Statement from the Chair

Welcome to the SJSU History Department’s web site. We encourage you to explore our undergraduate and graduate curricula, the Public History program, and the activities of Phi Alpha Theta--the history honor society. In addition, the department houses the Sourisseau Academy devoted to state and local history and the University’s interdisciplinary Jewish Studies program. Individual faculty pages highlight the academic preparation, fields of study, scholarly publications, and courses offered by a remarkable group of historians. 

If you choose history at SJSU, you will join almost three hundred undergraduate majors and more than one hundred graduate students. Careful advising by full-time faculty members, activities sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta and the History Club, annual honors luncheons, holiday parties, and convocations, and access to the department conference room/lounge create a “home” for history majors on our large campus. The department awards annual scholarships and offers an honors course for its best students, and all who enroll in history classes at SJSU benefit from the dedication of a faculty devoted to both innovative scholarship and the best in classroom teaching. 

Despite painful budget cuts that will limit the department’s growth and restrict the range of courses it can offer in the near term, historians take a long view of the past and the future. For centuries, the study of history has prepared leaders—of governments, in the professions, and in business. The skills possessed by historians, including the abilities to read and think critically, to write and speak clearly, to engage in research and recognize patterns, to analyze data and synthesize evidence from a variety of sources, serve us well in rapidly-changing societies. History students’ exposure to the world’s peoples over significant periods of time develops tolerance, sound judgment, and the ability to work with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds. Whether you seek a career as a teacher, in business, or in government; whether you plan to pursue a graduate or professional degree or enter a management training program; whether you plan to make your way in California or explore the world, you will find yourself well prepared with a history degree from SJSU. 

With the very best wishes, 
Dr. Patricia E. Hill

Spring 2014 Course Information