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Major Areas of Study: HISTORYHIST

The discipline of History studies the record of civilization throughout the ages. The History program at Muskingum University demands and develops a broad perspective, analytical skills, and an ability to communicate with clarity and style, making it one of the most useful disciplines in a liberal arts curriculum.

Student Opportunities


Recent internships for History students include:

  • Cataloging and archiving historic documents and artifacts (John and Annie Glenn Historic Site, Hayes Presidential Center, Massillon Museum)
  • Historic Inventories of Homes (Indiana Historical Society)
  • Serving as tour guides (Fort Pitt Museum, Roscoe Village, Hale Farm)
  • Developing Educational programming (Roscoe Village)
  • Living History/Historical Interpretation (John and Annie Glenn Historic Site, Hale Farm and Village, Roscoe Village)
  • Developing a traveling exhibit for the Ohio Bicentennial (Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center)


History majors have recently participated in the following research activities:

  • Conducting research at the Ohio Historical Society for Dr. Bil Kerrigan's book on Johnny Appleseed, developing GIS maps for this book, organizing notes and creating a database.
  • Conducting oral histories with farmers displaced by strip mines and strip mine workers and census and archival research on 13 townships affected by surface mining in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Researching and writing biographies of notable Muskingum alumni for use by the College's Development Office.

As a capstone project, the senior seminar requires that the History major thoroughly research prospective sources (both primary and secondary sources, and occasionally sources in a foreign language), assess the value and validity of said sources, develop a methodology to explore their chosen topic, and then write and re-write a polished final project.  Some recent seminar topics include:

  • "A Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness: The Confessing Christians in Germany, 1933-1945"
  • "The Bloodiest Day: Antietam and the Maryland Campaign of 1862"
  • "From Bouts of Honor to Honor Cultures: A Relational Look at Dueling and Honor with Focus on America's Southern Culture"
  • "The Politics and Poetics of Mapping South Asia at a Major Art Museum in Washington, DC"
  • "The Rise of the German National Socialist Party, 1919-1933"


Phi Alpha Theta is open to all students who have completed twelve credit hours in history and who hold a 3.0 GPA overall. PAT is a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. It seeks to bring students, teachers and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by members in a variety of ways.


The History department employs 1-2 student assistants, performing general office tasks, assisting with web-page design and upgrading, and providing tutoring assistance to fellow students.

Professional Activities

Students involved in the History honorary, Phi Alpha Theta, have the opportunity to present their work at the annual Spring meeting of the organizational branch in Ohio.  Senior research projects can also be submitted for acceptance in a variety of regional history conferences.

After Graduation

  • Jordan Eis ('09) recently completed her MA in History from University College Dublin, Ireland, and is currently Senator Mary Moran's full time parliamentary assistant in the Seanad (the upper house of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament.)

  • David Shahbodaghi ('10) is in medical school at West Virginia University and is a Second Lt. in the U.S. Army.

  • Troy Valasek ('11) majored in History, Business, and economics at Muskingum, before attending law school at the University of Akron. He writes:
    At the University of Akron School of Law, my focus was on Business/Corporate Law and eventually Oil and Gas/Environmental Law. In July 2014, I sat for the Ohio Bar Exam and was subsequently sworn in that November as a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio.

    Currently I am an Attorney at Law and Landman of West Appalachia Assets for EnerVest Operating, L.L.C., a national oil and gas producer, headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia. I have been with EnerVest since August 2014 and work in EnerVest's field office located in Hartville, Ohio. My area of operations includes: Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.

    I would not be where I am today without my Muskingum education. In particular, my History Department courses provided me with not only the skills required to successfully complete law school but also objective lessons that I use every day in my personal life and profession.

    First, law school (and the legal profession in general) requires the abilities to read actively, comprehend, and analyze immense amounts of facts and theories. Second, writing research papers is also very similar to writing case briefs and legal arguments. Third, it requires students to express opinions and questions effectively. Mastering these skills in my History classes is the reason that I was able to quickly adapt to the Socratic method of teaching. Even the process of having to hand-write long essay questions helped me. My third year of law school, my computer crashed five minutes into an exam. Many students would have just left and taken a failing grade on the exam; however, I remember filling up an entire blue book during a Dr. Hilton exam and knew I could do it again, so I just started writing and earned an "A". Without these skills, I do not believe that I would have excelled in law school and made the Akron Law Review.

    Laura Hilton's photo.However, the most significant lesson I learned from being a history major at Muskingum is the responsibility to always look at a situation from different points of view. I deal with conflicts every day and am often very successful at resolving those conflicts in a way that satisfies both parties. I always try to put myself in the other people's shoes before I form judgments. By doing this, I more thoroughly understand the arguments being made, why each party feels strongly regarding their position, and often what a potential resolution may be. I believe that applying this historian inspired strategy to business can best be described through the following quote by Dale Carnegie: "[T]hink always in terms of the other person's point of view, and see things from that person's angle as well as your own."

    An avid re-enactor for more than ten years, initially Civil War, Troy (left) now also participates in the Great War Association.



Career Possibilities for History Majors (in general):

  • Government
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • Education
  • Non-profit (museums, historical societies, etc.)
  • Law

Graduate Programs

Recent History graduates have enrolled in the following graduate schools:

  • University of Kentucky
  • Indiana University
  • University of Akron
  • Kent State University
  • Miami University (Ohio)
  • Ohio University
  • University of Delaware Winterthur Program
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • University of Cincinnati Law School
  • Ball State University


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