With the history, policy and society major at DelVal, you will learn how to think critically, how to conduct research, how to analyze and solve complex problems by incorporating lessons from the past, and how to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. You’ll get hands-on experience in the field before you even graduate. 

Interested in learning more? Jack Schmidt, department chair of liberal arts, answers some questions about the skills you can gain and what a career in history, policy and society can look like with a DelVal degree.

Why should someone major in history, policy and society? Can I actually get a job with a liberal arts major?
Many of our country’s most successful leaders in business, entertainment, government and media were liberal arts majors. In a recent survey, the American Association of Colleges & Universities asked employers what skills employees need to be successful in their careers. It found the following:

  • Employers want more colleges to emphasize five key areas: critical thinking, complex problem solving, written and oral communication skills, and applied knowledge in real-world settings.
  • Employers favor graduates who know how to conduct research using evidence-based analysis and to apply that learning in real-world settings.
  • The majority of employers agree that having both field-specific knowledge and skills and a broad range of skills and knowledge is most important for recent college graduates to achieve long-term career success. 

These are precisely the skills you gain while studying history, policy and society at DelVal.

What types of experiences can students gain?
The types of experience you gain while enrolled in the program will vary depending on your specialization. For instance, students in the public history specialization will have the opportunity to engage in extended, hands-on fieldwork at the DelVal Roth Farm, as well as internships at area historical sites. If you’re enrolled in the policy specialization, you’ll be encouraged through class assignments and internships to seek solutions to problems in the world around you. From animal rights to urban agriculture, this program is designed for those who are passionate about making a difference.

How is it a competitive program as compared to other institutions?
DelVal is uniquely positioned among colleges and universities in the country for students interested in pursuing a career in public history or policy. While our faculty maintain active research agendas and are considered experts in their fields, they are outstanding teachers and mentors who gain enormous satisfaction from the success of their students.

But DelVal’s biggest advantage in comparison to other institutions lies in the uniqueness of our programs and its long-standing credibility in the areas of food production and distribution, animal science, conservation and the environment. Other schools can talk about issues related to sustainability, but DelVal has been working for more than 100 years to balance the demands of feeding a growing planet while protecting a fragile ecosystem. While many institutions around the country have jumped on the environmental bandwagon, DelVal’s acclaimed agricultural and animal science programs have been grappling with these issues since our founding. That long-standing expertise and involvement gives our students unique credibility when seeking a job or internship.

What types of careers can students seek after DelVal with this degree?
Depending on the specialization, the history, policy and society degree can help you find employment in:

  • The region’s cultural heritage industry
  • Addressing emerging policy issues that impact the community, the region and the world
  • Researchers, work at museums and historical organizations
  • The National Park Service, cultural resources management and historic preservation
  • Writers and editors, digital journalists, archivists, librarians, lawyers and paralegals
  • Local, state or federal government employment, nonprofit associations
  • Non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, and regional planning organizations

In reality, the career options for our graduates are practically limitless. If you have the energy, passion and commitment to make a difference, DelVal’s history, policy and society degree will provide you the skills needed to reach your goals.