Department at a Glance

Number of Students

History: 40
Social Studies Education: 22

Number of Faculty

Full-time: 7

What Students Study

  • Ancient/medieval 
  • Modern European
  • Modern American 
  • Global history

Skills Students Gain

  • Reading and research
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing
  • Public speaking
  • Empathy and respect for others

Notable Courses

Minorities in America

This course looks at the culture and experiences of select minorities and their contributions to the ongoing work to realize America's proclaimed democratic ideals.

History of the American West

In order to help students understand how history and mythology overlap in the story of the American West, Dr. Kooistra has her students read interesting first-hand accounts, watch films ranging from Stagecoach and The Searchers to Star Wars, and even trot out their own western wear.

The American Civil War

Dr. Magnuson often teaches this as a tandem course with English professor Thomas Becknell and his Studies in American Literature: The Civil War, examining this crucial event in American history from the perspective of 2 disciplines.

Modern Europe

Dr. Gehrz treats this survey of Europe since 1750 as a “pedagogical laboratory,” using it to experiment with roleplaying simulations, research-based exams, and academic podcasting. (“Radio Modern Europe” has become one of the most downloaded European history podcasts on iTunes U.)