History Department


Welcome to the History Department

At Washburn University, the study of history offers numerous exciting advantages.  All classes are small and the vast majority, are taught by full-time faculty who hold doctoral degrees.  Students in both introductory and upper division classes get to know their professors on an individual basis.

The Department of History also will work with you to take your history education outside the classroom.  We will help you coordinate (and arrange credit for) internships with local historical agencies and institutions like the Kansas State Historical Society, The Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Site, the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice and the Shawnee County Historical Society.  We encourage study abroad, not only organizing overseas experiences as Washburn courses, but also ensuring the easy transfer of credit from courses taken with existing overseas programs.  We coordinate with the administrators of the Washburn Transformational Experience to get Washburn history students financial assistance for visits to archives or historical sites.

Why Study History at Washburn?

Are you curious about the lives of women and men in other times and in other places? Do you like reading, writing, talking and thinking about the complex influences of the past on the present? Do you enjoy spending time in the library? If these are true, Washburn's History program may be for you.  Curriculum is designed to engage students in the study of the past through a variety of methods. While learning about the people, events and ideas of the past, history students will develop the skills of critical thinking, problem solving, effective writing and leadership.

Recent history majors have pursued successful careers in education and research, government, journalism, law, military service, the ministry, museum administration, private business, public service and sales.  The study of history at Washburn emphasizes a breadth of knowledge and skills rather than a narrow specialization.  Leaders in American business and professional life are intensifying their plea for universities to teach their graduates to read effectively, write clearly, reason logically and analyze problems within a broad context.  The Washburn history program provides graduates with the necessary skills to be leaders in our contemporary global economy and culturally diverse society.

I majored in History and English Literature at Washburn. My career goal in majoring in History and English Literature was to gain effective research and writing skills to aid me in law school. I graduated in spring 2014, and passed the bar that summer in Iowa. I am currently the Assistant County Attorney for Mahaska County, and I handle all juvenile cases, misdemeanor offenses, and mental health commitments. I continue to use the critical thinking skills I honed in my history courses. - Amber Rivera ('11)