Department of History
Historical studies train individuals to better understand the present and to more intelligently shape the future by deepening their knowledge of the past.
At SUNY Geneseo, we've designed a curriculum that will help you acquire the practical and intellectual skills which are integral to the discipline of history, and which are foundational to creative and independent thought. These skills include the ability to read deeply and critically, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of an argument, to locate evidence and put it in its proper context, and to convey ideas clearly to a broad range of audiences.
Our students compete successfully for departmental, regional, and national awards and scholarships, and undertake internships with historical societies, archives, and museums which help them hone their skills in research and project management while forging links with the local community.
With a degree in history from SUNY Geneseo, you'll join the ranks of so many of our alumni who've found success in a wide variety of fields: from the classroom to the boardroom, from museums to medicine.
While we are currently located in Doty Hall due to ongoing renovation works, the historic home of the History Department is James V. Sturges Hall. Built in 1938, it is one of SUNY Geneseo's landmark buildings. Sturges Hall's central clock tower contains the Alumni Carillon, which chimes on the hour and plays music several times throughout the day. In this historic building, students can take courses on a broad range of topics, from the history of women's rights in China to the struggle for Civil Rights in the United States, from the social history of medieval Europe to the development of American labor unions and the intersection of gender and sexuality in modern Latin America.
History Department Mission Statement
The History Department at SUNY Geneseo is a learning community in which students, faculty, and staff collaborate together to explore the interconnections between the past and present. We offer a skills-based curriculum that enriches students’ lives and prepares them for many potential career paths. We nourish an inclusive learning environment, both in and outside of the classroom, through a consistent and committed engagement with all members of our community. A history education, which is integral to Geneseo’s liberal arts focus, helps students understand processes of continuity and change, measured across time and space, in peoples, institutions, and cultures, in ways that bring benefit to the campus, the local community, and the wider world.