History and Social Sciences Department


History and geography will help you understand American society and the world, both past and present. The study of history at Northern is not simply the rote memorization of dates, names, places, and endless facts. Instead, it is the investigation of an interesting, living past that both helps us to understand our own times and offers intriguing suggestions as to what might lie ahead in the future. The history program at Northern provides a background for a variety of occupations and careers.
The history major trains students to think and write critically and clearly, and offers a means of understanding American society and the world, both past and present. In addition to preparing students for careers in secondary school teaching, it provides a firm foundation for careers in business, law, journalism, publishing, government, library science, museum work, and other fields.
Open to the community and region, NSU's annual Constitution Day celebration energizes campus with informative, entertaining events and displays.
  • Public History certificate  Public history is history, practically applied. Public historians work out side of the classroom to share history and historical methods with the public, and work in museums, archives, art galleries, local preservation offices, and a wide variety of private consulting firms.
  • History minor
  • Public History minor
NSU history Students in the News


Geography studies people, place, and environment. Geographers use a spatial perspective to describe, explain, and understand connections among the physical and cultural phenomena that distinguish places around the world. Geography€™'s spatial perspective can be used to study all aspects of people and places. A geography minor compliments all of the majors in social sciences and most majors in the physical sciences. Geography€™'s global perspective and cultural studies enhance degrees in business, fine arts, and education.


Sociology is the scientific study of human society and social interactions. Sociologists attempt to understand the forces that mold individuals, shape behavior, and determine social events. Sociology, a liberal arts degree, offers preparation for a very wide variety of career opportunities. It's not specific training for a narrow list of jobs. The list of employment opportunities for sociology graduates is very long. An internship is not required, but is offered as valuable elective credit.

political science

This field of study will equip you to understand and possibly influence policymaking in many different forms. Political science - the scientific study of government and politics - is concerned with the ways in which government power is acquired and exercised within and between nations. At Northern, we teach you to understand different aspects of government, with special emphasis on American government, political philosophy, and international relations. The political science program also offers connections to internships with national, state and local governments.
  • Philosophy minor
  • Political Science minor
  • Religious Studies minor  The religious studies minor is designed to help students better understand and interpret religious texts, particularly those texts important to Western religious traditions. Students completing the minor will learn to compare and contrast different belief systems and to evaluate the way in which religion affects and is affected by major historical, political, social, and cultural developments.