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History comes alive at Union College. More than just a survey of data over the ages, our courses and seminars emphasize ideas and institutions across the globe and the continuum of time.

As a history major, you will gain an appreciation of the past and an understanding of the social, cultural and institutional developments that have shaped our world.

You will be introduced to historical methodology and the fundamentals of historical research and writing so you may imagine other cultures and eras, reflect on and comprehend human struggles, and become adept at assessing evidence and weighing conflicting interpretations of history.

Above all, you will learn to think critically, write persuasively, and analyze and solve problems – solid foundations for becoming a thoughtful, engaged, well-rounded citizen.  

"The classes are challenging and interesting, and the professors are always happy to work with us on any problems we might have with school or life."
- Alexandra Steed

The Department of History is based in Lipmann Hall, home to many of our social sciences. Our classes are small, which allows for opportunities to interact with your professors on a personal level.

You will concentrate your studies in one of five fields of history:

  • African and Middle Eastern
  • Asian
  • European
  • Latin American and Caribbean
  • United States

Courses in special topics focus on global history; history of science, technology and medicine; public history; religion; and women’s and gender history.

Special learning opportunities

To gain a global perspective beyond classroom instruction and discourse, you may choose from many terms abroad and mini-terms, including a full term abroad in Athens, Greece, and three-week mini-terms in India, South Africa and Spain. The civil rights mini-term is a study-tour of key historic sites in the U.S. south, including Atlanta, Charleston, Birmingham and Selma. The Holocaust mini-term takes students to Berlin, Germany and several cities in Poland.

Meet some of our faculty

Joyce Madancy

Joyce Madancy

Associate professor
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Special interests: China, Japan, and Korea, from the Neolithic era to the modern period

Stephen Berk

Stephen Berk

Henry and Sally Schaffer Professor of Holocaust and Jewish Studies
Ph.D., Columbia University
Special interests: Russia and eastern Europe, The Holocaust

Teresa Meade

Teresa Meade

Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture
Ph.D., Rutgers University
Special interests: Latin America and the Caribbean

Andrew Morris

Andrew Morris

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Special interests: Contemporary U.S. political and environmental history

After Union

Attorney, law office of Jean Mahserjian, PC

History teacher, Waltham Public Schools

Client services associate, Christie's, New York

Assistant professor of history, Russell Sage College

Physician, Albany Family Medicine

Reporter, Long Beach Herald

Captain, U. S. Marine Corps

Research and collections technician, New York State Museum