As a History major or minor, you are entering a course of study that is both exciting and challenging. Historians are asking new questions of the historical record; there is strong public interest in history; and increasingly, researchers are considering the experiences and contributions of those who have been left out of the "traditional" historical narrative. These developments translate into unprecedented opportunities to practice history professionally and to contribute to our historical understanding, but also demand that historians grapple with difficult questions, an "information explosion," and the need to integrate other disciplines into their study of history.
To meet the challenges of history in the twenty-first century, the Western Michigan University Department of History encourages students to develop broad historical content knowledge as well as analytical, research, and writing skills. History students learn to frame historical questions, to use a wide array of historical resources, to analyze and evaluate evidence, and to communicate their conclusions in a variety of ways. Students are encouraged to compliment their studies in history with course work in other disciplines like anthropology, political science, or geography.