About theHistory Department
In the History Department, our students graduate as creative problem solvers, who can think imaginatively not only about the past, but about the world today. To quote a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed, "History isn't a 'useless' major. It teaches critical thinking, something American needs much more of." We teach marketable and transferable skills you will take well beyond the history classroom:
- the skill of investigation
- the art of asking good questions that help define the problem at hand
- research skills in identifying and understanding sources
- analysis and interpreting of complex subjects
- effective use of evidence to draw conclusions
- the ability to think critically and creatively about the world in order to help solve the problems we face in the future
Ranked in 2015 by Kiplinger's as one of the nation's 75 "Best Buys" in higher education, WCU has one of the most affordable and high-quality undergraduate programs in the nation. Our 20 full-time faculty members, all experts in their fields, value both excellent teaching, active scholarship, and engagement with our community. We offer a Bachelor of Arts in History (B.A.), a Master of Arts in History (M.A.), and a Master of Education in Social Studies (M.Ed.). Our students may also choose to pursue Pennsylvania teacher certification in social studies as part of their Bachelor of Arts program.
We encourage you to let the history major at West Chester surprise you. It is not the history classroom of 100 years ago. We're eager to see where your career takes you.
What's New in History?
Click on an image to learn more.
Anne Krulikowski plans architectural tours in Philadelphia. Learn more about Anne Krulikowski.
Class creates award winning project, "Goin' North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia"
Grad student Suzanne Irvin leads development of Swift Boat Sailors Memorial
Riggtown: Exploring Local History with Professor Jim Jones
Special Collections Library exhibit, curated by students working with Professor Robert Kodosky, honors veterans with biographies, photographs, and objects. Visit the exhibition the 6th floor of Francis Harvey Green Library.
WCU History students Derek Duquette and Kelly McGwire, and 2015 Holocaust and Genocide Studies MA graduate Amanda Tuttle partnered with the Pennsylvania History Coalition Honoring People with Disability to build a digital archive of resources documenting the history of various former institutions for the treatment of intellectual and developmental disability, including Elwyn.
In Spring 2018, students created Philadelphia Immigration, a website with oral history interview indexes, exhibits, and digital storytelling projects on the history of immigration to Philadelphia in the early 20th century.
Associate Professor Janneken Smucker published a guest post "New Audio Archive Gives Voice To Philly Immigration History" on the local historical preservation and architecture blog, Hidden City Philadelphia. She shared the collaborative project created with history undergraduate and graduate students, Honors College students, and Professor Charles Hardy. Her post includes audio excerpts with Philadelphians who emigrated from Europe around the turn of the twentieth century, recalling the smells, sounds, and sites of the city. In Spring 2019, WCU will partner with the Free Library of Philadelphia to conduct new oral history interviews in contemporary immigrant communities, creating the next layer of the Philadelphia Immigration digital project. In 2020, students will work on a new wave of digital storytelling projects that compare and contrast immigrant life experiences separated by 100 years—in the early 1900s and early 2000s.
We're Here for You!
Department of History
702 Wayne Hall
West Chester, PA 19382
Office: 702 Wayne Hall
Office: 704 Wayne Hall
Social Studies Coordinator
Office: 729 Wayne Hall
Acting Graduate Coordinator
Office: 721 Wayne Hall
Director, Holocaust-Genocide Studies
Office: 723 Wayne Hall