The Washington State University Catalog

Department of History

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

Department of History
Wilson-Short 301

Department Chair and Professor, M. Sutton; Professors, R. Bauman, P. Boag, W. Brecher, S. Kale, L. Mercier, S. Peabody, J. Spohnholz, O. Svingen; Associate Professors, B. Farley, L. Gordillo, L. Hatter, L. Heidenreich, N. Kawamura, R. McCoy, J. Sanders, R. Sun, J. Thigpen, X. Wang, A. Wright; Assistant Professor, A. Chastain; Clinical Faculty, K. Faunce, S. Fountain, T. Hanshew, T. Jordan, K. Phoenix, C. Stratton, C. Weller, K. Whalen; Instructors, J. Dodson, R. Ellis, R. Franklin, N. Harrington, S. Herzog, F. Hill, B. Miller, L. Musgrave, E. Smelyansky, L. Turner-Rahman, A. Whelchel; Staff, J. Pike, L. Torkelson.

Offerings in the field of history may be classified as American, Asian, European, and Latin American.

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.

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 of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in History, Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies, Master of Arts in History, and Doctor of Philosophy. In cooperation with others, the department participates in the interdisciplinary Program in American Studies leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Undergraduate Learning Goals

  1. Thesis: To clearly state an argument, describe the topic comprehensively, and deliver all relevant information for full understanding.
  2. Source Criticism: To identify and consider the influence of historically-based contexts and assumptions.
  3. Historiography: To demonstrate awareness of the contested character of history and the historical record.
  4. Analysis of Evidence: To integrate and synthesize knowledge from multiple sources through effective qualitative and/or quantitative evidence analysis.
  5. Research Skills: To demonstrate research retrieval skills through the identification and selection of appropriate sources.
  6. Communication Skills: To communicate effectively through formal written work, oral presentations, and other media.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Students who have had basic undergraduate training in history (approximately 12 hours) and who have had undergraduate majors in such subjects as American literature, economics, anthropology, and political science may be well prepared for graduate study in several fields of specialization in history. Adequate opportunities are provided for removing deficiencies by taking appropriate courses or special examinations.

Undergraduates who are pursuing their studies at other institutions or through other curricula at this institution and who contemplate graduate work in this department should select courses similar to those required in the schedule of studies.

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