Follow your curiosity and develop valuable skills as you explore past and present human experiences.

Why Study History?

Historians are part sleuth and part research scientist, sharing a curiosity about where we've come from and history's potential to influence where we are going. A blend of the humanities and social sciences, this field both asks and answers questions about human experiences and how people, events and societies of the past inform the present.

As a history major at USD, you will develop reading, writing, research and critical thinking skills as you explore past and contemporary human experiences. Your studies may involve a trip to the Aegean Sea to explore ancient and modern Greece via sailboat, or you may delve deep into USD’s unique archives and the largest oral history collection in the region to learn about the past through primary sources such as recorded interviews and newspapers.

Through enriching experiences in and beyond the classroom, you will learn how to use evidence to interpret information, tell stories and make persuasive arguments. This high-quality liberal arts education prepares you for a range of careers, including those in law, education, museums, journalism, marketing, cultural agencies and more.

Embrace your curiosity and find answers to your questions about people, events, institutions and values as a history major at USD.

Degrees & Offerings

History (B.A., B.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

The history major allows you to explore interesting stories and questions from the past as you develop skills that are transferable to a variety of fields in the present.

History (B.A., B.S.) with Secondary Education Certificate

  Vermillion Main Campus

For students primarily interested in teaching history at the secondary level. Education certification courses are offered through the School of Education.

History Minor

  Vermillion Main Campus

The history minor is a great complement to virtually any major, such as English, political science, legal studies and Spanish. You'll learn to ask and find the answers to your questions by exploring the history of humankind.

Program Details






Known For Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Student Opportunities

As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.
The exterior of the national music museum.
The National Music Museum.

You can build your resume, gain real-world experiences and create a network that serves you for years to come through an internship. USD history majors have interned locally at the South Dakota Oral History Center, the USD Archives and the W. H. Over Museum, the National Music Museum and beyond at centers and organizations like the Dakota Territorial Museum and the South Dakota State Archives. 

Typical internships are taken for three credit hours and require a minimum of 135 verifiable hours of work at the internship site. Three hours of internship credit can be applied to your major or minor requirements. Additional hours may only be applied to graduation requirements. Students must meet all requirements to be eligible to receive credit for an internship. Any exceptions must be approved by the department chair. These requirements are a declared major or minor in history, Native American studies, philosophy or religious studies, successful completion of 12 hours of course work in the major, or 6 hours of course work in the minor, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

As a history major at USD, you won't just be looking at photographs in a textbook; you can engage in hands-on learning in the region or around the world. The USD Department of History provides opportunities for studying abroad in the Isles of Greece program and financial support for undergraduate study abroad through the Cedric & Evelyn Cummins Memorial Scholarship.

USD is home to more than 170 student organizations, including several that are housed in the Department of History. You may be interested in joining Phi Alpha Theta or the Student History Club to make friends, develop new skills and explore your interests.

Explore Student Organizations

The Cedric & Evelyn Cummins Memorial Scholarship supports the study abroad experiences of history majors and has enabled students to travel to countries including Ireland, Greece, Germany and France.

The Carl Christol Memorial Scholarship and the Reaves Family History Scholarship also support history undergraduate students and are awarded annually by the history department faculty. Ask the department chair for more information.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education.
Historic Photo Placed Over Current East Hall Building


At the University of South Dakota, our Department of History houses numerous disciplines that exist at the intersection of curiosity, research, writing, storytelling and the human experience. Find the answers to your questions about people, events, institutions and values with the guidance and support of our exceptional faculty.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know your professors in the Department of History.
Bio Image for Faculty Member David Burrow

David Burrow



Imperial Russia
Modern Europe
Bio Image for Faculty Member Elise Boxer

Elise Boxer

Director-Inst of Amer Indian
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kurt Hackemer

Kurt Hackemer

Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost


19th Century American Military & Naval History
Bio Image for Faculty Member Sara Lampert

Sara Lampert

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Mark Madsen

Mark Madsen

Bio Image for Faculty Member Molly Rozum

Molly Rozum

Associate Professor, R.Nelson Distinguished Professor
Students Presenting at a Conference

Gain Real-World Experience

At USD, you will go beyond the classroom to learn in the real world. Whether you are interested in conducting undergraduate research through the Oral History Center, interning at regional museums, doing archival work abroad, presenting at the annual Student History Conference or another form of experiential learning, you'll find opportunities to explore your interests and apply what you've learned.

Find Your Dream Career

Lawyers. Teachers. Librarians. Marketing directors. Tech innovators. Museum professionals. Journalists.

These are just a few of the career paths history majors can pursue. Our program provides you with the space to explore the stories you are most curious about as you develop marketable skills that will serve you in a variety of careers.

Surprisingly Affordable

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Undergraduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees. 

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.


Success story Derek Chancellor smiling.
My professor saw potential in my writing, curiosity, and genuine willingness to learn. Through her guidance and the connections I've made as a result of her mentorship, I've worked for a U.S. Senator on Capitol Hill, a high-profile communications firm in DC-Virginia, and now as a regional liaison for the Lt. Governor of Ohio.

Derek Chancellor

B.A. History, Political Science '15
Southwest Ohio Regional Liaison for Lt. Governor Jon Husted, State of Ohio
McCook, Nebraska

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