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History | WSU Department of History

Update regarding COVID-19

Note from the Chair:

 

The Department of History urges all members of its community—our students, faculty and staff—to be safe and stay safe during this unprecedented time. We are now under a State Executive Order to stay in our homes, but we are all still working toward our common goal of delivering a high-quality history education together. Our faculty worked extremely hard over the Spring Break to be ready for the process of distance learning. On March 24, 2020 they began with this new format.

Considering the difficulties that lie ahead, I would encourage everyone (students, faculty, and staff) to practice empathy and compassion toward each other. If you are a student experiencing financial difficulties, we encourage you to call the Office of the Dean of Students and inquire about its Student Emergency Fund (509) 335-5757 or deanofstudents@wsu.edu. There is also some need-based funding available from the provost’s office here: https://provost.wsu.edu/ccg/. We also encourage you to stay in touch with your classmates and your professors–make sure you communicate with your professors. This is of utmost importance.

And for everyone: let’s continue to use social media to stay in touch with each other and to tell our stories, as we develop new ways of working and new ways of learning. Academics are consecrated storytellers, and we need to tap into that particular skill set right now to document this new reality as it unfolds.

Stay safe and be well,

Matthew A. Sutton

 

Click here for WSU’s COVID-19 Response – Get the latest news and updates


 

History has long been at the center of a liberal arts education and it remains so today.  As both a humanities discipline and a social science, History possesses elements of literary studies, anthropology, economics, and sociology and teaches a variety of skills that are relevant across the entire range of majors offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. At WSU, the Department of History’s Roots of Contemporary Issues Program is at the heart of the university’s general education requirements.

Learn about our distinctive programs

Alongside the History major, the MA, and the PhD, the Department collaborates with a range of graduate and undergraduate programs, including teacher education, pre-law, and interdisciplinary majors in Asian Studies, Women’s History, Political Science, and Cultural Studies. We also offer a of number graduate and undergraduate scholarships and opportunity for students to conduct faculty-mentored research.


“History is about challenge.  At WSU, professors and peers challenged me to think outside the box, and create original thoughts and theories often times going against perceived norms.  History at WSU challenges students to go beyond, be diligent, and persevere academically.  Writing, reading, and thinking skills are developed and molded to form an ever changing and perfecting student experience.  I credit my study of history with all my success at WSU and with all the success I hope to have in the future.”

Kevin Schilling
B.A. History  (2017) and Top Ten Senior Awardee

 

“As the ASWSU student body president, I regularly rely on the skills and competencies I gained in history courses at Washington State University.  Critical thinking is consistently reinforced in the WSU Department of History, and that helps me solve complex problems involving student fee increases, curriculum changes, and student safety needs.  Additionally, the Department of History places an emphasis on crafting original arguments, and backing them up with credible, solid sources.  My position as the top advocate for students requires me to engage in discussions on a daily basis with university staff, faculty, and administrators, as we try to come up with ways to make the WSU student experience the best it can be.  With a historical mindset, I am confident in my ability to lead the students of Washington State University into the future.”

Jordan Frost
President
Associated Students of Washington State University 2017-2018

Distinctive Programs

Roots of Contemporary Issues

Roots of Contemporary Issues provides students with the tools to assess and address contemporary issues in a mature, reasoned way, using evidence, critical thinking, and clear written and oral communication skills. Learn more about RCI

American West & Pacific Northwest

Washington State University’s Department of History has long been recognized for its premiere graduate program in the American West—a region rich in cultural, social, and environmental diversity.

Learn more about the American West & Pacific Northwest program

Public History Field School

Emphasizing both academic and practical instruction to develop basic skills in public history subfields, the Public History Field School is designated as History 529: Interpreting History through Material Culture.

Learn more about Public History Field School

Global Leadership Certificate

The Global Leadership Certificate can be integrated with any major and allows students to gain leaderships skills, cross-cultural understanding, and global knowledge. Currently, there are 12 HISTORY courses included on the “coursework” list that count towards the completion of a GLC!

Learn more about getting a Global Leadership Certificate.  

The Hanford History Project

Through the Hanford History Project, WSU leads a coalition of community partners in preserving—and enabling research on—the history of the community near the Hanford nuclear site in south-central Washington state.

Learn more about The Hanford History Project

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