History as a Discipline

Many people who went on to become prominent elected officials, judges, journalists, and business executives realized when they were students that the study of history would help them to become astute observers, careful analysts, and gifted communicators. Notable history majors include President Franklin D. Roosevelt; current Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor; journalist Wolf Blitzer; and business executives Donna Dubinsky, who played a pivotal role in the development of personal digital assistants, and Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television. Hoby Darling, who graduated with a degree in history from Western in 1997, is currently the President and CEO of Skullcandy.

The study of history helps us to appreciate the complexities of the human past and the connections between the past and the present. History courses also help students to develop analytical, interpretive, and evaluative skills. Students in history courses learn how to locate and analyze many types of evidence, from ancient texts recorded on clay tablets or papyrus scrolls to more modern manuscripts, published documents, photographs, audio recordings, and motion pictures. They also learn to use the evidence they have analyzed to construct historical interpretations and to evaluate the interpretations of other scholars. Participation in frequent class discussions and the writing of numerous papers help history majors to hone their communication skills.

No other major prepares students for as many different careers. All employers value history majors’ strong written and oral communication skills. Business executives and government officials prize history majors’ abilities to conduct research, analyze evidence, and evaluate arguments. Many history majors have successful careers in journalism and law, in addition to business and public service. A history major prepares you for teaching, for graduate study in several humanistic disciplines, many interdisciplinary programs, and library and information science. A growing number of history majors have made careers in the expanding field of public history, working in museums, archives, and historical preservation.


What can you do with a History Degree?

History Department Job Internship Workshop Presentation held October 17, 2013
the Alumni web page at: WWW.WWU.EDU/ALUMNI/ASK

Graduate School

Effective July 1, 2013, the Graduate School application fee will be $100 for all programs and campus locations.  If your promotional materials or website include a specific fee, please be sure to make the change.   For your convenience you may link to this webpage:

Wait List Policy

The History Department reserves the right to manage its wait lists to give priority to students who have applied to graduate that quarter and must take the courses to satisfy graduation requirements.
















Office Hours

Fall 2015

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


History Catalog 2015-2016
History Catalog 2014-2015
WWU Catalog

2015-2016 History Faculty Course Schedules (pdf)

Page Updated 09.25.2015