About Us

Our undergraduate program trains students in the methods of history and provides a solid basis for students to go on to graduate programs in history or to careers in a variety of fields.

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The graduate history program provides students with a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree organized around diverse regions, periods and themes.  Students have opportunities to customize the curriculum to meet their particular academic and career goals.  Our engaged and dedicated faculty provide individual attention and mentorship of our graduate students.  Students interested in applying to our graduate program should review the Department of History Graduate Program section of this website.

Our department also has a number of ways for students to be involved outside of the classroom: Ex Post Facto, the annual journal of SF State history students, offers students a chance to have their work published, and, in addition, students may act as editors for experience and credits. The History Students Association organizes events for students throughout the year including a student forum where history students may present work to mentors and peers. Every spring we are proud to recognize the excellence of our students by inviting qualified students to join Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in history. Our students are also recognized at the annual honors banquet held just before spring graduation every year.

Vision

The Department of History at SF State is a community of scholars who study and interpret the past and teach its lessons. Diverse in our approaches and methods of enquiry, we share a commitment to ethics in our teaching and our research and a dedication to improve the understanding of history at local, national and global levels. We serve the state of California by grounding students in the history of this nation and its people, by providing them with skills and knowledge relevant to a variety of careers, and by sharing with them both the historical content and analytical skills vital to being critically conscious and engaged with the world around them.

The department is an integral component of both the campus and the community, contributing significantly to the university-defined goals of internationalization, social justice and community engagement. We provide a large number of courses that span the global past, and we help students to understand peoples from around the world and from past times. Similarly, in both our teaching and our research, we raise questions about past events and the political and cultural uses of their interpretations that help students to become better consumers of media, messages and meta-narratives. We mentor both majors and non-majors in the development of research skills, critical thinking, professional ethics, and effective oral and written communication.  We are all engaged in expanding our understanding of the past through our own research and publication, and we bring our research into our classes and our relations with our graduate students so that our students can better understand historical research and analysis.  Finally, we work closely with K-12 public schools, governmental agencies, and non-governmental community organizations and activists to improve history education and public awareness of the past.