History is the search for an understanding of how our world came to be as it is. Because “everything has a history,” historians study everything imaginable, from politics, economics, and the military to the world of everyday life, and all the social, cultural, intellectual, and religious developments in between. By investigating people, events, and ideas, historians learn not only what happened in the past, but more importantly who we are, how and why the past has grown into the present, and what that means for us today. In this way, the study of history teaches an important set of investigative, analytical, and communication skills that, along with a large knowledge base about past events, equip students to understand their contemporary world in all its diversity.
All students study world and Canadian history, then courses in the practice of history, public history, and applied research in history. Other courses focus on subjects as diverse as the ancient empires, the history of Christianity, Vikings, modern revolutions, Canada at war, the history of genocide, the World Wars, and depictions of history in Hollywood films.
Since History is one of the programs in the Humanities Department, all History students also take a series of humanities courses, which include academic writing, the Christian intellectual tradition, cognate credits in English, philosophy, and religion , and a humanities capstone course.
Profile of the Graduating Student
The graduating student will develop:
- Understanding: Graduates will be able to articulate their rich understanding of the human story, as expressed in the diverse histories of Western, Indigenous Canadian, and other world cultures.
- Research: Graduates will be able to apply advanced research skills employed in the study of history to solve problems and advance knowledge.
- Analysis: Graduates will be able to apply the skill of critical thinking, using the methods, approaches, and theories appropriate to the discipline of history to analyze diverse and complex forms of information.
- Communication: Graduates will be able to communicate clearly, concisely, and compellingly to impart knowledge and express themselves.
- Character: Graduates will exemplify maturity of character which represents the best of the Christian intellectual tradition and a liberal arts education, and which expresses itself in wisdom, integrity, service to neighbour and society, and responsibility towards the world in which they live.
Career and Educational Paths
The graduating student will:
- be prepared for entry-level positions in government departments, museums, historical sites, archives, or other careers that revolve around the knowledge and communication of the past;
- be prepared to enter a wide range of vocations which require skills in research, analysis, problem solving, writing and oral communication;
- be prepared to enter after-degree programs in education, law, journalism, or library science and information management;
- be prepared to enter graduate programs after the four-year degree. Students who intend to enter graduate school or other forms of post-secondary education should pursue the four-year degree, and they should consult the Department Chair early in their studies.