The History Department serves the Baldwin Wallace University community and the greater Cleveland area by providing academic expertise in a wide variety of historical fields and by offering multiple, balanced perspectives on human history. The Department offers a major in History, a major in History for Adult & Continuing Education Students, a major in Public History, a minor in History, and a certificate in Public History.
The Department prepares students to meet the highest academic standards of the discipline. Its faculty members commit to the “best practices” recommended by the American Historical Association (https://www.historians.org/pubs/Free/LiberalLearning.htm). We believe that historians must be able to analyze primary sources, think critically about them, examine problems from multiple perspectives, and communicate ideas effectively in writing. Therefore all history courses emphasize the importance of critical thinking and excellence in writing. We furthermore believe that the teaching of history should challenge students to understand the historical contexts of ethical issues. Moreover, the History Department remains committed to presenting the human element in history and to the interests of our students as individuals. Finally, we require all students seeking a license to teach history in the secondary schools to maintain a GPA of 3.0 in their history courses.
The History Department’s objective is that every student who graduates with a major from our department will be able to demonstrate mastery of historical knowledge, critical thinking, ethical awareness, research abilities, and writing skills. Our department’s curriculum is designed to ensure progressive development in those areas. First, beginners must complete a prerequisite before entering the intermediate and advanced courses. A 100-level history course is recommended, but some instructors may also accept INT 200I or ASN 100I as prerequisite. 100-level courses are surveys of American, world, or European history that introduce students to the narratives of our collective cultural heritage, the classroom and study habits necessary to succeed as a history major, and the skills of essay-writing and critical thinking. Students then proceed to the 200-300 level courses. 200-level courses are surveys of smaller geographical regions or topical studies. The 300-level courses are in-depth studies of particular topics or periods that give more opportunities for advanced research or writing. 200-300 level courses are typically offered every other year. History majors must also take the capstone course, HIS 461 Historiography, in their junior or senior year. This capstone course is designed to open students’ eyes to the different ways historians have approached the craft of writing history, and to expose students to the most challenging theoretical perspectives in our discipline. HIS 461 also requires a major research paper. The History Department encourages students to pursue a capstone thesis or project in the final semester of their senior year, HIS 491 /492 .
A transfer student is required to take at least 19 history credits at BW to graduate with a history major.