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History | American West & Pacific Northwest History

American West

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.

The number, quality, and range of our faculty who teach courses and who research and publish on the region are unparalleled in the Northern West. Over the years they have trained and mentored students who have gone on to earn faculty positions at institutions across the country and others who work as public historians at places ranging from the National Park Service to local historical societies and agencies.

The vitality of our program is further supported by faculty in allied departments and centers across our campuses, including in American studies, English, Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and the Plateau Center for American Indian Studies.

Departmentally-sponsored seminars, field courses, and annual programs on the West, as well as our students’ participation in regional history conferences, not only enhance our students’ intellectual experiences, but further prepare them for a challenging and rapidly changing employment market.

Pacific Northwest

WSU’s Department of History is also home to the country’s most vital graduate program in Pacific Northwest history.

Several of our faculty focus their work specifically on this significant sub-region of the United States and Canada. Any number of our graduate students past and present have written dissertations on the region, dissertations that they have subsequently transformed into prize-winning articles and books.

The rich archival resources of WSU and the location of its several campuses, each with access to a multiplicity of federal, state, and local archives and historical societies, sustain the research of our faculty and students. Our programming, our students’ scholarly interests, and WSU’s cosponsorship of the Center for Columbia River History all serve to support the study of the Pacific Northwest in our department.

Oregon and Upper California, 1847. Courtesy WSU Libraries, MASC.
Oregon and Upper California, 1847. Courtesy WSU Libraries, MASC. Learn more about this image
Washington State University