Welcome to the History Department
With approximately 93 majors and 13 faculty members, the SUNY Oneonta History Department offers students a rich and diverse learning experience in an intimate setting. Our upper-level courses are small (typically 20-32 students), allowing students and faculty to interact closely. The History Department houses both U.S. and international faculty, who teach and research in fields across the globe. Faculty have a strong commitment to the discipline through teaching, scholarship, and service, and are highly accessible to students both in and beyond the classroom. Three department members have been awarded the prestigious SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.
The history curriculum is extensive and versatile, enabling students to employ the discipline for many different purposes. The curriculum allows students to focus on the history of Japan, France, Great Britain, Germany, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, USA and many others. It offers a major, a minor, and concentrations for related programs programs such as Secondary Social Studies.
The History Department also provides an exceptionally strong internship program, offering students crucial work experiences in museums, archives, and historical sites across the state and further afield.
A new research assistant program – where students work one-on-one with a faculty member for a research project – is also on offer. A number of SUNY Oneonta History students are, for example, currently working as research assistants for the quarterly journal New York History which is housed by the History Department.
Department members, in addition, offer occasional on-site and study-abroad courses for which our students travel to Lithuania, Ghana, the New York canals, Civil War battlefields, New York City, Boston and other locations.
The History Department’s curriculum provides majors with an appreciation of the broad contours and common elements of historical inquiry. In pursuing these objectives students acquire both a depth and a breadth of knowledge about the historical development of individuals, groups, nations, geographical regions, economies, and the role that major institutions play in people’s lives. Students will also gain an appreciation of how historians think about issues of causation, the nature of historical inquiry, and the ongoing expansion of historical methodology to include contributions from the physical and social sciences, philosophy, and literary studies.
History majors are broadly trained. This preparation encourages the development of analytical skills and a broad perspective that serves them for a variety of careers. A good deal of the historian’s craft is concerned with determining the quality of various sources of information, argument and supporting evidence, documentation, and analysis of why events occur when they do; therefore, history majors tend to excel in those occupations that require the ability to assess and process data/information, order the importance and significance of events, and view change over time. Other learned skills include facility in explaining ideas, writing and presenting information, identifying relationships among various factors, interpreting and explaining ideas, interviewing and collecting information and communicating it to others.