When you study history at Assumption, you’ll choose from our breadth of offerings – from North American and European to Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern history. Once you discover the area you love, you can explore it through engaging coursework and independent research opportunities.

Learning goals:

  1. Effective written communication skills
  2. The ability to recognize and apply historical research methodology
  3. Demonstrably effective oral communication skills
  4. Global awareness
  5. Demonstrably sophisticated reading skills

Studying history does more than tell us who we were, it tells us who we are today. If you study history at Assumption, you’ll be immersed in the political, social and economic trends and traditions that shaped the past—and our own lives. Through rigorous study of primary resources, spirited discussion with your classmates and our dedicated faculty and access to renowned libraries, museums and study abroad programs, your time at Assumption will prepare you for a career in a field you love—and to take your own place in history.

Study history at Assumption University and you’ll gather the many threads of the past and follow them through to the modern day.  Through careful analysis, you’ll determine where we come from—and where we’re headed.

Take advantage of the school’s proximity to several renowned libraries and museums. You can also participate in semester-long study abroad programs or take part in short-term, faculty-led excursions to sites throughout Europe.

If law school is in your future, you’ll be interested in our pre-law advising, which allows you to major in whatever subject you like while receiving one-on-one guidance on applying to law school. You can also take advantage of our partnerships with several distinguished law schools.

Majors are prepared to pursue careers in any field that draws upon the strong analytic and communication skills, deepened perspective, and breadth of vision that come from the study of the past. Many Assumption History majors go on to enjoy successful careers in business, journalism, law, education, and public service.

Assumption history faculty provide a supportive environment in which each student is recognized and welcomed, and where students are appreciated for their contributions. We mentor and advise students with regard to internships, careers, and graduate study with a student’s unique talents and interests in mind. Faculty challenge students to think, read, speak, and write about some of the world’s most difficult problems. We also inspire with stories of strength, courage, determination, and achievement that help a student discern their own life’s purpose.

History, as well as pre-law students, are strongly encouraged to participate in an internship. Here in Central Massachusetts, we’re surrounded by businesses, nonprofit organizations, historic sites, government offices, and legal organizations. For those students who prefer to venture farther, Boston and Providence are less than one hour from campus – we’ve even had students intern abroad.

Program Contact

Carl Robert Keyes, Ph.D

Professor of History, Department Chair, History, Department Chair, Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies, Pre-Law Advisor
508-767-7324 Founders Hall - Room 114

An Ideal Place To Learn

All classes taught by professors, none by teaching assistants
2020 History graduates employed or in graduate school within six months
Student/Faculty ratio

Program Curriculum

  • The major in history consists of 11 courses in the discipline. One of those must be a research seminar, usually taken in the junior or senior year. The seminar is taken in conjunction with a pro-seminar (a course that provides background and context for the research seminar).

    Required Courses (11)

    Historical Methods, History 400, introduces the skills, theories, and methods of historical scholarship to acquaint students with the historian’s craft and to prepare majors for the research seminar.

    The seminar, HIS402WE, is taken in conjunction with a linked pro-seminar, HIS 401, which provides background and context for the seminar topic. The pro-seminar is taken in the same semester as the seminar, usually during the junior or senior year.

    At least eight courses, with a minimum of one from each of the three groups

    Group I European History
    HIS 202 Ancient Rome
    HIS 208 Early Medieval Europe
    HIS 209 Late Medieval Europe
    HIS 230 Renaissance Europe
    HIS 231 European Reformations
    HIS 235 France since 1789
    HIS 241 Russia: Pre-Revolutionary Period
    HIS 242 Russia since 1917
    HIS 272 Germany since 1890
    HIS 306 Rise and Decline of European Primacy
    HIS 310 Diplomatic History of Europe in the 20th Century
    HIS 312 Women in Europe
    HIS 332 Baroque Europe, 1600-1789
    HIS 337 Christian Mystics
    HIS 338 Classics of Spiritual Direction
    Group II North American History
    HIS 257 History of Canada
    HIS 258 Colonial America
    HIS 267 American Foreign Relations since 1776
    HIS 285 Women’s Studies I: Images
    HIS 362 Civil War and Reconstruction in the United States
    HIS 313 Women and the American Experience
    HIS 359 Revolutionary America, 1763-1815
    HIS 363 Vietnam War
    HIS 366 Vocations in Public History
    HIS 368 Cold War
    HIS 370 Immigration and American History since 1815
    Group III World History
    HIS 250 Colonial Latin America
    HIS 251 Latin America since 1821
    HIS 252 Religion in Colonial Latin America
    HIS 254 North American Indian
    HIS 255 From Contact to Casinos: Interactions with Indians in North America
    HIS 265 Peace Studies
    HIS 282 Japan since 1868
    HIS 283 Modern China: War and Revolution
    HIS 290 Islamic Middle East I (to 1800)
    HIS 291 Islamic Middle East II (since 1800)
    HIS 383 From Jesus to Muhammad: The Near East in Transition
    WMS 385 Women of the World

    Two other courses from Departmental offerings


    While history majors may take up to 14 courses in history, they are urged to take courses in other disciplines in order to broaden their liberal arts backgrounds. Students intending to pursue graduate work should note that a reading knowledge of French, German, Spanish, or other foreign languages is often required of doctoral candidates and in some cases of master’s candidates.

    Other Recommendations

    Internships for credit are available for history majors. The interdisciplinary American Studies Seminar of the American Antiquarian Society and five Worcester colleges is available on a competitive basis to outstanding Assumption students from across the disciplines every fall. This seminar fulfills the seminar and pro-seminar requirement for history majors. It counts as a Writing Emphasis (WE) course and also fulfills the methods course requirement for history minors.

    Course Descriptions

  • The minor in history consists of 6 courses. These courses cover the gamut from ancient Rome to Asian history to 20th Century America.

    Required Courses

    HIS 400: Historical Methods (Minors in history may choose the option of taking a seminar rather than a methods course.

    • At least one course from Group I (above).
    • At least one course from Group II (above).
    • At least one course from Group III (above).

    Two other courses from Departmental offerings.

    Course Descriptions

  • For students interested in becoming history teachers at the middle or high school level, Assumption University offers a state-approved teacher preparation program for history in grades 5–8 or 8–12. Such students should major in History with a concentration in Middle (grades 5–8) or secondary (grades 8–12) education. Students who are interested in obtaining a teaching license in history should meet with the education program coordinator by their second semester to acquire information about applying to the education concentration.

    Course Descriptions

  • For students interested in becoming history teachers at the elementary school level, Assumption University offers a special track towards a double major in history and education. The education track in history consists of two core courses in world history (History 114 and 115); one core course in US history (history 180 or 181); one Group I (European) course at the 200 level or higher; one Group III (World) course at the 200 level or higher; history 400 (Historical Methods); EDU 323 (history and social science in the Elementary Curriculum); and three additional history electives at the 200 level or above. Students who are interested in pursuing this opportunity should meet with the education program coordinator by their second semester to acquire information about applying to the education concentration.

    Course Descriptions

  • American Studies Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society

    Each fall, the American Antiquarian Society and five Worcester Colleges sponsor an American Studies research seminar at the Antiquarian Society. The seminar is conducted by a scholar familiar with the Society’s world-renowned holdings in early American history and culture, and the seminar topic is related to his or her field of research. Selection is highly competitive. The participating students are chosen by a screening committee made up of representatives of the five participating colleges: Assumption University, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Worcester State College. The seminar topic and research methods combine several disciplines, and students from a wide variety of majors have participated successfully in this unique undergraduate opportunity. Follow the student blog

    Moggio Essay Prize

    The Moggio Essay Prize goes to the Assumption students who, in the opinion of a committee of the history faculty, write the best history essay and a historical research paper in the preceding two semesters. The research paper winner receives a $75 book coupon and certificate, and the essay winner receives a $50 book coupon and certificate. The awards are presented each spring during the Phi Alpha Theta initiation and are also mentioned during the Honors Convocation ceremony. Students and faculty are encouraged to submit copies of essays during the year for consideration.

    Research Assistantships

    Funding may be available for research assistantships for advanced students engaging in collaborative research with an Assumption faculty member. Topics and responsibilities may vary according to the program of research. For an example, follow the student blog.

    Honors Convocation

    Each year the department awards a prize at Honors Convocation in the Spring Term for the graduating History Major with the highest GPA and record of achievement.

    Assumption University Undergraduate Research Symposium

    Each year in the spring term, history students take part in presenting their research at a public conference. Students are especially encouraged to present their research projects from History department’s seminar and pro-seminar and the American Studies Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society, as well as projects they develop while working as research assistants with History faculty.

    Phi Alpha Theta Membership

    Acceptance into this national history honor society exposes students to the continuing study of history through shared research, discussion, and guest lectures. There are also opportunities to participate in local and national honor society conferences.

    Study Abroad Opportunities for History Majors

    During the fall and spring semesters, and over the summer, many of Assumption’s history students travel the world while taking part in exciting study abroad programs. View the recent testimonials of history majors Rebecca PettyDavid Paradise and Christine Delany, and visit the web pages for Study Abroad to learn more. Since the Spring of 2013, students also have the opportunity to study at Assumption’s Rome Campus.


Carl Robert Keyes, Ph.D
Department Chair, History Professor of History Department Chair, History Department Chair, Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies Pre-Law Advisor
John Frederick Bell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History
Stuart J. Borsch, Ph.D
Associate Professor of History
Leslie P. Choquette, Ph.D
Professor of History Côté Professor of French Studies Director of the French Institute
Deborah L. Kisatsky, Ph.D
Associate Professor of History Director of Peace Studies
Lance G. Lazar, Ph.D
Associate Professor of History Director, Medieval & Early Modern Studies
Irina Mukhina, Ph.D
Associate Professor of History
Thomas Wheatland, Ph.D
Associate Professor of History

Experiential Learning

Assumption's Rome Campus

At Assumption's campus in Rome, Italy, the city and the country become your classroom through daily and weekend-long excursions throughout "the eternal city" and the Italian countryside. This unique study abroad experience will enrich your academic and cultural pursuits as you walk in the footsteps of emperors and gladiators then enjoy delectable Italian cuisine or perhaps a cappuccino after class in a local cafe. (Did you know that your financial aid follows you to Rome?)

Explore the Rome Campus

Learn the Skills Employers Seek

Faculty/Student Research

The Assumption curriculum encourages scholarly and real-world experience. With hands-on research conducted alongside faculty mentors, students gain a depth of knowledge and skills that lead to professional success and personal fulfillment.

Study Abroad

At Assumption University, the world is your classroom. Students can study and explore abroad in over 50 places from Vienna to England, South Africa, and even our own campus in historic, yet modern, Rome, Italy. Assumption’s study abroad program offers culture, history, and a living classroom for all.


Assumption starts planning for your future the day you arrive on campus. Our Career Development and Internship Center helps students secure exciting and fulfilling internships where you’ll apply knowledge obtained in the classroom in a professional setting, preparing for a future career or additional study. Assumption connects students to internship opportunities in corporations, government agencies, research hospitals, non-profit organizations, and more.

Career Paths

A history degree prepares you for a wide variety of fields, including law, international business, management, marketing, teaching, government, library services, archival and museum work, publishing, journalism, media relations, and more.

Boston Public Schools

Endicott College

Johnson and Johnson

Lasell College

Law Firms in New England and New York

MFS Investment Management

Nashua High School

Social Security Administration

State Street Bank and Trust

United States Army

Wachusett Public Schools

Worcester Public Schools

Xaverian Brothers High School

First-rate Academics in a Catholic University Setting

Assumption University awakens in students a sense of wonder, discovery, and purpose, forming graduates known for their intellectual seriousness, thoughtful citizenship, and devotion to the common good. Students are provided an education that shapes their souls, forms them intellectually, and prepares them for meaningful careers. Enlivened by the harmony of faith and reason, here, students’ minds and hearts are transformed.

Assumption is dedicated to providing a clear understanding of what your education will cost

We’ll help cut through the complexity of financing your education, ensuring you understand what you need, how to apply for aid, and what’s expected of you. You will be assigned a personal financial aid advisor who will guide you through the process and answer all of your financial aid-related questions.

Pathways to Success


All Assumption students can participate in the University’s internship programs and spend a semester gaining practical experience. There are two types of internships available to most Assumption students:
  • Academic internships, where students work with an academic advisor and the internship site
  • Career internships, which provide valuable experience but do not offer academic credit. This type of internship may be paid or unpaid and it generally occurs during or following the summer of the junior year
History students intern at a number of organizations such as the American Antiquarian Society, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Historic Deerfield, National Park Service, Library of Congress and law firms throughout New England and Europe as well as with charitable initiatives in Latin America.

Graduate Schools

The study of History provides a foundation for careers in almost any field. Graduates enter careers in education, business, journalism, public relations, teaching, insurance, government service, personnel work and many other fields that draw upon those analytic skills, deepened perspective and breadth of vision that comes from the study of the past and strong writing skills. They also enroll in graduate school or law school at prestigious institutions such as Boston College, Fordham University, Framingham State College, Penn State University, Saint Joseph’s College, University of Massachusetts – Amherst and the University of Rhode Island.

Programs Related to History

CTEQ Pre-College Program


Global Studies


Honors Program


Political Science






Women's Studies