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Department of Humanities

Karen Fisher Younger, Ph.D., Chair




History, one of the traditional liberal arts disciplines, is fascinating in its own right. The study of peoples and places from the past can be exciting, instructive, and thought-provoking. But students who study history will learn that history is more than the study of dates, names, and past events. Rather, it is the study of how people understand and apply meaning to those events. Human history can at times be both inspiring and revolting, shocking and predictable, simple and amazingly complex, straightforward and debatable. History students learn how to recognize the ways history is interpreted, as well as to offer their own interpretations of the past.

Through studying history and historical methods, students can obtain a greater appreciation of human cultural, political, and historical diversity. They also gain a far greater understanding of their own place in the world. History faculty offer a range of courses in both United States and world history in an effort to facilitate this goal.

Upon completing this academic major, graduates will:

  • be critical readers of both primary and secondary sources, and will use and properly cite both types of evidence in their written work.
  • master the formal styles of writing, argumentation, and presentation that historians use in their work.
  • achieve a basic mastery of research techniques in history, including collection and analysis of textual and non-textual sources.
  • have effective oral presentation skills.
  • understand historiography.
  • have a general familiarity with the intellectual, political, economic, social, and cultural history of the United States, of Europe, and of at least one “Non-Western” area.
  • understand the roles of social factors such as race, class, gender, and religion in history.