History of the American West
Students in Western costume for the last day of AnneMarie Kooistra’s History of the American West course

What can we say about our students? They’re smart, committed, passionate, and (see picture above) game for almost anything we try in the classroom.

A lot of them have a second major (one of the benefits of the History major being fairly small — less than 40 credits necessary). Social Studies Education 5-12 and Political Science, though we also have students double-majoring in fields as disparate as Biokinetics, Biology, Business, and Nursing.

And now students in History and any other field have the option of completing a tandem major in our new Digital Humanities program — coordinated by our Prof. Charlie Goldberg and fusing studies in history and other humanities with training in computer programming, graphic design, and other digital age skills.

About half of our students came to Bethel intending to study History; others decided on that major after a year or two. What draws them to History? Overwhelmingly, they tell us that it best matched their interests, passions, and calling.

Many of them will study away from Bethel, though no single study-abroad experience is the same. Those who can’t get away for a whole can spend one of their Januaries taking a travel course with Bethel professors like our own Chris Gehrz and Sam Mulberry, who just took another group of students to England, Belgium, France, and Germany to study the history of World War I.

All History majors will complete their Bethel education by writing a research paper on any topic that tickles their fancy. And what they prove again and again is that they’re capable of remarkable work, which they showcase for their peers at our colleges and universities as part of the annual Minnesota Undergraduate History Symposium.

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