Humanities

History

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The past is our world. History is our craft.

The study of history uncovers the voices of the past, and explains their relevance in today’s world. A thorough knowledge of history helps us understand perspectives from different people, from different places, and different times.

History majors develop unique skills that are vital to engaged citizenship, and to a variety of professions. Many go on to successful careers in law, business, education, social services, filmmaking, and the arts.

When you’re studying history here, you’re surrounded by it—from Revolutionary War battlefields, to the country’s oldest African American church, to one of the first feminist publishers. Our Cambridge, MA location also connects you to competitive internships in elite educational settings, museums, and cultural organizations. 

As a Lesley University history major, you’ll enjoy small, discussion-based classes that allow you to focus on your interests. Your courses will integrate film, art, culture, and travel, and you can easily pair your major with minors like Africana Studies, Women & Gender Studies, or Digital Filmmaking. Faculty mentors will guide your growth through opportunities to travel abroad, conduct historical research, and professional internships.

“I have always been a humanities student at heart. I believe that those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it.”
Ian Adler ’16, History Major
Gain Skills and Expertise
Here's a taste of what you'll do in our history program:
Students Visit Museum of African American History

Professor Cruz's Class Visits Museum of African American History

Students from Professor Tatiana Cruz’s African American History class saw “history come alive” with a visit to the Museum of African American History in Beacon Hill, Boston.

First students had a debate on the politics of the abolitionist movement. They were organized into two debate teams, with some arguing that politics was the most useful strategy for abolitionists to end slavery and others arguing that the best strategy was a moral argument. It was amazing to see students having the debate in the African Meeting House - where these discussions actually happened! The Meeting House was built in 1806 and was the heart of Boston’s vibrant 19th century free black community. It hosted the founding of the New England Anti-Slavery Society by William Lloyd Garrison in 1832 and would continue to feature prominent speakers on the issues for decades.

Students View Frederick Douglass Exhibit
Student View Exhibit

Then, we went on a guided tour of the museum which currently features an exhibit called “Picturing Frederick Douglass.” Douglass loved photography and sat for more portraits than any other American of the 19th century. We learned about how he used photography as a tool for reform in a deliberate effort to “elevate the image of the African American in contradiction to demeaning and inhumane depictions of black life often seen in the 19th century.” Students loved seeing images of Douglass that were previously unpublished and forgotten for decades and learning about all the intimate details of his life and political career.

Overall, the students learned a lot on the trip and it informed their first essay which examined how two black abolitionists, Frederick Douglass and David Walker, used their freedom and platform to advocate for the freedom of others. Students could use the abolitionist debate and museum exhibit to inform their primary source analysis comparing Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” and Walker’s “Appeal.”

$48,952
Average salary for professionals with degrees in history in New England.
With a wide range of career options and average salaries of over $45,000 per year, graduates from history programs enjoy excellent employment opportunities in the Greater Boston area and beyond. From teaching to research, journalism, and more, the program will prepare you for important work across a range of industries. (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)
Internships
Where You'll Intern
You'll have the opportunity to gain practical experience before graduation, with at least two internships in places like:
Careers
Where You'll Go Next
Alumni go on to rewarding jobs in a variety of fields, and often pursue graduate study to enhance their careers.

Faculty

Approximate cost for 1 year of attendance in this undergraduate program.
History
Housing Options
Compare the cost of the program for students who live on campus in a residence hall with the cost for commuter students.
  • Tuition
    Fall Tuition
    $14,250
    Spring Tuition
    $14,250
  • Fees
    Activity Fees
    $250
    Materials Fees
    $150
    Registration Fees
    $80
    Lab Fees
    $40
  • Room & Board
    Double/Triple/Quad Room
    $9,860
    Housing Deposit
    $300
    Meal Plan
    $6,370
    Health Service Fees (required for resident students)
    $800
  • Total
Calculate Estimated Merit Scholarship
*Enter your GPA to see what merit scholarships you're eligible to receive.
Presidential Scholarship
$10,500
​Linda Dacey Scholarship
$2,000
Dean’s Scholarship
$9,500
Edith Lesley Wolfard Scholarship
$1,000
Lesley Scholarship
$8,500
Lesley Grant Award
$5,500

You are not eligible for a merit scholarship.

Estimated Cost

First-year freshman students will also be charged a one-time new student orientation fee their first semester. All students are charged a degree completion fee when they graduate. Review all undergraduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

Housing Options
Compare the cost of the program for students who live on campus in a residence hall with the cost for commuter students.
  • Tuition
    Fall Tuition
    $14,250
    Spring Tuition
    $14,250
  • Fees
    Activity Fees
    $250
    Materials Fees
    $150
    Registration Fees
    $80
    Lab Fees
    $40
  • Room & Board
    Double/Triple/Quad Room
    $9,860
    Housing Deposit
    $300
    Meal Plan
    $6,370
    Health Service Fees (required for resident students)
    $800
  • Total
Calculate Estimated Merit Scholarship
*Enter your GPA to see what merit scholarships you’re eligible to receive.
Presidential or Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship
$10,500
​Linda Dacey Scholarship
$2,000
Transfer Scholarship
$9,500
Edith Lesley Wolfard Scholarship
$1,000
Lesley Scholarship
$8,500
Community College Scholarship or Lesley Grant
$5,500

You are not eligible for a merit scholarship.

Estimated Cost

Transfer students will also be charged a one-time new student orientation fee their first semester. All students are charged a degree completion fee when they graduate. Review all undergraduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

Apply Now

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Approximate cost for 1 year of study in this undergraduate program. Tuition and fees are for the 2019–2020 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal, state, and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.