The History Department is a community of teacher-scholars who are committed to instilling in our students the value, importance, and utility of a liberal arts education through the study of history. The department is dedicated to not only the dissemination of knowledge, but also its production. As scholars in our fields, we pursue an on-going research agenda that allows us to serve as models of thoughtfully engaged practitioners of history as well as active contributors to the wider intellectual discourse on regional, national, and international levels.
B.A. and B.S. Programs
Student learning outcomes for our B.A. and B.S. programs in history are:
- Discern the credibility of a primary source.
- Discern the credibility of a secondary source.
- Understand the limitations of a particular primary source.
- Discern what questions can and cannot be answered, given the nature and availability of sources for a particular historical period, event, or institution.
- Integrate material derived from primary and secondary sources into a narrative.
- Understand different interpretations of historical events.
- Evaluate evidence for a particular historical point of view.
- Construct a historical argument.
- Think critically about aspects of society (e.g., religion, politics, the arts, etc.) in historical perspective.
- Apply the above skills within the contexts of American, European, and Non-Western history.
Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to:
A. Conduct historical research
Assessment: all graduate history courses include some element of historical research through reviews of secondary source material, analyses of primary source material, historiographical essays, and/or traditional research papers. The two capstone experiences, four comprehensive exam questions drawn from two (of the three) fields (of American, European, or non-Western) and the thesis both require historical research.
B. Demonstrate an understanding of historiography and its relevance to the study of history
Assessment: through exams, papers, and class discussions students must demonstrate their understanding of historiography and its relevance to the study of history.
C. Develop historical arguments and debates
Assessment: all history graduate courses include some discussion and writing assignments in which students are asked both to present and to develop their own historical arguments within the context of current (or past) debates.
D. Effectively present orally, and in written format, historical information, arguments, and debates in the form of presentations, book reviews, bibliographic essays, research papers, prospectuses, and theses
Assessment: all history graduate courses include paper writing in which students must demonstrate their ability to present historical information as well as articulate complex historical arguments and the main concepts of historical debates. All history graduate courses include at least one formal presentation if not weekly presentations. The capstone experiences-comprehensive exams and theses-also reflect students' ability to present historical information as well as articulate complex historical arguments and the main concepts of historical debates.
E. Present original historical arguments using both primary and secondary sources (for MA thesis students)
F. Demonstrate critical thinking skills as utilized in items A-E
Assessment: ALL course assignments; comprehensive exams; theses
G. Effectively utilize Chicago style (including note and bibliographic citations)
Assessment: With the exception of book reviews and most weekly response papers, all writing assignments in graduate courses (and the capstone experiences) require the use of Chicago Style citation format.