History at Wheeling Jesuit proudly takes its place as one of the oldest disciplines among the humanities. The humanities are the branches of knowledge that study people, and they are also included among the "liberal arts" because they liberate us from ignorance and stereotypes and help us live richer moral, intellectual, and emotional lives. Knowledge of history has long been one of the hallmarks of a well-educated person, because the study of the past also liberates us from the "prison of the present." History, ultimately, is not simply piles of amassed facts or memorized dates: it is an enquiry into the origins and evolution of human activities, ideas, cultures, and institutions. History helps us do everything from understanding headlines to thinking systematically about our country's problems and those of the world. It also helps us gain a sense of our common humanity with people from other cultures.
Our courses stress analysis and research and involve significant amounts of reading and writing. Upon completion of the History program, students will be able to analyze contemporary global and American political and social problems in historical perspective; demonstrate knowledge of major events, trends, and personalities of the Western tradition; search effectively for information using contemporary electronic research tools; write factually accurate and insightful explanations of historical events; and orally communicate research findings in an articulate manner.
The History major is easily combinable with other majors, especially with Political Science, International Studies, English, or Modern Languages. We heartily welcome students as double majors, minors, or simply curious course-takers from all fields. Our major requires only 30 credits beyond the required freshmen courses.
A History major is an excellent path towards becoming a teacher, a lawyer, or a journalist. We also have recent graduates who work with the FBI, state legislatures, and archives, and others who have gone on to graduate school (Masters or Ph.D) in history and international relations. Many teach at various levels in public and private schools. We also prepare students effectively for careers or further study in international business, museum management, and the Foreign Service or other branches of government. The campus has a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (the national honor society in history). This organization, along with the campus History Club, promotes the study of history through teaching, publication, and the exchange of ideas.
Facilities and Faculty
Our Department consists of experienced teachers and proven scholars. We unequivocally place teaching at the top of our professional priorities. Class size is small and all of our teachers value individual contact with students. Our professors are outgoing, friendly, well-read, and interesting
people with high academic standards.