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Student reading a history book in Payson Library

History Major and Minor

Exploring the human experience in all its rich complexity, the study of history is essential to a liberal arts education.  Students are challenged to make meaningful connections between the past and present, to understand the views of people from other times and places, and to learn from the experiences of those who came before us. The major fosters cultural awareness, appreciation of diversity, and clear, concise, and respectful communication.

History Major (41 Units)

History majors explore the complex factors that have produced the cultures and societies of today, cultivating responsible citizenship and respect for diverse perspectives. Students learn from the past by engaging diverse historical texts, honing research skills, drawing evidence-based conclusions, and presenting their findings orally and in writing. These skills are valuable in many careers, including government service, law, education, library science, medicine, business, journalism, and the arts. History majors take three core courses (nine units) and seven upper-division history electives (28 units).

History Minor (20 Units)

The history minor complements many majors, as studying the past helps us to understand the complex factors that have produced our world today. Students are challenged to understand the diverse perspectives of people from other times and places and to learn from their experiences. History minors are required to take five upper-division history electives.

What History Grads Are Doing

Data collected from the 2022 class within six months of graduation.



Employed Full-Time or Part-Time


Admitted to Graduate School


Total Settled Graduates

Why Pepperdine

Pepperdine Seaver College is consistently recognized among the top-ranked universities in California and the United States. We are a Christian university where students grow in knowledge and character. As a liberal arts institution, we focus on providing rich opportunities for intellectual and spiritual exploration for students with a diverse community.



Located in Malibu, CA


13:1 Student-to-Faculty Ratio


80% of Students Participate in an International Program


120,000 + Alumni Network

Student Opportunities

Integrative Learning

History major courses allow students to study every aspect of the human experience. It both imparts information critical to a mature understanding of the past and develops proficiencies in the arts of inquiry, such as analytical reasoning, research skills, and effective oral and written communication. It involves students with their teachers in a rigorous process of investigation, discovery, and mutual endeavor.

Humanistic Excellence

Typically attracting some of the University's most academically talented students, the history major at Pepperdine promotes an expansive range of mind, confidence to anchor opinions in deep understandings of human behavior, and courage to approach even exceptionally entangled problems. Students learn to think constructively about the present by making connections to the past, and to sustain a fertile life of the mind beyond graduation.

Professional Training

History's insistence on clean argumentation, persuasive analytical prose, excellence in oral disputation, and a carefully calibrated understanding of ideas, society, culture, and politics makes the history major the ideal preparation for success in any field of professional endeavor. History majors pursue influential careers in: 

  • Academic scholarship
  • Business, marketing, and consulting
  • Civil service and the military
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Journalism and broadcasting
  • Law and the judiciary
  • Libraries and archives
  • Medicine
  • NGO advocacy
  • Publishing and editing
  • Teaching at all levels

Career Resources

Interested in studying history but aren't sure what a career might look like? Explore the resources below.



Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society

The Humanities and Teacher Education Division sponsors a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international honor society in history. Membership for faculty and students alike is a recognition of excellence in scholarship. At its biennial convention, undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to meet distinguished historians and to present their own research papers. Members also receive the society's journal, The Historian.

Business Emphasis for History Majors

History majors interested in pursuing business careers should take certain business-related courses in addition to those required for their major. These courses should assist them in entering MBA programs or in finding employment after graduation. Copies of this list are on file in the Humanities and Teacher Education Division office (CAC 300).


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Humanities & Teacher Education Division
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
Office: CAC 300


Stella Erbes
Divisional Dean & Professor of Education

Genny Moore
Office Manager

Lee Jackson
Administrative Assistant