Aug 04, 2021  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of History

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(248) 370-3510
Fax: (248) 370-3528

Department Website


Chairperson: Todd A. Estes

Professors emeriti: Linda Benson, James D. Graham, Mary Karasch, Roy A. Kotynek, Carl R. Osthaus, S. Bernard Thomas, Richard P. Tucker

Professors: Todd A. Estes, Craig Martin

Associate professors: Getnet Bekele, Sara E. Williams, Daniel J. Clark, De Witt S. Dykes, Jr., Derek K. Hastings, Weldon C. (Don) Matthews, Karen A. J. Miller, George Milne, Seán Farrell Moran, James Naus

Assistant professors: Erin Dwyer, Yan Li, Elizabeth Shesko

Chief adviser: Elizabeth Shesko


The study of history at the undergraduate level has traditionally been considered one of the major paths to informed and effective citizenship. Its emphasis on broad knowledge, critical reading, careful judgment and precise writing offers excellent pre-professional preparation for many careers in business, government service, law, teaching, the ministry, journalism and library and museum service.

The Department of History guides students toward these careers and provides an opportunity to support academic preparation with field experience in the community (e.g., a historical society, museum or private or public agency). Oakland University’s teacher preparation program draws on history in the elementary education major and minor concentrations in social studies and in the secondary teaching major and minor in history. Careers in college teaching and other forms of professional historical scholarship usually require post-graduate training, toward which solid work in the undergraduate major is extremely important. Students interested in achieving a Ph.D. in history should be aware that most graduate schools require demonstrated competence in one or two modern foreign languages.

The department’s undergraduate program leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree. It also offers a Master of Arts program, which is described in the Oakland University Graduate Catalog. The department offers both undergraduate and graduate evening courses, and students can complete either the B.A. or M.A. entirely at night. All history students should plan their course of study in close consultation with a department adviser.

Departmental Honors and Scholarships

Department honors may be awarded to graduating majors for outstanding achievement in history as evidenced by faculty recommendations, high grades and a superior research paper. There is no statutory grade point minimum for honors, but the award is not normally made to students with less than a 3.50 grade point average in history. Inquiries should be addressed to the Department of History, 416 Varner Hall, (248) 370-3510.

Students are eligible for membership in Alpha Zeta Upsilon, Oakland University chapter of the international honor society in history, Phi Alpha Theta. Students are selected for membership on the basis of academic achievement. Inquiries should be addressed to the history department office. There is one scholarship, the George T. Matthews Scholarship, specifically for students majoring in history. Junior and senior history majors are eligible for a Holzbock Scholarship. There are five Holzbock scholarships of $2,500 each made annually to students in the humanities. Information about the Matthews and Holzbock scholarships is available in the department office.

Schedule of classes

Specific offerings for each semester may be found in the Schedule of Classes.

Course prerequisites

Introductory and survey courses (HST 1100   - HST 2999) have no prerequisites. More advanced courses (HST 3000  - HST 3999) have a general prerequisite of writing proficiency (e.g.,WRT 1060  or equivalent) plus any special requirements listed within the course descriptions. The most advanced research courses at the undergraduate level (HST 4000 - HST 4999) have a general requirement of 20 credits in history plus any special requirements listed within the course descriptions.



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