Why History?

The History Department's undergraduate program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the past while teaching important analytical skills, including: research, writing, communication, source evaluation, critical thinking, and analysis that enable students to succeed in a wide variety of careers.

A historical perspective is valuable in nearly every profession. History provides the essential background for understanding the roots of social issues and current global problems. We welcome all students to take our courses. You might even consider a minor in history!
 
Our extensive range of courses enables each student to choose classes that reflect their personal interests. In addition to survey courses in U.S. History, World History, and Western Experience, our faculty teach over 35 different specialized “electives” in the areas of U.S., European, Latin American, African, Middle Eastern, and World History. Examples of recent courses include: U.S. Constitutional History, Civil War & Reconstruction, U.S. Women’s History, U.S. Food & Spirit History, The Crusades, Rise of the Roman Republic, Drugs in Latin America, Contemporary Africa, The Modern Middle East, Museum Studies, History of Baseball, and Labor & Economic History. 
 
Many history majors enroll in Westfield’s teacher licensure program for middle and secondary education. For those students, we additionally offer an M.Ed. in History. History majors may plan to attend graduate school in a variety of subjects, or pursue careers in business, library science, museums, historic preservation, or nonprofit administration, among others. 

For those who prefer remote learning, we offer a terrific online history B.A. program. Since 2012, Westfield State University has consistently ranked in the top 15% of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Online Bachelor’s Program” rankings. In 2016, Westfield State was ranked #6 by CollegeChoice.net in the category “Best Online Liberal Arts Colleges for Bachelors Degrees.”

Contact us

Dr. Nicholas Aieta
Chair - History Department
Bates Hall 116A

Mission:

The Department of History’s undergraduate program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the past while teaching important analytical skills, including research, writing, communication, source evaluation, critical thinking and analysis that enable students to tackle a wide array of problems and succeed in a wide variety of career paths. We believe that a historical perspective is valuable in nearly every field. History provides the essential background for understanding the genesis of contemporary society and current global issues. Whether a student is interested in politics, economics, business, criminal justice, social work, the health sciences, public history, education, or any other field, we strive to offer a wide range of courses that appeal to both majors and non-majors alike. Our students can choose classes that reflect their personal interests and goals. In addition to survey courses in U.S. History, World History, and Western Experience, the department offers over 30 electives. The History Department serves our majors and minors as well as playing a key role in the university core.

Our mission also includes preparing students for the 21st century world of work. Today, few follow a single career path for their entire lives. Developing strong writing, research, communication, and analytical skills prepares students for a wide variety of future careers. Approximately half of our history majors enter Westfield State planning to become 5th-12th grade social studies teachers. Others are interested in moving to careers in law, working at museums, historic sites, historical societies, or other organizations. However, we stress to students that a history degree is valuable in a far wider variety of occupations. Many employers greatly value the skills and training that history majors acquire.