Mission Statement

The discipline of history focuses on critical analysis of text-based evidence from the past and seeks a detailed, complex understanding of individual and collective human behaviors as they have emerged, intersected, and altered over time. Historical study examines and attempts to explain processes of change over time as they pertain to cultures, nations, institutions, value systems, and other major social phenomena. Historians also consider and outline patterns of causation that affect individual lives over time and how individuals, in turn, influence the world in which they live. Students of history develop lifelong habits of critical thinking, inquiry-based reading of texts, effective research skills, and appreciation of complexity and diversity in human behavior.

History majors also develop the skills needed to work collaboratively, organize and deliver oral presentations on historical subjects, and produce substantial research papers that demonstrate the student’s competency in historical research and written expression.

History graduates will be prepared for active citizenship and a variety of career opportunities including library and information sciences, research, government service, journalism, law, business, or graduate school in History.

History Program at PLU

Through the study of history at Pacific Lutheran University students gain an understanding and appreciation of the historical perspective. Opportunities for developing analytical and interpretative skills are provided through research and writing projects, internships, class presentations, and study tours. The practice of the historical method leads students off campus to their hometowns, to Europe, China or the American West, and to community institutions, both private and public. The department emphasizes individual advising in relation to both self-directed studies and regular courses. The university library holdings include significant collections in American, European, and non-Western history. Career outlets for majors and minors are either direct or supportive in business law, teaching, public service, news media, and other occupations.