Department of History

As a history major at Siena College, you won’t just learn history—you’ll experience it. Here, you’ll research in archives, record oral histories, intern at museums, travel to historic sites, and work directly with active scholars and professionals. Our graduates go on to graduate schools and a wide range of careers in the United States and abroad. Find us on Facebook at History Department Siena College.

Why study history?

History helps us understand the past so we can explain the present and gain insights into the future. History enables us to make sense of a complex world and provides us with a sense of identity. And history trains us to reason and weigh evidence, to consider multiple interpretations, and to forward our own ideas with vigor, precision, and confidence.

Why study history at Siena?

At Siena, your education isn’t confined to the classroom—it happens in museums and libraries. It happens at historic sites here and abroad. It happens in the real world, with plenty of real-world experience along the way. Here, you have immediate access to active scholars and professionals, historic documents, recordings, and artifacts. And you’ll be trained to discover—and make sense of—important historical resources.

What can I do with a major/minor in history?

The study of history provides the overview necessary for understanding the world, and the skills desired by employers and graduate programs. It teaches you to write, criticize, and analyze. Siena’s history graduates enjoy successful careers as:

  • Archivists
  • Business owners
  • Editors
  • Lawyers
  • Librarians
  • Lobbyists
  • Journalists
  • Managers
  • Media Producers
  • Military officers
  • Museum Curators
  • Police officers
  • Politicians
  • Researchers
  • Stock brokers
  • Teachers
  • Writers
  • Dr. Eelman & Gettysburg 2013
    Dr. Eelman & Gettysburg 2013
  • History Club 2012
    History Club 2012
  • Gettysburg Trip, 2012
    Gettysburg Trip, 2012
  • Dr. Pojmann with Francis Butler & Lindsay Davenport at 2014 Biennial Convention of the History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Dr. Pojmann with Francis Butler & Lindsay Davenport at 2014 Biennial Convention of the History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • History Faculty 2013
    History Faculty 2013
  • Eben Yonnetti '12 at the Tibetan & Himalayan Peoples Program, Kathmandu, Nepal
    Eben Yonnetti '12 at the Tibetan & Himalayan Peoples Program, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Dr. Sonnelitter's Reformation class in Siena's archives, 2013
    Dr. Sonnelitter's Reformation class in Siena's archives, 2013
  • Students at Disney World 2012
    Students at Disney World 2012
  • Summer Scholar Tara Keough in London 2012
    Summer Scholar Tara Keough in London 2012
  • Faculty @ Gettysburg 2013
    Faculty @ Gettysburg 2013



Department Chair

Karen Mahar

Karen W. Mahar

Professor of History

228 Kiernan Hall

(518) 782‑6570

Saint Spotlight

Hanif Cropper

Class of 2016

History Major

Albany, N.Y.


Hanif Cropper wasn’t sure what he wanted to major in at Siena. Like a lot of students, he had a number of interests but not a clear direction.