular activities.

The Model Arab League program provides an opportunity to learn about current events in the Arab world, international relations, and parliamentary procedures.  Students engage in debate and collaborate with students from other regional universities in working on solutions to problems facing Arab countries.

English-Speaking Union Scholarships at Bellarmine: History majors have been frequent recipients of this award. The students who received this scholarship studied at the University of Oxford (England) during the summer.


  • Timothy Welliver, Ph.D.
  • Fedja Buric, Ph.D.
  • Laura J. Ping, Ph.D.

Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.


Bellarmine University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees.

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