Academic Catalog 2023-24

History (BA, Minor)

History is a core component of an authentic liberal arts education. The study of the past encompasses every facet of human interaction, including society and culture, the economy, politics, war, thought, religion—even the future is only studied by analyzing the past. Utilizing primary and secondary sources, students learn to employ the methodologies of both science and the humanities in order to identify, analyze, and critically evaluate their subject matter. The sheer breadth of the field makes the study of history intriguing and essential for a well-rounded education.

Contrary to what many believe, the study of History is not about facts and dates, rather History is a way of thinking about the world. The origins of the word “History” itself is quite relevant to understanding the field of history. “History,” is from the Greek word ἱστορία, meaning “inquiry.” This same Greek word was later utilized by Socrates as part of his famed “Socratic method,” which scholars cite as the origins of human critical thinking. In more recent History philosophy scholarship, the same understanding of the field was echoed by 20th century philosopher R.G. Collingwood in his The Idea of History when he posited, “Nothing capable of being memorized is history.” This is, of course, because the field of History is not centered on master narrative histories, but rather on vital learning skills that have defined educated discourse for thousands of years.

Embracing this understanding of the discipline, the History program at Dominican emphasizes the development of practical and transferable skills such as research, effective communication, writing, and critical thinking. Beyond this, students will also gain intercultural understanding through a depth in historical knowledge in a variety of different geographical regions and through a variety of different perspectives. The program offers lower and upper division courses in the geographical areas of the United States, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. There are further concentrations in Public History and History/Social Science Education. Dominican’s History Department embraces the needs of 21st century students and actively prepares students for life after college with a required student internship, encouragement of language skills and study abroad experiences, digital literacy, and project-based learning.

The History major prepares students for a variety of careers in the public, corporate and non-profit sectors, including, but not limited to, the fields of teaching, law, law-enforcement, journalism, writing/editing, information managers, public history, archivists, and civil servants. Through the study of the world’s history and cultures students are prepared to be competent, responsible, and productive citizens in a globalized world where cultural literacy and sensitivity are vital to success. We are dedicated to ensuring that students graduate with the necessary analytical and communication skills to compete successfully in the job market, apply for graduate and professional programs, and to be able to adapt throughout their lives to the ever-changing interdependent world.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate the ability to do the following:

  1. Historical Knowledge: Students will evaluate historical time periods, persons, issues, and values.
  2. Research Skills: Students will select and evaluate primary and secondary sources in order to incorporate them into a historical research project.
  3. Communication Skills: Students will formulate with confidence their opinions, interpretations, and historical insights based on sufficient and relevant evidence in oral, written, and visual formats.
  4. Civic Skills: Students reflect and act on their civic responsibilities as a member of a diverse society.