Quick Facts

Facilities to Highlight
  • Our program affords multiple opportunities for hands-on learning opportunities that engage students in the real-world work of public historians. Collaborating with faculty, community historians and staff at regional museums and tourism bureaus, our students have produced walking and driving tours of historic sites, scripts for museum exhibits, documentary films, and most recently — the beginnings of a comprehensive survey of historic properties for the city of Erie. One 2011 graduate produced a well-researched and beautifully illustrated “2012 Mercyhurst Heritage Calendar” — a project she carried with her and helped to land her an entry level position in the Office of the Architect of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

Student Professional Organizations/Honors Societies, etc.
  • Phi Alpha Theta—National History Honor Society: our students annually attend the regional meeting of Phi Alpha Theta (and occasionally host the meeting at Mercyhurst), where they present papers to an audience of their peers and faculty from participating regional institutions. We have also taken several students to the national PAT meeting to present papers.
  • In addition, a number of our students have been published in regional journals—an outstanding opportunity at the undergraduate level which fortifies the student’s career and graduate school profile.
  • Our department boasts a very active History Club, consisting of History majors, minors, and students from other programs. The Club organizes trips to local and regional historic sites, stages history-themed film series, as well as other events on campus.

Our Students Have Served Internships or Completed Senior Projects at:

  • Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
  • Gettysburg National Battlefield
  • Mount Vernon Gardens and Estate
  • Fredericksburg National Battlefield
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • United States Holocaust Museum
  • Thomas Edison Birthplace and Museum
  • Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower National Historic Site
  • James Garfield National Historic Site
  • Fort Stanwix National Monument
  • San Diego Archaeological Center
  • Forest County (PA) Visitor Center
  • Erie County Historical Society
  • US Brig Niagara and Maritime Museum
  • Erie Center for Design and Preservation

Student-to-faculty ration in History:
Average class size in elective courses: 12-15
In Introductory History Core Courses: 35

Jobs You Can Get in the Major:

  • Teaching Social Studies at the Secondary School level: Our Social Studied Concentration has an historic placement rate of more than 92%; regional cooperating teachers tell us repeatedly that our students are much better prepared as student teachers than students from other schools.
  • Museum Curators, Historic Site Directors, Educators, Tour Guides: although less than a decade old, our Public History Concentration is producing students who are entering the field immediately and entering outstanding graduate programs in preparation for advanced positions in the growing fields of public history, museum studies, and heritage tourism.
  • Public Service: our list of graduates who have gone into public service is headed by the first female to ever serve as Mayor of the City of Erie and the former Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Law: our program has proven to be excellent preparation for law school
  • Historians who work in both the private and public sectors
  • Journalists and writers for magazines and other publications
  • Non-profit organizations: one of our recent grads is the National Recruitment Coordinator for LaSallian Volunteers in Washington DC; another has spent decades working with the homeless and economically distressed in America’s urban areas
  • Just about anything else a student can dream: history majors acquire the critical thinking, research and communication skills that equip them for good lives and successful careers in virtually any walk of life.

Expected Starting Salaries in the field:

  • $46-59,000 (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, aggregated across several fields in which History graduates attain positions)

Statistics from the U.S. BLS re; employment outlook:

  • 18% from 2010-2020 (the national average). This figure holds true for historians and for museum professionals.
  • 7% (slower than national average) for Social Studies Teachers, but this may change depending on budget situation affecting many states across the country

Graduate Schools Our Students Have Attended over the past Decade:
• Yale University
• University of London
• University of Pittsburgh
• George Washington University
• Carnegie Mellon University
• The State University of New York
• Cleveland State University Law School
• Widener University School of Law
• University of the Arts
• Duquesne University
• University of New Mexico
• West Virginia University

Alumni Have Gone on to Work…
• Office of the Architect, United States Capitol
• United States House of Representatives
• Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Attorney General’s Office
• Office of the Mayor, City of Erie
• Office of the County Executive, Erie County
• Knox, McLaughlin, Gornall and Sennett Law Firm
• West Virginia Office of Historic Preservation
• New York State Assembly
• General Electric
• Millcreek School District (among many, many others)
• University of Michigan
• Eastern Montana College
• Greenbrier (WV) Historical Society
• Sam Bell Maxey Historic Site (TX)
• University of Louisville


Cummings Gallery
Art Faculty Show

Dates: Aug 21-Sep 28, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

William Close and The Earth Harp Collective
William Close and The Earth Harp Collective

Dates: Sep 5

Location: Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center

Anais Mitchell
Anaïs Mitchell

Dates: Sep 30

Location: Erie Art Museum