"The department really pushed me to think and write critically as a historian, supported and encouraged me at every turn, and demonstrated ways of reaching average students and people that I use daily in the field." Elizabeth Parnizca (History B.A., 2011)
"I started to see education as the key to progress and change, and knew that I would only find meaning in a career if I helped someone feel the way I did. So, I decided on teaching!” Kelly McCardle (Social Studies/Secondary Education B.A., 2020)
What if there were a way to tell the story of why we are the way we are? To study human behavior as if in a lab with unlimited evidence? To preserve what makes us unique and understand what keeps us going?
History helps us discover new meaning in the past, present and future. Our students learn the best practices of historical research while developing the skills for a successful career: thinking critically, communicating effectively and tackling complex problems. Our majors excel in careers in politics, the legal profession, business and marketing, human resources, information and library sciences, law enforcement, journalism, public relations, intelligence or security analysis, sales and recruitment, education and more.
Our faculty specialize in a diverse range of historical time periods and geographic areas, from West Virginia history and the U.S. Civil War to medieval Europe and contemporary Africa. Members of our faculty have won fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Advanced Study and the American Academy in Rome. Their work has been featured in major media outlets and produced award-winning books and articles. Our faculty is also regularly recognized with teaching and research awards from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the WVU Foundation. With their professors’ guidance, our students begin their own development as researchers, working in local or national archives to make their own discoveries.
Social Studies education provides the foundation for a democratic, diverse and information-literate society. The Social Studies/Secondary Education major prepares WVU students for the crucial task of shaping the next generation of engaged citizens and critical thinkers.
Our majors explore an interdisciplinary curriculum that bridges History, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology. They also train in pedagogy and methods in their professional education courses, and gain hands-on experience in public school classrooms. Students develop, and learn how to teach, essential skills including critical thinking, effective communication and global perspectives.
With dedicated professors who want to mentor you, a diverse offering of courses, and opportunities for independent research, History majors and Social Studies/Secondary Education majors are equipped to go far.