Welcome to the History Department!

History is the study of the deep relationships between our present and our pasts, between who we are now and who we have been as a people in local and global communities. As a history major at Ithaca College you'll explore the complex interplay of political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, and philosophical forces that have shaped the story of humankind. You'll also learn that studying history is a continuous process of interpretation and reinterpretation as new data is collected and different perspectives influence the established historical record.

Our faculty provide expertise in U.S., European, Latin American, Asian, and Middle Eastern histories, among others. With their guidance, you'll examine the history of different eras and cultures while considering broader thematic and interdisciplinary issues. For example, you may wish to study colonial U.S. history or the history of imperial and Weimar Germany, while taking courses in Islamic civilization and global environmental history. We also offer a teacher education option which leads to initial New York State teacher certification in social studies 7–12.

Beyond your coursework, you may participate in independent studies and honors projects, emphasizing close collaboration with individual instructors. You'll also be encouraged to take advantage of internships and cocurricular activities such as Model UN, an optional semester at our London Center or other study abroad, our Ithaca College in New York City (ICNYC) program, or archival work with the History Center in Tompkins County. In your final year, you may participate in small seminar classes or one-on-one tutorials with faculty.

While firmly focused on the critical examination of our past, our flexible curriculum gives you the freedom to explore complementary disciplines such as anthropology, politics, and geography. Our graduates emerge with broad historical perspectives and strong writing and analytical skills that are well-suited to a variety of careers. Recent alumni have attended graduate school or pursued careers as professors, business executives, teachers, archivists, librarians, attorneys, computer consultants, and urban planning specialists.

Having thoughtful professors that help open your mind to think critically has made me a problem solver that does not feel intimated by complexity. For that, I am forever grateful.

Peter Joseph, class of 2007

As a professional, I could not be more grateful for my education in history.  It taught me to think critically, recognize the gray areas of life, have an opinion, be able to support it, and, of course, how to write.  And perhaps most crucially -- It fostered in me a tireless curiosity. . . Each history course brought me even more questions.  Great Questions.

Lauren (Georger) Ziarko, Class of 2007

Studying history fostered my writing and critical thinking skills. These skills have been integral to my work in policy and are two of the most important skills that I look for when hiring new analysts and managers.

Brian Ohl, Class of 2003
Social Studies Teacher Education B.A. - Final entry term: Fall 2021 

Learn about IC’s “Teach in 5” program. (IC students already enrolled in the Social Studies Teacher Education major will be supported through completion of their degree. For degree requirements, please refer to the Ithaca College catalog for the year in which you declared this major.)

The Ithaca College History Department joins the American Historical Association (AHA) in condemning the invasion of Ukraine.

From the AHA statement:

"The AHA emphatically opposes this unprovoked act of military aggression; that the war is based on such a distorted and tendentious misreading of history makes it all the more deplorable. We vigorously support the Ukrainian nation and its people in their resistance to Russian military aggression and the twisted mythology that President Putin has invented to justify his violation of international norms."

An on-campus discussion was held either in person or Zoom on Thursday, 3/3/22, at the noon hour:  History Teach-In About Ukraine.  Here is the video link from that discussion:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImOAUTHkzQg.

Contact Us!

For more information about our programs, or to schedule a visit, please contact us:

Matthew Klemm, Associate Professor and Department Chair

Penny Bogardus, Administrative Assistant