Welcome to the History Department
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
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.
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