The mission of the History department is to teach students to think independently, read critically and write persuasively in order to understand the complexities of the past and engage constructively with today’s world’s as informed citizens.
About the Department
The Department of History combines teaching and research at the highest levels. History department faculty past and present have received numerous Distinguished Teaching and Publication awards from the University. The undergraduate and graduate programs provide students with a grounding in research and writing skills, as well as coursework in the history of the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. History department faculty explore the past from a variety of perspectives, including political history; economic history; urban and social history; cultural history; history of women and gender; legal history; and diplomatic, military and international history. In upper division tutorials and seminars, faculty work with students in small classes to analyze primary sources and discuss the latest scholarship. The department also seeks to foster student research through a number of special programs and research seminars, some of which involve trips to archives and historic sites. The internship program gives students an opportunity to gain practical experience in a variety of fields while earning credit toward their degree.
Seeking academic advisement is essential to academic success and timely graduation. Students interested in History should consult with the department advisor prior to declaring the major. All History majors and minors should seek advisement from the department advisor or a faculty member specializing in their area of interest prior to registration. Students undertaking the Social Science Subject Matter Program (SSSMP) need to meet each semester with the SSSMP advisor in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to identify the classes they need to take. Additional academic advisement is also available to students through both the department advisor and staff advisors in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Student Services Center/EOP Satellite.
- Undergraduate Advisor: Dr. Nan Yamane
- General Advisement: All faculty members of the department
- Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Rachel Howes
- Social Science Subject Matter Program (SSSMP) and FYI/JYI History Subject Matter Programs: Dr. Patricia Juarez-Dappe
- Internship Coordinator: Dr. Jessica Kim
History trains students in research, writing and critical thinking. The study of history prepares students to analyze social, economic, political and cultural change over time as they learn how to identify a problem, gather information, evaluate explanations and understand relationships. History teaches how to place issues in context, investigate events and weigh alternatives. The content and skills gained from a History major strengthen graduates’ professional abilities in all areas and in all fields.
History majors commonly pursue careers in education, law, business, marketing, public relations, library science, public policy and public service, international diplomacy (the foreign service), and journalism.
Students who are interested in teaching can undertake the Social Science Subject Matter Program (SSSMP) or the FYI/JYI History Subject Matter Program while completing the History major. Contact the History department at (818) 677-3566 to make an appointment with the SSSMP/FYI/JYI advisor.
The History department also offers an internship program for students who want to develop work experience. The faculty internship coordinator works individually with each student to set up an internship appropriate to the student’s interests. Past internship placements have included museums such as the Getty, the Autry, the Skirball and the Museum of Tolerance; nonprofit advocacy organizations; archives; and preservation and urban planning organizations.
California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and Southwestern Law School have established a joint, accelerated multiple-degree program through which students can earn both their Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees in six years, rather than the usual seven. Students participating in the 3+3 B.A./J.D. program will have their first year of law school count as the fourth year of their undergraduate education. For information on how the History major aligns with the joint B.A./J.D., contact the department advisor.
Clubs and Societies
The History department is home to the CSUN chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society for history students. Undergraduates who have completed four history courses and have a GPA of at least 3.1 in history and 3.0 overall are eligible to become members. Graduate students who have completed four courses toward their M.A. degree and have at least a 3.5 GPA are also eligible.
Scholarships and Awards
Through the generosity of donors, the History department is pleased to be able to offer a number of scholarships and awards to outstanding students every Spring. Awards that students can apply for include the Baur Scholarships (for outstanding History majors) and the Patterson Scholarships for students pursuing a K-12 teaching career. Applicants must have declared a major in History or be enrolled in the M.A. program. For more information, consult the department website or call the department office.
The Department of History supports international education and encourages students to investigate opportunities for overseas study. Certain courses taken at CSU International Program Study Centers in foreign countries are equivalent to courses in the Department of History and may be used to fulfill some of the requirements for degree options offered by the department and/or certain general education requirements. Students should consult the International Programs Bulletin available in the International and Exchange Student Center, a departmental advisor or the campus International Programs advisor for more information.