#BearsMakeHistory stop for lunch on their field trip to the University of Pennsylvania.
History Majors Present Capstone Research at COSA Day.
#BearsMakeHistory project launch presentation--with lots of constructive feedback from faculty and staff!
The fruitful results of creative, full-class brainstorming in #BearsMakeHistory.
#BearsMakeHistory learning about manuscripts and digitization at the University of Pennsylvania.
Archival research is essential for history students. (And fun. Really.)
The results of an open discussion about the differences between “physical” and “digital” items, collections, archives, and media.
Katie Sanfield ’23 on a field trip to the Penn Museum.
Shelby Bryant looks through the Ursinus College archives for #BearsMakeHistory.
Here’s an example of a common activity in Dr. Throop’s courses: a concept map. Here, in a course on the crusades, students comparatively analyzed the films Kingdom of Heaven, El Nasser Salah ad-Din, and El Cid before engaging in discussion.
Tiffini Eckenrod ’20 and Dr. Daggar learn from each other’s work.
Students piloting Dr. Throop’s new Reacting to the Past game, The Pilgrimage of Grace, attempt to find consensus so that their rebellion is successful. (Cool fact: Dr. Throop co-designed and is co-writing the game with an alum, Liam Griffin ’18!)
The Classroom Experience
We’re proud to offer student-centered courses that are small, rigorous, and intensely focused on individual student development.
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.
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.
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
“It is hard for me to imagine a more positive college experience than what I found in the Ursinus History Department. The faculty were demanding professors, but also caring mentors. I made lifelong friends. The lessons I took with me after graduation carried me through graduate school and into my career. They have made me a better writer and an independent thinker, and fueled a passion to continue learning and studying.”
Joanna Doyle Shane, Class of 1999
“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