Majoring in History

Learn how the events of the past have led to life in the contemporary world.

What Classes Do History Majors Take?

History courses at Russell Sage College are designed to give you a sense of how societies change over time — and how a knowledge of the past can help navigate the present and offer insights about the future.

You’ll take traditional courses focusing on the United States and Western Civilization as well as classes with regional emphasis on Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

You’ll investigate the diversity of the global historical experience, from the transformation of Eastern Europe to developments in contemporary China or Africa. You’ll explore movements shaping contemporary society, from the evolution of modern America to revolutions in modern science and technology.

You’ll have the opportunity to study one of the newest and most innovative courses in the field — Big History, which spans the Big Bang that created the universe through today’s advances in artificial intelligence.

The faculty in this program are dedicated historians — and are highly involved in the community as writers and political commentators.

Through this program, you’ll gain a broad liberal arts foundation, and learn research, writing and analysis skills that you can take use in a number of careers.

Program Distinctions

The History program at Russell Sage College can be paired with other majors, to create a more comprehensive educational experience.

Childhood Education

Many students choose to complete a History major in conjunction with the Childhood Education program, as this program requires the completion of a liberal arts major. The broad civilization courses, from American Civilization and Western Civilization to Asian Civilization, especially complement the needs of future teachers.

Health Sciences

A History major is also a natural complement to the Health Sciences. Classes such as The History of Medicine are especially popular among students in the health professions.

History Minor

History is available as an 18-credit minor. The minor provides an introduction to history as a way to understand human development and a sampling of historical experiences in selected regions and time periods.


“One of the really nice things about Sage is that it also allows professors to explore their interests. We have courses that are simply not available at a lot of other places.”

Steven Leibo, Professor

Careers for History Majors

A B.A. in History prepares you for work in a range of fields, including law, education and public service.

Sage graduates with a History degree have become classroom teachers, higher education and non-profit administrators and they work in state and local government.

Spotlights Pattern

Graduate Studies with a History Degree

History majors have gone on to complete master’s degrees at Sage’s Esteves School of Education, as well as library science degrees or law degrees.

Russell Sage College offers an accelerated 3+3 bachelor’s degree/juris doctorate degree program with Albany Law School and Suffolk University Law School, which enables qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree and law degree in six years instead of seven years.


Students have interned with historical associations as well as museums, such as the Rensselaer County Historical Society, the Martin Van Buren Home and the Adirondack Experience Museum.

Next steps?

It’s time to take the next step. Choose yours below.

Have questions?

Professor of History
Professor of History, Political Science & Film History