History Department

The Department of History helps students develop the capacity for historical thinking.

Historical thinking is a set of literacy skills through which students learn how to evaluate source material to construct a worthwhile account of the past. To do so, students must learn how to ask good questions, use evidence to evaluate change and continuity over time, analyze cause and effect and put information in context, condense data into a logical argument, and apply relevant information to understand the relationship between the past and present. In addition to historical thinking, students must be able to articulate historical questions in written form, research persuasive answers in primary and secondary sources, and present those answers or interpretations in thesis-driven, evidence-based writing.

Gustavus Adolphus College prepares students to live and work in a global community. In alignment with that goal, our major includes a global requirement that introduces students to comparative histories across national boundaries. It also includes courses that explore how race, gender, class, and nationality intersect and affect national and international historical events.

History is an essential discipline to the liberal arts and prepares students for a host of careers in
the public and private sectors, including business, law, government, and public service. The major also prepares students well for advanced study in the discipline and related professional fields such as law, museum studies, library science, political science, and international relations. The ability for students to identify and apply relevant information will serve them in all that they do. We are honored to be a part of their educational journey.

For more information, please contact the chair of the department or click here. Declared History Majors can find a guide to the major here.

Majors in History are encouraged to study abroad and the department allows appropriate coursework from approved international programs to apply toward the major. See available programs at http://gustavus.studioabroad.com/.