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The Smooth Path to a BA in History! Ready to Join Us?

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Image: Prof. Gina Hames and history major Sandra Estrada ’20

October 17, 2018
By Department of History

First, we are glad that you chose PLU. Our mission is to prepare students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership, and care – and we definitely care about you and your growth as a learner, a person, and a historian. Whether you are starting your first year, your second, or your third, welcome!

Are you at the point where you think that a history major is the right path for you?

Maybe your interest in the past started well before you joined the PLU community, but your studies here have confirmed it. Perhaps you did not have much enthusiasm for historical learning before you took a class here but suddenly realized that “just memorizing things” is NOT the way we engage history at PLU.

Whatever your reasons are, we know they are good! You want to declare a major. Start on the smooth path between here and there—with “there” being your graduation from PLU with a BA in History.

Start by officially declaring the major. This is so easy! Just email the chair of the History Department (for 2018-2019, that is Beth Kraig, at

She will sign you up for the major in the Banner system so we can help you track your progress toward graduation. You’ll be able to check your CAPP report to see how close you are to finishing a History major (or minor, and maybe another major or minor, too).

Nicole Query, ’22, meets with History Chair Beth Kraig to declare a major in History.

CAPP reports are helpful.  But there is no substitute for talking with a real person who can help you check that CAPP report and plan your academic future.

So, we will connect you with a professor in the History Department who will guide you along the path to your degree.

Your faculty advisor will reach out to you each semester for a conversation during  “Advising Weeks.”  That’s the perfect time to choose classes and check on requirements, as you approach registration for the next term.  But you can also reach out to your advisor at any point! If we cannot answer your questions, we will find someone who can.

“During my first year at PLU, I fell in love with studying history. Declaring my major was a seamless process and having a faculty advisor has been helpful, not only for navigating class schedules, but for getting advice on being a college student and on potential careers in a History field.”  Abbie Welch, ‘19

Members of Phi Alpha Theta, PLU's History Honors Society, hike at Mt. Rainier

A few important tips for planning:

  • work with your advisor to choose the best time to take HIST 301, our required course on historical methods and research. We offer one section of this class in the fall semester only.
  • Think ahead to your capstone!  HIST 499 is offered once a year, always in spring semester. Most students complete this in their senior year, but it might be best for you to take it in your junior year.
  • We’ll also help you plan for possible Study Away experiences.
  • We’ll work with you on career plans.

Colton Moore '20, Mt. Rainier history hike

Want to go to graduate school?  We’ll be there to help.

And, we’ll connect you to other History majors and minors, through our chapter of Phi Alpha Theta and other social opportunities.

“Being a History Major allows me to savor the past while progressing my future.” Colton Moore, ‘20

Ready?? Scroll back up and find Beth Kraig’s email address.  Send a message today?  It’s a good time to step smoothly onto your path to a History degree at PLU.