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History | Humanities

History (General)

Certifying into History (General)

Students who indicate an interest in History and have a 2.0 GPA or above may be admitted to the major. Those interested in a teaching option should consult with the College of Education concerning certification requirements for teaching. Students majoring in history should have a strong and broad high school background in humanities, social science, and languages.

Bachelor of Arts in History (36 hours)

Required History Courses
Hist 300: Writing about History
Hist 469: Seminar in History
6 hours of U.S. history
6 hours of European history
9 hours of Global/non-Western history
Plus an additional 12-hour concentration in history (at least 6 hours at the 300 and 400 level), or in a related discipline outside of history. All 12 hours must be taken in the same subject area.

At least 21 of the 36 hours in history courses must be at the 300 and 400 level.

History courses used to complete the degree must be passed with a grade of C or better.

Degree Options

Why History?

A formalized program of historical study—required of our majors—dramatically refines skills which you already possess, allowing their use in much more eloquent, challenging, and productive ways. You will learn to think broadly and historically, thereby gaining meaningful insights into human development over time.

Certifying into a Program of Study

Students who indicate an interest in History and have a 2.0 GPA or above may be admitted to the major.

Those interested in a teaching option should consult with the College of Education concerning certification requirements for teaching.

Applying for Your Degree

The Degree Application should be submitted after completing 90 semester hours. To apply, go to your myWSU homepage. For more information, go to


If you have questions about any of our majors, please feel free to contact us. You are welcome to come by the History Office at Wilson-Short Hall 301 or visit our advising page here!

Degree Options

A major in history can be used in government service, the new specialty of public history teaching, several areas of business and industry, and many other fields. It can also be used in preparation for study of the law, the ministry, archival work, and librarianship. Double majors or complementary minors combining history with other fields are easily arranged.

The department offers courses leading to the degrees of History (General), History Online (General), History Education, Pre-Law, and Social Studies.







CAS News History headlines

Vancouver Library Research Excellence Award

Professor Sue Peabody writes:   I am pleased to announce that History major junior Samantha Rintoulis the winner of the campus-wide WSU Vancouver Library Research Excellence Award for her paper, “Railroaded: Race Relations in Twentieth-Century Oregon.” Her paper examines two legal cases in which black railroad employees were accused and convicted of murder during the Great Depression and World War II and their divergent fates due to stereotyping and labor activism.  Samantha wrote her paper in Prof. Peabody’s History 469 seminar.

Berry Family Excellence Grant – Jeff Sanders

Jeffrey Sanders
Jeffrey Sanders

Associate Professor Jeff Sanders has received a $12,500 Berry Family Excellence Fellows Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences.  The coversheet for  his proposal – “Tributaries:  A Regional Digital Environmental Research and Teaching Collaboration” follows.

Jeff also reports that on April 22 he gave an invited lecture to the Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO). He discussed his ongoing work as an environmental historian at WSU and his current project titled Childhood and Environment in the Postwar American West that examines the entwined history of children and environment in the United States after World War II. His work explores how Americans, concerned with the well-being of their children, framed environmental concerns and produced new environmental knowledge through the lens of childhood between 1940 and 1990.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty/Staff MemberPositionE-mail
Anderson, KennethRetired
Brecher, W.
Coon, David L.Emeritus
Fountain, Steven
Garretson, Edwin P.,
Gordillo, Luz
Goucher, Candice
Hatter, Lawrence B.
Hill, FrankStaff/
Kale, Steven
Meyer, Kathryn
Schlesinger, Roger and Mary
Sutton, Matthew
Thorsten-Mickelson, PatriciaRetired
Torkelson, Lauri
Whelchel, Aaron

Scholarships, Fellowships, Awards

History students may apply for scholarships, fellowships, and awards by completing an electronic application for the College of Arts and Sciences, here. As you near the end of the application you will answer questions that are specific to the study of history – these questions will help the department of history select recipients for the scholarships, fellowships, and awards listed below.

The Department of History is fortunate to be able to offer a wide range of funding opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students. The scholarships, fellowships, and their award criteria are listed below.

Undergraduate Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards

See scholarships, fellowships, and awards available to undergraduate students below:


  • Asia Excellence Award
    Awarded to an outstanding undergraduate student who has chosen Asia Studies as their academic focus.


  • Claudius O. Johnson Memorial Scholarship in History
    Awarded to undergraduate history majors demonstrating outstanding academic progress.


  • George & Bernadine Converse Historical Endowment
    Undergraduate students in good academic standing  will be selected based on demonstrated financial need.


  • History Scholarship Fund
    Awarded to undergraduate history majors demonstrating outstanding academic progress.


  • Howard C. Payne Award for Excellence in Research
    Provides for one or more undergraduate awards for excellence in research. Award recipients shall be evaluated by the research papers they are required to write in a senior seminar course (currently HIST 469). Eligible students shall be nominated by a Department of History faculty member. A committee of department faculty members will review the nominated undergraduate candidates and select a recipient based on the demonstration of scholarship, creativity and the student’s ability to write analytically.


  • India Research Fund
    Awarded to an undergraduate student who is primarily studying the history of India.


  • Katherine Gilbert Blinn Scholarship in History
    Awarded to one or more students and are renewable based on satisfactory academic progress. Qualified applicants shall be full time undergraduate students with financial need.


  • Leta Olmstead Smith Scholarship
    Provides for one annual scholarship to a student enrolled on a full time basis who is majoring in history. Recipients shall be of junior or senior standing and selection will be made from students who have shown outstanding academic ability and have demonstrated an interest in American history. Financial need will be considered. The recipient shall be required to complete a research project on a topic related to rural American history.


  • Professors William M. Landeen & Claudius O. Johnson Scholarship Fund
    Provides scholarship for two or more undergraduate students. Students must major in or demonstrate an academic interest in history. This award will be granted based on academic merit and personal financial need.


  • Ruth Magnuson Roberts Scholarship in History
    Awards one or more annual scholarships to undergraduate students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or greater, who are studying history in either their sophomore or junior year. This scholarship will be distributed based on financial need. The Ruth Magnuson Roberts Scholarship is renewable based on satisfactory academic progress.


  • Stephen L. Thigpen Scholarship
    Awarded in the spring for excellence in undergraduate research in the History 300 course. Student shall be nominated by a faculty member.

Graduate Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards

See scholarships, fellowships, and awards available to graduate students below:


  • Bernard Bobb  Award for Best Teaching Assistant Instructor
    Awarded to graduate students for excellence as the best teaching assistant instructor. Nominations are sponsored by department faculty in the fall.


  • Cooney Family Graduate Research Scholarship
    Provides fellowship stipends to graduate students within the department. This funding is intended to be used by recipients for research expenses outside of the United States.


  • Claudius O. & Mary W. Johnson Graduate Fellowship 
    Provides for graduate fellowships in history while simultaneously offering additional exposure to programs  sponsored through the Foley Institute. This recipient of this fellowship is chosen annually by the Department of History in partnership with the Director of the Foley Institute.


  • David H. Stratton
    Awarded to a PhD student for the best dissertation completed within the department. This award is distributed once every four years.


  • Department of History Graduate Research Fellowship
    Awarded to graduate students to assist in the funding of research.


  • Edward M. & Margery H. Bennett History Fellowship
    Provides a fellowship award to a graduate student in the Department of History who is studying the history of American foreign relations. If there are no qualified applicants in this area of study, then the fellowship my be awarded to a graduate student studying American political history.


  • Herman J. Deutsch Memorial Fellowship
    Awarded to graduate students studying public history or history of the Pacific Northwest while demonstrating outstanding academic ability.


  • Sherman and Mabel Smith Pettyjohn Memorial Fund 
    Awarded to a graduate student who’s research is devoted to the history of the Pacific Northwest.


Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards Offered to Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students


  • William D. Aiken Memorial Fund
    Provided for undergraduate scholarships or graduate fellowships in history, as well as general support for scholarly activity and travel relevant to the study of history


  • Paul C. Anderson Scholarship in History
    Provided for undergraduate scholarships or graduate fellowships in history.


  • Frederick and Liselotte Dumin Memorial Scholarship   
    Potentially awarded to either an undergraduate or graduate student studying within the Department of History. Nominations are made during the fall semester.


  • Middle East History Research and Scholarship Fund  
    Awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student with an outstanding record to support research and study of the Middle East encompassing Egypt and the Levant, North Africa, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.


  • Morris Reed Scholarship in History
    At least one scholarship is awarded per academic year to either an undergraduate or graduate student demonstrating outstanding academic progress.


  • Raymond Muse History Scholarship
    Awarded to undergraduate majors or graduate students with an outstanding academic record.


  • Stan Berry & Siu Family Lifetime Friendship Endowment
    Provides scholarship to an international student who is focusing on European history or an international student in the Department of History. If no students meeting the previously listed qualifications apply, then a history student focusing on European history may be awarded.


  • Wayne Stanford History Scholarship
    Provides scholarship to one undergraduate student as well as one graduate student per academic year. The undergraduate student must be either a junior or a senior. Two undergraduate or two graduate awards may be made if no qualified students apply from the other level.


  • Winston B. Thorson Memorial Scholarship
    Awarded to students of the Department of History who demonstrate scholastic excellence and outstanding character.