• History Graduate Students 2018
Department of History

We provide students with the knowledge and tools of history.

» Welcome to the History Department

Student Poster Presentation History is our collective memory, an understanding of our heritage, of who we are and how we came to be. The history major not only provides students with the knowledge and tools of history, but also provides a sense of roots, as well as a broader perspective on the diverse regions and peoples of the world. Training in history teaches students how to think, how to analyze different kinds of problems, and is solid training for careers such as teaching, law, business, historic preservation, or museums.

Being a History Major at Chapman

The history major at Chapman University provides students with the knowledge and tools of history, but also provides a sense of roots, and a broader perspective on the diverse regions and peoples of the world.  The BA in history teaches students how to think, how to engage in historical inquiry, research, and analysis; explore competing historical and theoretical viewpoints that provide perspective on the past; develop excellent verbal and written communication skills; master digital literacy; and refine collaborative work skills.

What makes Chapman’s History Department unique?  An award-winning undergraduate student online journal; best history honors society in the nation for the last several years; opportunities for research travel to cities around the world including Washington D.C., London, and Beijing; access to an extensive manuscript collection of previously  unpublished war letters from every American conflicts; and a 4+1 War, Diplomacy, and Society program allowing students to begin taking MA coursework their senior year and receive a MA degree in War, Diplomacy, and Society within one year of finishing their undergraduate studies.

These are just some examples of how our majors are not just studying history – they are making it!

History Degree programs, minors, and clusters


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Classes for History Majors

All History Majors take the following classes, in addition to 4-100 level classes, 3-200 level classes, and 4-300 level classes of their choice.

HIST 296 History Seminar
This sophomore-level seminar focuses on the critical reading of texts, developing historical arguments, debates among historians, and changing historical interpretations. Topics vary each semester, and have included “Armenian Genocide,” “Holocaust and Historians,” “Great Issues in American History,” and “Empire and War in East Asia: History and Memory.”

HIST 398 The Historian's Craft
This junior-level course introduces students to the philosophy of history and historical thought, historical methodology, and the craft of doing history. 

HIST 496/HIST 498 Advanced Research Thesis I & II
This year-long sequence during the senior year serves as the capstone experience for the History major. The central project is a major, original research paper that students will present at the Phi Alpha Theta Regional History conference and publish in Voces Novae, the department’s on-line history journal.

History majors consistently research and write award winning senior theses that have won more than 25 Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society) regional awards as well as national undergraduate awards.

History's Peer-Reviewed Journal

Voces Novae


Voces Novae brings students and teachers of history together in an intellectual dialogue with the goal of promoting and assisting historical research and analysis. Through the introduction of new and diverse voices in historical research, Voces Novae supports the mission of Chapman University to foster inquiring, ethical and productive lives as gloabl citizens.

Contact Us!


History Department:
Roosevelt Hall 130
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866

Department Chair:
Dr. Alexander Bay
bay@chapman.edu

Administrative Assistant:
Natalie Figueroa
nfigueroa@chapman.edu
(714) 997-6641

History's Award-Winning Honor Society

Phi Alpha Theta


Chapman students who have taken at least four history courses and maintained at least a 3.1 GPA in their history courses, and a 3.0 overall GPA are invited to join the Alpha-Mu-Gamma chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honors society. Once initiated, students become lifelong members of Phi Alpha Theta and are eligible to compete for scholarships, essay contests, and to attend regional and national conferences sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta.

MA War, Diplomacy, and Society


Master of Arts Program in War, Diplomacy, and Society at Chapman University educates graduate-level students in the field of war and society by rigorously examining the social, cultural, political, and moral aspects of how societies go to war, experience war, and deal with war’s consequences.