Our courses give students the theoretical, methodological, and research skills necessary to seek answers to the questions that matter today. We help students develop nuanced responses that are attuned to the intersections of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religious affiliation, time period, and geographic location. The department’s emphasis on historiography—studying the existing histories of a subject—is especially unique in undergraduate curricula. We teach students how to analyze a range of primary sources—myths, archeology, architecture, novels, poetry, paintings, photographs, diary entries, census data, treaties, and cartoons—for audience, message, and bias. Studying history prepares students to navigate a complex world.
Award-winning faculty teach courses in medieval and modern European, ancient Mediterranean, and U.S., Asian, Latin American, Caribbean, African, and Middle Eastern history. Women and gender history, global history, and the history of the African diaspora are some of the departmental strengths. Members of the department have been awarded Fulbrights and other prestigious fellowships to support their research, and they bring this research acumen to the research seminars and independent studies they direct.
History majors and alumni have been awarded competitive research fellowships to pursue independent research at local and national archives. Each year our students present their original research at the Phi Alpha Theta Northwest Regional Conference.
Our faculty cultivate relationships with local organizations such as the Seattle Art Museum, Northwest African American Museum, the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Seattle International Film Festival, Northwest Film Forum, and the Seattle Public Library to connect what is learned in the history classroom with the wider Seattle community. Current students have pursued internships with local and international organizations, such as the Seattle Holocaust Center for Humanity, the Seattle branch of the ACLU, Starbucks, and the City of Seattle.
A history degree signals an independent thinker. Our graduates have the critical thinking, analysis, and writing skills necessary to excel in the workplace and the wider world. Our program’s emphasis on methodology and historiography prepares students for continued academic and professional success, including in the tech world. Many graduates have gone on to successful careers as teachers, lawyers, civil servants, museum curators, professors, and researchers.
An active group of Seattle U students participate the national history honor society, including a highly popular film series, coffeehouse discussions, a brown-bag lunch seminar, and student- led panel discussions. Recent SU history students have won national awards for research papers and conference presentations, and received Phi Alpha Theta graduate student fellowships. Contact Dr. Tom Taylor by email.
Majors can earn course credits, under professional supervision, at public history agencies in the Seattle area, including museums, historical societies, archives, and more. Interns often find the experience helps them understand history from a perspective different from that gained in the classroom. For some, the internship has led to employment in the field. Contact Dr. Henry Kameriling by email.