As a comprehensive state university, WCU offers one of the most affordable undergraduate history programs in the region. Our students may also choose to pursue Pennsylvania teacher certification in social studies as part of their Bachelor of Arts program. A full range of late afternoon and evening undergraduate courses enables both full-time and part-time students to make progress in any program at their own pace. With 20 full-time faculty members, the Department of History has specialists in many areas of American and European history as well as African, Asian, Latin American, and Middle East studies. As teacher-scholars, our faculty members value both excellent teaching and active scholarship. Believing that close interaction is an integral part of a university education, the department limits many of its majors-only courses to enrollments of 15-20 students and caps most other history classes at 30 students.
The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in history prepares students for a wide range of careers, which require skills in research, writing, problem solving, and analysis. The B.A. curriculum offers focused study in non-Western, European, and United States history. The large number of electives available under the B.A. program enables history majors to sample a broad variety of courses outside the major and the opportunity to minor in another field. All B.A. history majors must demonstrate competency in a foreign language.
West Chester is one of the few universities in the United States at which history professors instruct the teaching methods course and supervise the student-teaching experience. This ensures the integration of academic content and teaching methodologies. Our B.A. in History with Elective Social Studies Teacher Certification program meets the certification criteria established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the most recent standards set by the National Council for the Social Studies. On completing this program, graduates are able to apply to PDE for certification to teach all of the social studies in secondary schools. The Department of History provides a comprehensive guidance record sheet for all history students.
History students considering an MA n History may wish to take the opportunity to participate in “Fast Track.” Under this accelerated program, students can enroll in up to (4) graduate courses:
- Pay undergraduate rates for 1-4 graduate courses
- Fast Track courses double count for both History BA (1-4 of your 7 upper level history elective courses) and History MA (banked for the MA program)
- Students that do well in fast Track courses can easily be admitted to WCU History MA Program and complete the program in 1 year (needing perhaps only 6 courses)
The program is intended for students to earn a BA and MA in History at WCU in 5 years. Students that complete 4 Fast Track courses will need only 6 to complete the MA (3 courses each in 2 semesters). Fast Track courses MAY NOT transfer to other MA programs.
Those interested should contact Brenda Gaydosh for required application forms.
Our American studies minor allows students to explore an interdisciplinary course of study, including history, literature, social sciences, and other fields emphasizing the study of American culture.
The program in holocaust studies deals not only with historical aspects of the holocaust, but also with moral and political issues involved in the prevention of future holocausts.
This minor may be taken as one of the minors in the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in liberal studies general degree program. For advising in holocaust studies, contact Dr. Jonathan Friedman JFriedman@wcupa.edu.
All history courses are designed to provide opportunities for students to meet the department's four learning outcome goals:
- Students will construct generalizations and interpretations that demonstrate a knowledge of historical eras, change over time, historical schools of thought, and key historical concepts.
- Students will develop their ability to communicate their knowledge of history in reasoned arguments supported by historical evidence and an appreciation of multiple causes, effects, and perspectives, in both oral and written presentations.
- Students will be able to locate, distinguish between, and assess primary and secondary sources, and to analyze and interpret a variety of written, oral, visual, and material evidence. Students will be able to identify and acknowledge multiple points of view in primary and secondary sources, and among contending historians.
- Students will be able to connect their knowledge of historical events and topics to a broader context (historical, political, global, historiographical, or with contemporary life and issues).