History Department

The mission of the Department of History is to help students develop the capacity to think historically.

This means understanding change and continuity over time, appreciating the importance of historical context, knowing how to interpret and critique primary and secondary sources, being able to construct arguments based on historical evidence, understanding the varieties of approaches employed by historians, and integrating into the study of history methods employed in related disciplines. Second, it means developing an appreciation for the histories of different regions, societies, and time periods, as well as for the differences and similarities among those histories. Finally, it involves developing an understanding of the past as past and of its importance in the present. All of these abilities are essential to well-educated persons seeking to deal effectively with the complex world in which they live.

History is an essential discipline to the liberal arts, and many of the department’s courses fulfill area requirements for graduation. The major is designed to develop necessary knowledge and skill foundations for students who wish to pursue graduate studies in history; who intend to pursue graduate studies in a variety of related professional fields, such as international relations, law, or business; or who intend to move directly into careers in fields such as business, government, or public service. For more information, please 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/.