Mission Statement

The Department of History and Philosophy’s mission is to provide an outstanding undergraduate education by offering an appealing and appropriate array of courses taught by devoted faculty who care deeply about students, individualized, one-on-one academic advising, and opportunities to enhance one’s educational experience through internships, faculty-led travel-study, and advanced research and writing. The faculty embrace and model principles of academic integrity, equality and diversity, tolerance and inclusion, by exposing students to a variety of interpretations and specializations in the fields of history and philosophy. With challenging curricula designed to emphasize critical examination, informed expression, ethical awareness, and an advanced understanding of how people, events, and ideas of the past influence the present and future, the Department of History and Philosophy prepares students for life as productive, responsible citizens with skills integral to a broad range of careers and the ability to pursue a graduate education in the fields of history, philosophy, law, teaching, and theology.

Major Student Learning Outcomes

History majors are expected to:

  1. Identify major events, movements, people, and cultures in their historical context and how these relate to the present.
  2. Analyze and differentiate between primary and secondary sources and understand the appropriate uses for both.
  3. Develop research skills that promote the acquisition of historical knowledge and emphasize interpretation.
  4. Apply critical analysis in the evaluation of competing interpretations and the development of informed argument.
  5. Produce research-based writing projects that demonstrate historical methodology and proper documentation.

Philosophy majors are expected to:

  1. Identify classic philosophical theories in metaphysics and epistemology;
  2. Differentiate diverse perspectives in ethical, political and aesthetic theories of value;
  3. Apply the main rules of logic and argumentation;
  4. Compare major people and movements within the history of philosophy;
  5. Defend/refute philosophical positions verbally and in writing.