History

All Majors & Minors

The Classroom Experience

The History department is proud to offer courses that are small, rigorous, and intensely focused on individual student development. There are no lecture courses here. 

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 the knowledge and skills they’ll need for life after college. As a result, students bond into a tight-knit community, and frequently succeed beyond their own expectations.

Enabling success

Faculty help ensure all students reach their full potential through courses, programs, and workshops. However, the biggest support for students is faculty availability for one-on-one discussion and assistance. Faculty office doors are open. 

No boilerplate lectures

All courses are taught in a discussion-based style. Many incorporate active learning techniques, collaborative work, and online discussion, 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 diversity is an essential part of all History courses. In addition, we offer many courses that fulfill Ursinus diversity core requirements. 

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What alumni have to say about UC History classes: 

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

“As a guidance counselor, I am constantly reflecting on my time at Ursinus and the challenges posed to make me think and interact with historical information….I struggled with my writing when I first entered Ursinus. Through the assistance and patience of Drs. Clark, Hemphill, and Doughty, I have been able to not only grasp writing, but have the confidence to succeed and obtain my Ed.D.”
Michele Hill O’Brien, Class of 1996