Apr 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

History Department

David Burrow, Chairperson
East Hall, Room 207
(605) 677-5218




Kurt H. Hackemer, 19th-Century U.S., Military, Civil War
Clayton M. Lehmann, Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Europe

Associate Professors:

Elise Boxer, Native American Studies/History, Mormon History, and 19th/20th Century American History
David I. Burrow, Russia and Modern Europe
Sara Lampert, Colonial and Early U.S., Women & Gender, American Cultural History
Molly P. Rozum, U.S. Women, Great Plains and Canadian Borderlands, South Dakota


Mark Madsen, U.S. History, Western Civilization, World Civilizations


William Cooper
Lisa Millen
Jacob Thurston
Richard Van Lente

Emeritus Professor:

Steven J. Bucklin, Modern U.S., Diplomatic, Cold War, Vietnam
Judith Sebesta


History, B.A., B.S.


Classical Humanities
Religious Studies
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

The study of history examines the adventure of peoples and societies from the earliest written, oral and material records to the present. Courses in history help students understand the problems of an increasingly interdependent world in which citizens must make decisions based on informed reflection and critical thinking. The major also fosters an enjoyment of history that will enrich a student’s intellectual development long after they leave the University of South Dakota. History prepares our graduates to actively engage the world around them, to better understand the peoples and cultures they will interact with for the rest of their lives, and to participate in important discussions that will affect their future.

The history major and minor train students to evaluate historical sources and arguments, develop their skills in critical analysis, writing, and communication, and foster a spirit of open-minded inquiry. The study of history provides critical thinking skills and perspectives that are invaluable for those intending to pursue almost any career, including law, teaching, journalism, politics, business, museum and archives work, archaeology, park services, librarianship, and the civil or diplomatic service. In conjunction with the School of Education, the department offers a major in Secondary Education/History Education and collaborates in the minor in Social Sciences Education. The Department of History also houses the Philosophy program, the Native American Studies program, the Classical Humanities minor, the Religious Studies minor, and the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies minor.


Since 1957 the Department has housed a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta History Honorary, the largest academic honor society in the world. History majors are invited to membership in their junior and senior years.


Since 1965, the Department of History has hosted an annual Student History Conference. This day-long event, which is modeled on the academic conferences where USD faculty regularly present their own research, introduces both undergraduate and graduate students to the professional side of being an historian. The Student History Conference is the longest-running student research forum at USD and features papers on regional, American, European, and world history.


Please contact the department for additional information about available scholarships and awards. Also see the College of Arts & Sciences  for college/school level scholarships.

  • Carl Christol Memorial History Scholarship
  • Cedric & Evelyn Cummins Scholarship for International Travel
  • Reaves Family History Scholarship

Student Learning Outcomes for History (B.A., B.S.)

  1. Students will demonstrate that they can formulate a research question or thesis statement in writing a research paper. AHATP 18. 
  2. Students will demonstrate that they can conduct a bibliographic search for their research paper using library resources and online databases. AHATP 11, 14 
  3. Students will demonstrate a critical approach to reading, interpreting and using primary sources in writing research papers. AHATP 17, 18 
  4. Students will demonstrate historical objectivity and an awareness of context in writing a research paper. AHATP 6, 7, 9 
  5. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. 
  6. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgements, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. 
  7. Students will engage in purposeful, ongoing learning activities that improve their knowledge, skills and competence in their personal and professional lives. 
  8. Students will recognize when there is a need for information and identify, locate, evaluate and effectively and responsibly use and convey that information to address the need or problem at hand. 
  9. Students will intentionally engage with diversity in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions leading to opportunities for equal access to participation in educational and community programs for all members of society.