History & Contemporary Society

A degree in History and Contemporary Society from Bethel University can lead to careers ranging from law enforcement to journalism.

Build Your Future

If you have a passion for analyzing, interpreting and writing about the past, consider a history degree from Bethel University. Located in Mishawaka, Indiana, Bethel is near museums including the Studebaker National Museum and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. You might be curious about a sociology degree and choose to study society and societal behavior. Or, perhaps you are an aspiring lawyer hoping to earn a criminal justice major focusing your undergraduate work on history or political science. No matter your career path, Bethel’s Department of History and Contemporary Society is committed to developing a community of learners.
A dedication to building lives of Christian leadership in the Church and the world is the commitment we makes to our students. Whether that is through classroom or real-life experiences, our instructors provide faith-based instruction in the fields of criminal justice, history, sociology and social studies education.

Urban Location

Bethel University’s urban-situated campus provides abundant opportunities for students to find internships at surrounding businesses. From history teacher to legal aide, see where your career might take you.
Located in the South Bend/Mishawaka area, Bethel University students have opportunities for a variety of internships with local, state, or federal law enforcement, social service providers, schools, and even the many area museums and historical sites in the northern Indiana region.

4-Year Plan

Find out exactly what you can expect in our program. Each major and minor listing has a link to the plan you'll follow to earn your degree.

Campus in the fall


After Graduation

Internships, some required for a major, provide meaningful work opportunities and enhance the ability of students to compete for jobs in a given field. About one-third of sociology majors will go on to get a Master's in Social Work.
The Department of History and Contemporary Society is dedicated to preparing you for success after graduation, whether that is a job or going on to Law School or graduate school.
Employment Examples
Many graduates have been employed by:
  • local police
  • sheriff’s departments
  • departments of corrections
  • state police, and probation
  • social/human services as case managers, child advocates, child protective services officers, human services program managers
  • teachers of social studies in area schools

Job outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of historians is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, with strong competition due to limited positions compared to people seeking employment. This growth rate is as fast as the average for all occupations.* A bachelor of history degree can be valuable for this type of work.
Social Workers
The job outlook for social workers for 2019-2029 is expected to grow at 13%, which is much faster than average. This according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which also reports the median annual wage at $50,470 (May 2019). A social science degree could propel you in this direction.
The legal field has a variety of career options, but lawyer is a commonly sought position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of lawyers is projected to grow 4 % from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as average for other areas of employment. A criminology degree is one path that could aid you to becoming a lawyer.

Sociology internships in South Bend/Mishawaka

  • Family and Children's Center
  • Life Center
  • The Language Company
  • Keys Counseling
  • Transformation Ministries
  • Bethel University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Monroe Circle
  • One World Center
  • John Young Junior High


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Tom LaFountain

Tom LaFountain

Titles: Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Degrees: JD
Phone Numbers:
Work: 574.807.7366
Robert Daniels

Robert Daniels

Titles: Professor of Sociology
Degrees: Ph.D.
Phone Numbers:
Work: 574.807.7237
John Haas

John Haas

Titles: Associate Professor of History
Degrees: Ph.D.
Phone Numbers:
Work: 574.807.7146
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Take the Next Step

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Historians, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm (visited November 21, 2020).
** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm (visited November 04, 2020).
*** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Lawyers, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm (visited November 21, 2020).