History constitutes an intellectual challenge because of its special responsibility: the search for reality in the past.

History courses integrate many branches of knowledge, cutting across the lines of the social sciences and the humanities, and even the natural sciences.

Identifying forces of stability and processes of change, history students develop research, writing and analytical skills, which serve them well beyond their university years. 

The special responsibility of historical studies is to help individuals and communities understand the past. The study of history builds confidence for making judgments in many fields of human endeavor and provides insight into current social, political, economic and cultural issues.

The History Department's Mission 

The History Department encourages engagement with the past by supporting students in their studies, faculty in their research, and the public in its curiosity. The subjects we teach inform effective policy, and the skills we foster—judicious reading, clear writing, and persuasive speaking—remain perpetually in demand. The study of history offers practice in research and the interpretation of data, argument, and rhetoric. But most important, history reminds us of other times and places. Making sense of the world is impossible without memory and perspective.