About the History Department

The study of history involves the study of all human thought and action, ranging from the economic and the political to the psychological and the artistic. Combining the perspectives and methods of the social sciences and the humanities, it seeks to comprehend the problems and challenges faced by individuals and societies in the distant and recent past, nearby and far away. This understanding of the human experience provides the necessary historical perspective to explain the present.

In the process of making sense of our collective and individual past, the student of history develops research, analytical and communication skills which can be drawn upon in a variety of careers. History majors from Sonoma State have developed careers in journalism, teaching, law, business, public consulting and research, museum and records management, genealogy, library science and government service.

The History Major is designed both to provide the basis for a solid liberal arts education and to meet the needs of individual students. Within the specific requirements of the Major, students receive basic instruction in the history of the United States as well as that of other countries. They are also introduced to the methods of historical inquiry, techniques of historical writing, differing philosophies of history and historiography, past and present. Beyond these basic requirements, students may arrange course work to fit their needs and interests. Upper division classes are generally small and offer ample individual attention, guidance and interaction between students and faculty.