By far the greatest strength of the Department of History at Washington State University is our faculty. Although distinguished for their books and other scholarly publications, faculty members consider teaching their primary mission. All of our faculty, including senior professors, teach undergraduate classes. Our professors are excellent instructors. They enjoy undergraduate instruction, and they take that responsibility seriously.
Several of our faculty have won recognition through major teaching awards for their involvement with students in and beyond the classroom and for their willingness to meet with students face to face after class. If high school graduates or transfer students are looking for a congenial atmosphere to study and learn, they can find no better place than the WSU Department of History.
The Department of History offers courses through WSU Online for those who prefer to finish their degrees at home. The Department of History also offers classes via video conference courses (AMS) Academic Media Services between the Pullman campus and various regional campuses throughout the state.
History faculty use the most up-to-date teaching methods and technologies in the classroom, including Internet connectivity and visuals. Still, face-to-face attention is the key to success in history. All history majors must take a research seminar by the end of their senior year. These small classes allow students to practice and develop their research and writing skills in a small-class setting under the guidance of an experienced faculty member.
The Department of History’s Undergraduate Degree Program is designed to produce several outcomes. We expect students who complete the requirements for an undergraduate major in History to: 1) express sophisticated and abstract concepts clearly in writing; 2) be familiar with the nature of historical argument and methodologies; 3) frame research topics and do research at an appropriate undergraduate level; 4) have a mastery of the broad outlines of historical developments, themes, issues, and patterns; 5) develop critical thinking skills that will allow and encourage them to become life-long learners.
- Thesis: To clearly state an argument, describe the topic comprehensively, and deliver all relevant information for full understanding.
- Source Criticism: To identify and consider the influence of historically-based contexts and assumptions.
- Historiography: To demonstrate awareness of the contested character of history and the historical record.
- Analysis of Evidence: To integrate and synthesize knowledge from multiple sources through effective qualitative and/or quantitative evidence analysis.
- Research Skills: To demonstrate research retrieval skills through the identification and selection of appropriate sources.
- Communication Skills: To communicate effectively through formal written work, oral presentations, and other media.