History Program Major - Defiance College - Defiance, Ohio


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"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." - H.G. Wells

Top 10 Reasons to Study History

  1. “So we may profit by their experiences without paying the price it cost them.” - John Jay, Federalist, No. 5.
  2. In order to improve ourselves by following the examples of great men and women of the past.
  3. In order to understand, live, and exist in our present world.
  4. To ensure order in society by creating global citizens.
  5. To help us put things into perspective.
  6. To help solve our problems by showing what has worked and what has not worked in the past.
  7. In order to remove prejudices and increase understanding.
  8. To keep our principles alive.
  9. To judge what can be done and has been done.
  10. To help (to some extent) predict the future.

History - 1953 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Ohio Governor Frank Lausche; US Senator John Bricker; DC President Kevin McCann

US President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Ohio Governor Frank Lausche; US Senator John Bricker; Defiance College President Kevin McCann, 1953

Understanding history helps one understand the world today. The study of history is not just a chronicling of the human past, but an analysis of past events in an effort to explain the social, cultural, and political effects that shape the present.

The history program at Defiance College introduces students to a “minds on” approach where studying history is no longer simply learning and memorizing the facts, but rather analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating the facts to expand knowledge of both the past and present. Students are taught to think and act within their discipline, utilizing classroom knowledge and practical skills to make an impact within their communities and beyond.

During their studies, students are encouraged to ask questions. Why do events happen? What implications do historical events have for understanding the human condition? Students address bigger questions by learning to use a wide variety of historical documents such as newspapers, journals, primary sources, and electronic databases. By writing their own interpretations of these documents, students are doing more than learning about history – they are partaking in it.


Benefits of the Program

International History Honors Society
Defiance College’s Iota Pi Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta is the international history honors society "whose mission is to promote the study of history." We participate in yearly conferences which allow students to present their original research to a panel of their peers and distinguished historians.

McMaster School
Students have the opportunity to both make history and make a difference for humanity through Defiance College’s innovative McMaster School. As a McMaster scholar, students are enabled to become active world citizens by researching and planning projects that address a global issue, then working with faculty to carry out the project in an effort to alleviate human suffering in the world. Previous history majors have completed projects in places such as Belize, Cambodia, New Orleans, and Tanzania.

Related Programs

Integrated social studies is a major for those students who wish to become certified teachers. Minor or dual major options are limitless for students interested in history, as it is so broad that any other program of study may complement it.

After College — What’s Next?


Many people who study history are employed in the field of education, public relations, editing, or research. Moreover, they work for a broad spectrum of organizations, from museums to corporations, which call upon the skills of a historian to help document and organize information about the past or to educate the public.

A history degree offers excellent preparation for careers in:

The major may be directed toward a career in any of these fields, or it can concentrate on a culture, an area, or an era which especially appeals to the student.


Graduate School

Graduates of this program have gone on to graduate schools across the country for further study in history, archaeology, law, library science, and business. This is one of the many majors at Defiance College which enjoys stellar placement of its graduates in graduate and professional schools.

Student Quotes

"The Defiance College history department helped me succeed by not only helping with my in-class questions and issues, but with any issues that arose outside of the classroom that I talked to them about. I would say that some of my strongest relationships in college are with Dr. Taylor and Dr. Buerk. The work in the major also helped me by teaching me how to write a good paper and cite it correctly."
--Zane Hayes, Senior


Areas of particular strength include 20th century European and American history as well as traditional, more general areas of United States and European history. This major has been newly redesigned to reflect these teaching strengths in addition to incorporating the skills necessary for careers outside the field of history.

Don Buerk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Phone: 419-783-2454
Email: dbuerk@defiance.edu

Jeremy Taylor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Phone: 419-783-2305
Email: jtaylor@defiance.edu