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History, Political Science, Philosophy, Religion


Did you know that on average, the college graduate will have 6-10 jobs during their careers? The key to success is transferable skills. We offer a wide array of majors and minors that can meet the needs of ever-change and varied future career. In a recent survey of employers, 93% said that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate’s undergraduate major.”

While secondary (high school) teaching and government are the most obvious career paths, what else can our students do with a History or Political Science major, or Religion and Philosophy minor?

If you want to see powerhouse programs, let the numbers tell the story. Just consider how those with a background in Philosophy rank on different entrance exams:

  • LSAT (Law School) - Philosophy ranks 2nd in all fields
  • GMAT (MBA Program) – Philosophy ranks 5th in all fields, 1st among the Humanities.
  • GRE – Philosophy ranks 1st in all fields for Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning, and 2nd among Social and Behavioral Sciences/ Arts and Humanities for Quantitative Reasoning

Many career paths now require advanced degrees—History, Political Science, Philosophy and Religion provide an excellent foundation for graduate school. Our students often go for advanced degrees in law, public administration, museum studies. You also might consider teaching at the community or four-year college level.

Frequently, History, Political Science, Philosophy or Religion backgrounds prepare students for diverse and multifaceted career paths. Employers desire the critical, analytical, quantitative and writing skills of our majors and are willing to train you themselves in the specifics of the job. For example, the statistical software you learn in our POLS 388 Research Methods course has wide application beyond politics. The program coordination that our work-studies do for National History Day is useful in many fields beyond history. We also are firm believers in internships, preferably paid, to make sure you are ready with the skills you need at the time of graduation.  See what we offer.

Consider a Minor

A minor might be the perfect way to round out your four-year program.  If you have extra credits, minors will have far more of an impact than elective courses.  Moreover, they might provide you with a valuable counterpart to your existing major.  Here are three of the more popular minors:

Socrates Painting









Picture of a Buddha Statue









Picture of a Justice statue







Legal Studies




Student receiving a scholarship


Per capita, few departments can match us scholarship opportunities. In Political Science alone, they give away over $28,000 a year, including the massive $5000 a year, $20,000 total Hendrickson Scholarship. Not only is this an indication of how much financial help you can expect while you are here, but also, how much our alumni can afford to give back. Our graduates do well.  Find out more.


Programs and Events


Ethics Lab

South Dakota State University Ethics Lab Logo



click here to find out how you can pursue your love of Philosophy while gaining real-world experience by doing funded joint research with the 2008 College of Arts and Sciences Researcher of the Year, Dr. Greg Peterson, Professor of Philosophy.  See how applied and empirically driven today's ethics research can be. 




National History Day: South Dakota<

NHD National History Day logo



The SDSU Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, Religion, together with the Ag Heritage Museum, are proud sponsors of National History Day. For the history major not going into teaching, working with us on National History Day is an excellent way to develop program coordinating skills. For the history teacher, there is no better way to distinguish your resume from the others than experience working with NHD. Every administrator would love to see NHD brought to their school.


Annual Daschle Dialogues and Scholarship

Black and white photo of Tom Daschle in his study


As a graduate of our department, we have a lasting friendship with former Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle. Find out past and upcoming talks, as well as learning about joint-researching opportunities that pay $2,500 for students.  Click here.




Clubs and Activities

Students holding a History Club banner on Hobo Day. They are also holding up sings that say "We Challenge Dept of Mech Eng...To a Pumpkin Chuck"

So many of our majors get involved with clubs and internships. These are both ways for professors and professionals to get to know you outside the classroom and speak to critical traits that might otherwise go unnoticed. What are prospective employers looking for? Ambition, drive, collegiality, adaptability, ability to learn, creativity, innovation, work ethic, and leadership. Do not just join a club -- become an officer. Show off these skills to us so that we can later discuss it in your recommendation letter. You have so many options: History Club, Phi Alpha Theta (History's Honor Club) Political Science Club, Pre-Law Society, Model UN. Get Involved!