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History Frequently Asked Questions

The History Program at Clayton State University introduces students to the discipline of history and teaches them to understand their world from a historical perspective. This historical awareness is vital, since all aspects of contemporary life (science and technology, politics and war, social and cultural issues, economics, philosophy, and other parts of the human experience) are shaped by the past. Along with training in historical research and analysis, the program also develops the skills of critical thinking, cultural awareness, and effective communication. Additionally, the program strives to offer students unique learning opportunities, such as internships, exposure to archival research, and study abroad, in order both to create a memorable educational experience and to help our graduates stand out in today’s competitive job market.

Clayton State University has a widely published history faculty, with extensive background in American, African American, European, Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and public history. We offer an opportunity to earn a history degree online, in person, or both – your choice!

Yes, the requirements for both majors are the same.

They do. As a Clayton State student, you are part of a highly diverse and dynamic university community. You will also have full access to your individual mentor, veterans’ services, disability resource center, counseling, career services, and all other student support our university offers. All these resources are available both online and on-campus.

You can earn your degree all online, mix online and in-person learning, or take all your courses on campus. Many of our upper-level history courses are offered both on-campus and online.  We offer flexibility, quality, and professionalism unmatched by many undergraduate programs.  

Clayton State University’s online B.A. in history was ranked in 2022 by OnlineU as one of the “Most Affordable Online Degrees.”  You can calculate the cost of tuition on the Bursar’s website.  

Clayton State’s upper-division online history courses are taught by full-time faculty, each of whom have taught online for over a decade.  The history faculty members pride themselves on delivering high quality online courses for our student body.

The Bachelor of Arts in history degree will not certify you to become a history teacher in Georgia’s public schools.  You will need to pursue alternative certification after you graduate.  One option is the MAT history program at Clayton State.  This streamlined 36-hour program involves both content and pedagogy training. Like the undergraduate counterpart, students take part in a year-long student teaching experience and the degree carries certification for grades 6-12 in history. Those interested in applying should contact Dr. Charles Elfer

Clayton State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary education to prepare teachers for careers in Georgia’s public schools.  The History and Secondary Education degree includes Georgia Teacher Certification. Students must apply to the program in the fall of their junior year. In addition to content coursework and the senior thesis, students in the HSTE program complete both a practicum and student teaching internship in a local secondary school throughout their senior year. 

While many of the courses required for the History and Secondary Education degree are offered online, the program as a whole is not online and requires on-campus courses. 

The individual attention Clayton State history majors receive from faculty, combined with our three-semester sequence of courses on historical methods, research, and writing, make our history program different.

All History Majors complete a senior thesis. Students in their junior year are placed in a cohort, taking the same three-course sequence together. They also work with the same collection of primary source documents as the basis for their thesis papers. In some cases, the document collection will be archival sources from either the National Archives at Atlanta or the Georgia Archives. Both facilities are conveniently located adjacent to the Clayton State University campus. Other times, the students will work with online depositories of primary sources.

The first course in the thesis sequence is HIST 2500 Historical Methods, which is taken in the fall semester of the junior year. This class introduces students to the basic skills of the history discipline, including working with primary and secondary sources, conducting research, and exploring the unique characteristics of historical writing. The second course is HIST 3001 Historiography, which is taken the following spring. This class exposes students to different approaches to historical inquiry and begins the process of working with the document collection for the thesis. Taken immediately after the Historiography class, the culminating course in the sequence is HIST 4850 Senior Thesis. In this class, students finish their research, present their conclusions, and complete their thesis papers. 

When students graduate from the history program at Clayton State, they not only will have read books and taken tests but will have also produced an original piece of historical scholarship using archival sources.  In 2018 the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia recognized Clayton State University’s History Program with the Award for Excellence in Educational Use of Historical Records.

For questions about the online or on-campus history major, contact Dr. Adam Tate.

For questions about the History and Secondary Education major, contact Dr. Charles Elfer.