• College of Arts and Sciences

    • Humanities Division
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 302
    • tel: 610-499-4341
  • Rachel A. Batch, PhD

    • Chair of the History Department and Associate Professor
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 311
    • tel: 610-499-1137
    • rabatch@widener.edu

Curriculum, History

History majors gain a breadth of historical knowledge in four 100-level courses then advance to eight 300-level courses for depth in historical understanding by period (for example, Colonial America) or by topic (Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.) Students choose their courses to understand societies, economies, political systems, and conflicts in the U.S., in the world, and in regions such as Western Europe or East Asia. 

Two additional courses are critical for history majors

        • In Research Methods, sophomores learn historical methods, theory, and modes of historical writing and analysis.
        • In Senior Research Seminar, advanced students conduct original research that culminates in a senior thesis.

Both courses contribute to the mastery of skills and historical content and serve as intermediate and final capstones within the history curriculum. 


View a sample of courses students may take as a history major

HIST 100 Western Civilization I (Ancient World–1300)

History is a journey, and yours might begin with this course: travel back to ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, through Classical Greece and Rome, and to the Later Middle Ages.

HIST 105 Wives, Witches, and Warriors

This course examines Western attitudes toward women from ancient to modern times. It focuses on three types of women: those who conformed to societal expectations (wives), those who resisted those expectations (witches), and those who consciously sought to change society's attitudes about women's roles and status (warriors).

HIST 329 World War and Memory

A course studying cataclysmic battlefronts and home fronts of World War I and World War II through personal experiences such as memoirs and soldiers’ letters, and the ways of remembering and commemorating the wars in monuments, art, and film. How do we understand “total war”? What do we remember, and what do we forget?

HIST 376 Slavery and Resistance

The slave system in North America is the subject of this course: the varied lives of slaves and slave owners, slave revolts, political debates about slavery in the U.S. and across the globe, the radicals who wanted to abolish human bondage, and, after emancipation, just what freedom looked like.

HIST 390 U.S. – China Relations since 1900

How do they see us? What do they want? Why are they doing that? Answers depend on who is asking the questions - the Chinese or the Americans–and when. Recent trends in the relationship between these countries are traced back through 100 years of diplomacy, wars, trade, industry, and cultural exchanges.

HIST 372 Studies in American Immigration History

It’s a “melting pot,” right? Would you be surprised to know this is very recent idea? Whether seen as a “promised land” or an “America for Americans,” debates about immigration have been ongoing since the U.S. was founded. Importantly, this course considers immigrants’ own experiences–including those of the Irish, Italian, Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Mexican, and newer migrants–to understand why they came and why not all stay.

HIST 401 Research Methods

You become the detective who investigates the past. History majors learn how to “do history” in this course with the tools and skills to find and interpret historical evidence. You will get your hands dirty from documents and artifacts in archives, and you will explore even more historical sources from digital archives. With so much information about past lives and life, which sources are most reliable for reconstructing the past?

For more information about courses and requirements for history, please refer to page 45 of our course catalog.