Welcome to the Department of History at Western Michigan University.

History majors and minors at Western are well positioned for the 21st century job market. As a historian-in-training, you will learn to ask questions that matter. You will become a proficient communicator and researcher. You will develop skills to gather information independently, think and respond critically, and make thoughtful and accurate judgments all while developing a broad historical knowledge. As a prospective teacher educator, you will also develop as a creative problem solver able to overcome obstacles, master any responsibility and lead with confidence.

Video of WMU History Dept. 2020

The Department of History can help you achieve your professional goals.

Check out our undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Find out what our undergraduate alumni think of their history education.

Our graduate alumni can give you a taste of career paths after your M.A. or Ph.D. degree in history.


Department News 


The year's edition of our History newsletter is now available!


2023 Footnotes Newsletter

An accessible version of Footnotes can be read here.


  • Dr. James Palmitessa was interviewed by FOX affiliate WXMI on the history of Halloween and his upcoming talk at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.
  • The Department of History recognized Dr. Hanmo Zhang (right) with this year's Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Zhang graduated with an M.A. from Western Michigan in 2005. He is currently a professor at the Institute of Chinese Classics at Renmin University of China, in Beijing. He also holds a Ph.D from UCLA, where he went on to teach, as well as at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Since 2006 he has been a professor at the Institute of Chinese Classics at Renmin University of China, in Beijing, an institution that is a leader in the study of languages, social sciences, and the humanities. 
  • Dr. Ángela Pérez-Villa and students from her History 3160 course finished a digital humanities project titled The Women's Legacy Project.
  • Dr. Sally Hadden was recently awarded a fellowship from the National Humanities Center. Read the story on WMU News.

Past news from the Department of History.