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Welcome to the department of History!

The History Department is committed to the principle that the investigation of the broad and diverse panorama of the human experience over time fosters principles of freedom, reason, and tolerance in society. Faculty hold the highest degrees from some of the nation's most prestigious universities, and participate vigorously in professional activities in the discipline, from consulting, publishing, and public speaking, to attendance and organization of scholarly conferences. 

Rigorous study, judicious analysis, and extensive reading and writing prepare students for careers in the fields of information management, museum curation, archaeology, cultural resource management, international education, local and state government, economic development, and other professions in the field of public history. Moreover, the study of the heritage of the past in the broad liberal arts tradition prepares graduated for further study at the graduate level or professional training in the fields like education, public policy, or law.
Purpose & Goals

Graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in History from West Virginia State University should be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the natural and cultural environment in which humans have developed and lived over time and space.
  2. Demonstrate evidence of the historical and geographical processes by which societies, cultures, and institutions change over time and space.

  3. Demonstrate understanding of the racial and cultural diversity of the human experience as influenced by geography, culture, race, ethnicity, gender, and class.

  4. Demonstrate skills of historical research and critical analysis using a variety of sources.  

  5. Demonstrate effective research, writing, and oral communication skills in order to present an historical thesis in a logical and organized manner.

  6. Demonstrate understanding of the career search in appropriate educational and professional markets.

Program Goals:

  • Students will develop a general knowledge of human history
  • Students will read perceptively, think critically, and write clearly

  • Students will use the library and computer technology to locate and interpret primary and secondary sources

  • Students will be able to work independently and effectively to synthesize historical information


Bachelor of Arts in History
120 hours required for graduation  

General Education - 38-40 Hours


HIST 201*, HIST 202*, HIST 207*, HIST 208* - 12 hours  

Eight HIST courses 300/400 level (including HIST 400) - 14 hours  


Six hours in the same Modern Foreign Language 15 cognate hours approved through the History Program.  

Math Requirement

MATH 111 or MATH 120  


Free electives to bring total to 120 hours  

Minor Requirements

HIST 201*, HIST 202*, HIST 207*, HIST 208* - 12 hours Two HIST courses 300/400 level - 6 hours  

*May count for General Education 

Course Descriptions
Note: All courses are 3 credit hours unless noted otherwise. 

HIST 201. World History
This course surveys the major achievements of human history from its origins to around 1715, centered on the links and interactions between civilizations which have transformed the world. Particular attention is given to the social, political and cultural developments of these societies, how they have persisted or changed over time, and how their cultures have shaped human behavior and human relations in different civilizations. Prerequisite(s): COMM.
HIST 201H. World History - Honors
This course surveys the major achievements of human history from its origins to around 1715, centered on the links and interactions between civilizations which have transformed the world. Particular attention is given to the social, political, and cultural developments of these societies, how they have persisted or changed over time, and how their cultures have shaped human behavior and human relations in different civilizations. The Honors section will follow this general outline with additional depth and extension. The extension may include, but not be limited to, additional reading, writing and/or research. Honors students will have the opportunity in this course to engage more deeply and be challenged to read, analyze and interpret the topic of world history. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 102 and acceptance into Honors Program.
HIST 202. World History
This course will provide students with the main themes and developments of world history from around 1500 to the present. Special emphasis will be placed upon the cultural diversity of the nonwestern world, non-aligned nations, less developed regions and the common experiences of ordinary people over time. Major attention will be placed upon the various factors which have facilitated growth or decline at different speeds in different parts of the world. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 102.
HIST 207. American History to 1865
This course will examine Native America, the European conquest, cultural encounters between Africans, Europeans and Native Americans; the colonial era, slavery, revolutionary and Early National periods; westward expansion, nationalism, industrialization and sectional strife through the Civil War and Reconstruction, centering on issues of race, class, society, politics and power. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 102.
HIST 208. American History from 1865
This course focuses on the economic and political maturation of the United States from Reconstruction through the present. The influence of industrialization and increased government activity on the increasingly diverse American people and foreign powers is studied in the context of world-wide imperialism, the Gilded Age, Progressivism, World Wars and the Civil Rights movement in the
American Century. Prerequisite(s): ENGL102.
HIST 209. West Virginia and the Appalachian Region
A survey of West Virginia’s unique contribution to the historical, geographical, governmental, political and social development of the Appalachian region.
HIST 299. Selected Topics in History (1-4 credit hours)
Regular courses or seminars on special topics of historical interest will be provided for majors and non-majors, as determined by need and availability of faculty.
HIST 300. History of Science and Technology
This introduction to the history of technology will examine fundamental relationships between science, technology and society.

HIST 301. American Urban History
The role cities and the process of urbanization have played in American History. The urban experience of classes and ethnic groups, the development of urban institutions, and the impact of city life on the national character.
HIST 302. Introduction to Historic Preservation
This course will explore various facets of historic preservation in the U.S. We will examine the general history of the preservation movement, its present structure and composition, and related topics.
HIST 303. History of Russia
Political, social, economic and cultural developments of Russia to about 1850. Prerequisite(s): HIST 314 and 315 or permission of instructor.
HIST 304. History of Russia From 1850
Political, social, economic and cultural developments of Tzarist Russia and Soviet Union from 1850s to the present and their impact on world affairs. Prerequisite(s): HIST 315 or permission of instructor.
HIST 305. History of England To 1688
A comprehensive treatment of the foundations of English institutions, parliamentary or representative government and common law, noting their influence on Europe and America. Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Angevin, Tudor and Stuart contributions.
HIST 306. History of England Since 1688
The Glorious Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism, the Commonwealth and the development of the Welfare State.
HIST 307. The Renaissance and Reformation
A detailed study of the Renaissance and Reformation and their effect upon the social and religious order. Special attention given to the intellectual, artistic and theological expressions of the period.
HIST 308. Ancient History
A study of the social, economic, cultural and political developments of the Near East and Greece to 146 B.C.
HIST 309. Roman History
A study of the social, economic, cultural and political developments of Rome to 500 A.D.
HIST 310. The Presidency
Factors and forces that deal with the constitutional duties, responsibilities, domestic and foreign policies of the executive office.
HIST 311. African-American History

A brief survey of the African and Caribbean heritage followed by a more extensive study of the African in American History from 1619 to date. Appreciable emphasis will be placed on social, economic and political developments since 1954.
HIST 312. The Age of Jim Crow
A study of what gave rise to this period, the injustices that Blacks suffered, and how they responded to these inequities by endeavoring to establish their own organizations in an effort to promote self-help and racial uplift. Prerequisite(s): HIST 208.
HIST 313. Black Images in American History
This course examines the various racial stereotypes of Blacks that have been ingrained in American society for both men and women. The focus will primarily center on why these stereotypes have persisted and what impact they have had on African-Americans. Prerequisite(s): HIST 207 or HIST 208.
HIST 314. European History to 1815
Background development of modern civilization. Renaissance, Reformation, 17th and 18th century movements of cultural, political, social and economic importance.
HIST 315. European History Since 1815
From the French Revolution to the present, including nationalism, spread of democracy and other ideologies, the Industrial Revolution, height of European Civilization, the world wars and international affairs since 1945.
HIST 316. The Civil Rights Movement
An examination of the origins of the protests, which sparked a Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Discussion will include major ideas of the Movement, how they changed over time, and determine to what extent it reached its goals and what impact it had on American society. Prerequisite(s): HIST 208.
HIST 317. Slavery in the United States
A study in identifying the various African contributions made to American society, understanding that Blacks did not passively accept their plight but engaged in various forms of physical and psychological resistance, and recognizing that various American attitudes and behavioral patterns held today have their roots in American slavery. Prerequisite(s): HIST 207.
HIST 318. Harlem Renaissance
This course focuses on the cultural, intellectual, artistic and political achievements of African-Americans that contributed to the Harlem Renaissance movement in the United States.
HIST 319. History of Nazi Germany
In this course, students will analyze the processes and influences that gave the world Adolph Hitler, with a chronological overview of Nazi Germany.
HIST 320. History of Medieval Europe
The meaning of the institutions of the Middle Ages and their contributions to European civilization.
HIST 321. History of China
This course examines the 3,000-year history of Chinese civilization from its antiquity. The main topics include the ancient roots of Chinese culture, Confucianism, China’s imperial systems, the Opium Wars and the Chinese Communist Revolution.
HIST 322. History of Japan
This course offers a comprehensive historical survey of Japan. While covering Japan’s unique tradition
s such as the emperorship and the bakufu, this course will particularly focus on how Japan has developed as a modern nation-state since the mid-nineteenth century.
HIST 323. History of Korea
This course explores Korea’s history from its antiquity to the present, with particular focuses on the distinctive aspects of Korean Culture. The course will also discuss how the North and South Koreas took different courses of development after World War II.
HIST 324. History of Southeast Asia
This course offers a historical survey of Southeast Asia, a region of eleven modern states today. This course will discuss how Southeast Asia’s traditions were formed before modern times and how the separate modern states of Southeast Asia emerged after their colonial experiences.
HIST 325. Military History of the United States
The origins and development of military institutions, traditions and practices of the United States, 1775 to present. The broader aspects of major American wars will be included. (Mandatory course for Military Science 300 and 400 students. Open to other students with Junior standing.)
HIST 399. Selected Topics in History (1-3 credit hours)
Courses under this number will be televised courses or other courses designed for special occasions.
HIST 400. Senior Seminar/Internship
This senior capstone course completes the requirements for graduation with a BA degree in history. All majors must satisfactorily pass the course, normally in the final semester. HIST 400 offer students two options: a major research project based upon primary sources for students planning to enter graduate or professional school, or a public history internship/field study for students preparing to enter the workforce. Prerequisite(s): Senior standing and permission of instructor.
HIST 403. American Diplomatic History I
A study of American foreign relations from the earliest days of colonial discovery and settlement to 1900.
American contributions to diplomatic principles and practices are examined. Prerequisite(s): HIST 207 or permission of instructor.
HIST 404. American Diplomatic History II
A continuation of the study of American diplomatic principles and practices as they have been conducted in the 20th century by one of the most powerful nations in the world. Prerequisite(s): HIST 208 or permission of the instructor.
HIST 412. American Constitutional History
A historical background of the constitutional and legal reasoning behind most of the fundamental concepts of the operation of the American government.
HIST 413. The Caribbean
This course explores the ever-changing region known as the Caribbean. Emphasis will be placed upon the geographical, geological, cultural, economic and political changes of the region. The impact of colonialism, migration, linguistic and independence movements will be examined from a variety of perspectives. A special focus will be placed on the Caribbean’s influence on the world economy, past and present. Prerequisite(s): HIST 201.
HIST 415. Public History
This course familiarizes the student with terminology and resources for the study of public history in order to understand and analyze how public versions of the past are created, commemorated, institutionalized and interpreted, and explores the various disciplines associated with these presentations of the past. Prerequisite(s):One course from HIST 201, 202, 207, or 208.
HIST 416. The Civil War Era
The critical and turbulent years, 1846-1876, which ushered in modern America.
HIST 417. Selected Topics in American History
Primarily through the directed reading approach, selected topics in colonial and early 19th century United States history are used to supplement the survey and upper-division courses. Prerequisite(s): HIST 207 and permission of the instructor.
HIST 418. Selected Topics in American History
Selected topics in United States history from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Directed reading in American history as supplement to the survey and upper-division courses. Prerequisite(s): HIST
208 and permission of the instructor.
HIST 420. History of the Far East I
Developments of major political, cultural, social and economic achievements in China, Japan and Korea from prehistory to the 1800’s.
HIST 421. History of the Far East II
Political, cultural, social and economic developments in China, Japan and Korea from about 1800 to the present.
HIST 423. History of Latin America I
Emphasizes social, political, economic and intellectual factors. Course includes pre-conquest Indian cultures, Spanish-Portuguese conquests and the colonial period to 1810.
HIST 424. History of Latin America II
Emphasizes social, political, economic and intellectual factors. Course includes wars of independence to present.
HIST 425. Women’s History
This course reviews problems and issues that have plagued women from historical, sociological, psychological and economic perspectives and women’s efforts to overcome these barriers to equality. Further emphasis is placed on the examination and treatment of women in economically depressed and third-world/nonwestern nations. Prerequisite(s): HIST 207 or HIST 208.
HIST 444. Sub-Saharan Africa
A study of major cultural and political changes in Africa from the Sahara to the Cape of Good Hope. Emphasis is placed upon historical, social, political, anthropological and aesthetic changes to a number of traditional African cultures in the aftermath of European colonialism. Cultural responses to western ideologies and technical influences will be viewed in depth.

GEO 200. Introduction to Geography
The natural environment and its processes and the relationships of humankind to its habitat. Focus will be on the essentials of physical geography and upon some basic concepts of cultural geography.
GEO 201. World Regional Geography
The major geographical concepts as studied through a regional perspective, the several culture realms of the world, and the human issues faced in each.
GEO 202. Introduction to Cultural Geography
A systematic approach to cultural geography relating the discipline to the other social sciences for a better understanding of the complex nature of cultural diversity, cultural interaction, and the different levels of societal development.
GEO 303. Urban Geography (4 Credit Hours)
A study of the site, situation, historical development, structure, and function of cities. The central business districts, industrial districts, residential areas and transportation systems are studied and questioned from the perspective of effectiveness, interrelation, and future utilization.
GEO 306. Economic Geography
Major primary, secondary and tertiary economic activities in their local and relative geographic settings. Emphasis upon commodity production, utilization, trade patterns and their significance.
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