The Classroom Experience

We’re proud to offer student-centered courses that are small, rigorous, and intensely focused on individual student development. 

Small courses 

No History course is larger than 25 students; most have fewer than 20 students, allowing individual attention and a personalized learning experience. Faculty members know all their students—and their students know them. 

Appropriately rigorous

History courses challenge students to grow intellectually and personally, and to develop knowledge, skills, and habits of mind for lifelong success. Overcoming challenges together helps our majors form a tight-knit community and succeed beyond their own expectations.

Enabling success

We work together to help all students reach their full potential through courses, programs, and workshops. Faculty office doors are open for one-on-one assistance, and the peer-tutoring on offer in the History Help Room builds community as well as academic skills. 

No boilerplate lectures

All courses are taught in a discussion-based style. Many incorporate active learning techniques, collaborative projects, and online/digital work alongside more traditional assignments. Though you may catch a faculty member occasionally waxing lyrical on a favorite topic, or taking a little time to explain a complicated point, this is a lecture-free zone. 

Focus on diversity 

Understanding and evaluating multiple perspectives, including those with whom one disagrees, is essential to the historian’s craft, and thus appreciation of human diversity is an essential part of all History courses. Everyone has a history, and those histories matter. 

What alumni have to say about UC History classes:


The aspect I love most about Ursinus history classrooms is that they do not feel like classrooms at all. When I walked into class, no matter the topic or professor, it felt like I was walking into a book club with a bunch of close friends. Before the professor started the class, we would already be talking about the reading for that day: showing each other quotes, arguing about meaning, asking clarifying and insightful questions, etc. While some readings were challenging and dense, being able to walk into such an open and stimulating environment with so many wonderful and thoughtful people made every painstaking page worth it. Not only were the students wonderful, but the teachers always guided class discussions with thought-provoking questions and an ease that made you forget you were in class at all. In the same vein, the projects in those classes became much more than the way in which we earned grades. The creative and open ended prompts became a way if showing of who we were as people and a how we each individually understood history. The ability to peer review each other’s work and see history through each other’s eyes made the classes less of a part of the curriculum and more of an avenue for us to learn more about ourselves and each other. In a way, the set up of the classes not only allowed us to interact with the “facts” of history, but also gave us a change to explore history on our own terms and in our own light. I would not trade those classes for the world.”

Morgana Olbrich, Class of 2020

“The history department is filled with some of the most passionate, intelligent, and charismatic professors on Ursinus. I would walk out of class with a smile on my face and new information to ponder. From personal discussions during office hours, to simply chatting as we walked together on campus. I got to know my professors in a way I would never imagine. Not only did I have the privilege of being their student, but I also have the privilege of being their friend.”

Andrew Moore, Class of 2022

“History classes at Ursinus are unique. They demand the student to be involved and participate in active discussion. The classes offered are diverse and intriguing. The faculty are top notch.
Eric Requa, Class of 2008

“I feel as though I graduated with an ability to learn how to do anything I wanted. I owe that to the history department.”
Abigail Lewis, Class of 2011

“The courses were always interesting and helped to develop my writing skills. I was encouraged to think critically rather than memorize facts and dates.”
Shawna Eddy Cliff, Class of 2004

“Having taken many classes with other departments, the History major offers the most rigorous and well-rounded humanities education. For those science majors looking for a liberal arts education, a History minor is a solid choice. The study of history lends itself well to the development of strong analytical and writing skills.”
Salim Al-Homsi, Class of 2012

“My history minor was one of my favorite things about my experience at Ursinus. The courses were interesting. The classroom discussions were thought-provoking and memorable. I liked that the majority of the classes were discussion based, which allowed me to learn from the professor as well as my fellow students. I also liked that in a lot of my history classes, curriculum surrounded research and papers. To me, this was the best way to learn history. Through writing papers, I was able to strengthen my writing skills as well as learn how to evaluate history and form my own opinion.
Kelly Beck, Class of 2010

“I still appreciate how awesome all the faculty was, even when I didn’t take their classes. It felt like a tight-knit family.”
Ellen Mueller Mansfield, Class of 1999

“[Studying history at Ursinus] prepares students to be effective, intelligent communicators with a unique historical perspective that is often lacking in everyday situations at the office, with friends, and in community organizations.”
Andrew Clark, Class of 2009