The study of history emphasizes critical reading and clear, analytical writing—both of which are needed to understand the stories and societies of our past.
Faculty and Students in Sainte Chapelle, Paris for Spring Break 2012
Faculty and Students at Museum of London for Spring Break 2013
History students conducting research at Marin History Museum Research Center in Novato 2014
The History program offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge of the world’s history and cultures and the research, writing, and presentation skills to enable them to generate, analyze, and present knowledge effectively. The History program conveys the richness and variety of human experience, teaches the tools of historical research, and encourages the interpretation of historical materials.
"This program helped me develop a strong foundation in the areas of critical thinking, writing, research, and interviewing skills, and these have been extremely valuable in the business world."
—David Sam Lin, Class of 2007
Writing and Presentation Skills
The program offers lower and upper division courses in the geographical areas of the United States, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Survey courses help the student understand the broad historical and cultural significance of events, persons, and trends, which make each region unique. Upper division courses provide an opportunity for the student to explore in depth a theme, area, or a chronological period.
In the senior year, history majors complete research projects in which they develop topics, evaluate and interpret sources and materials, and write senior theses. See the list of recent senior thesis titles to get a sense of the diversity of research interests our department supports.
Sr. Patricia Dougherty, Chair of History (far left) with some of the newly inducted members of the national honors society, Phi Alpha Theta
Dominican has a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Students are eligible after 12 history units. A high standard of scholarship is required for admission to the Alpha-Mu-Upsilon chapter (3.5 GPA in history coursework and 3.0 GPA overall). The chapter’s officers plan various activities (e.g., museum trips, forums on current events) for history (and other interested) students. In addition, students present their research at regional Phi Alpha Theta conferences where outstanding papers are rewarded. Phi Alpha Theta also has an extensive awards program for which students can compete.