Jun 18, 2024  
2016-2017 University Catalog 
2016-2017 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History, Department of

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Department Chair

Nancy Fitch

Department Office/Website

Humanities 815F


Margie Brown-Coronet, Gayle Brunelle, Jochen Burgtorf, Kate Burlingham, Benjamin Cawthra, Kristine Dennehy, Nancy Fitch, Natalie Fousekis, Cora Granata, Altana Guia, William W. Haddad, Volker Janssen, Jonathan Markley, Robert McLain, Maged S.A. Mikhail, Jamila Moore-Pewu, Stephen Neufeld, Stephen O’Connor, Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi, Lynn Sargeant, Jessica R. Stern, Laichen Sun, Lisa Tran, Allison Varzally, Philippe Zacaïr


Historians engage in systematic study of the human past in order to discover meaning for people in the present. The student of history may draw upon the subject matter and methods of many academic disciplines. Thus, social history employs the methods of the social sciences, including quantitative analysis, in examining social movements and issues in the past; psycho-history utilizes the approaches of psychology in the study of the behavior of historically significant individuals and groups; and the development of the various areas of human intellectual and cultural activity, for instance, the arts and sciences, are studied to inform us of how and why people have thought as they did.

Lower-division survey courses are designed to convey the broad sweep of past human events and introduce the student to the study of causation and historical source materials. Aspects of the philosophy and methodology of history and the mechanics of writing historical essays are addressed in HIST 300A and 300B. The study, in greater depth, of specialized historical topics comprises the bulk of the upper-division offerings of the department. History majors are required to take HIST 490T, a senior seminar on a special topic in which they are expected to write an original historical essay based chiefly upon the analysis of historical materials that date from the time of the events studied.

The history major is useful for students who: (1) seek a broad liberal arts education with the option to choose more specialized study by geographical region, epoch and focus of inquiry (cultural, social, etc.); (2) plan a career in media or film, or in government service, including positions in United States Government agencies and international organizations overseas; (3) intend to go into business where writing, research and people skills are important; (4) pursue a career in private, nonprofit organizations that may involve research and service organizations, i.e., archives, museums and libraries; (5) desire to study law; (6) intend to prepare for primary or secondary school teaching; or (7) intend to work for advanced degrees in history in preparation for college teaching. The department is committed to the university’s missions and goals where learning is preeminent.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Pre-Professional Information

Students intending careers in government service, law, public history or business should seek counsel from an adviser. Those planning to teach in K-12 schools whould consult with the departmen’s credential adviser. Those planning to pursue graduate study in history should consult a faculty member of their choice.

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ArtsMaster of ArtsNon-Degree



      Courses are designated as HIST in the class schedule.

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