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COVID-19 Update:

Our physical office is closed, but we are still here to serve you.
You can contact faculty and staff directly: email us at hist@pdx.edu, or leave a voicemail at 503-725-3917


Students of history, through investigation of the past, gain skills and perspectives that foster a better understanding of the world and their place in it. The study of history contributes to the goals of a liberal arts education by enabling students to gain a deep appreciation of the diversity of human experience over time.

Through the study of history, students learn how to interpret their own experience and to shape their own values by engaging in dialogues with the past. The study of history also nurtures the ability to view the world from multiple perspectives, including interdisciplinary ones. Finally, history provides the foundation for informed participation in both the local and the global community by teaching how to apply critical thinking skills to solving problems. The study of history offers excellent training for a variety of occupations, from teaching to law, government, business, and the arts.

The PSU Department of History encourages active engagement in historical inquiry, whether at the introductory survey level, in seminars, or in community-based learning. Active engagement requires students to learn how to master basic knowledge, ask historical questions, access and evaluate information, and communicate what they have learned in both written and oral forms. Helping students master the use of a variety of sources and tools to unlock the past is a goal of all history courses.


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Summer 2020 Department of History Newsletter

News about the department in the time of COVID-19; award-winning accomplishments from both current history students and alumni; faculty honors and updates; and a link to the recorded ZOOM ceremony and Virtual Commencement Remarks from Department Chair, John Ott from our June 11th Graduation.

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Newsletter Archives

Read past issues of the History Department Newsletter