A major in History emphasizes the study of the past as central to the understanding of human experience. A focus on the past illuminates the complex origins of contemporary values and institutions, as well as the debates and conflicts that ultimately secured them and continue in our own time; it reveals the multiple possibilities of organizing political, economic, cultural, social, and intellectual relations around the world; and it privileges the critical import of distance, both in time and space, for continuing to think differently about the possibilities of human endeavor. The offerings of the Scripps History Department are especially rich in U.S., European, and Latin American History, and they highlight the importance of race, gender, sexuality, and critical theory for an understanding of human experience in the past. The requirements for the major combine introductory courses and specialized seminars and insist upon the critical reflection of historical methodologies for the production of historical knowledge. These goals are pursued through the careful reading and analysis of primary and secondary texts in both discussion and writing.

In order to enable students to devise a satisfying course of study, the department encourages students to benefit from the comprehensive offerings of the History departments at the other Claremont colleges. It also allows students to devise innovative concentrations beyond the history of nation states and societies and to take courses in neighboring fields such as gender and women’s studies, anthropology, queer studies, art history, literature, and politics to enrich their historical studies.

History Alumnae Spotlight

Linda Bassett Puertas"Majoring in history helped me develop the analytical, research, and writing skills required to be a successful attorney. Additionally, studying American history gave me a deeper understanding of American Constitutional Law and continues to influence how I think about the law, its purposes and its effectiveness is solving inequalities."

Linda Bassett Puertas, class of 2001

Read the full alumna profile »

See all history alumnae profiles »

Scripps Faculty

Andrew Aisenberg
Professor of History

Send an email »

Cindy Forster
Professor of History
Chair, History Department

Send an email »

Julia E. Liss
Professor of History

Send an email »

Rita Roberts
Professor of History and Africana Studies

Send an email »

Corey Tazzara
Assistant Professor of History

Send an email »

Department Goals and Objectives

  1. Student will study interpretive debates in historical scholarship.
  2. Student will learn methodological approaches in historical scholarship.
  3. Student will develop competence in specific theme or field.
  4. Student will learn to provide evidences that are clear and use well-organized writing.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • SLO1: Students will demonstrate understanding of interpretive debates in historical scholarship.
  • SLO2: Students will demonstrate understanding in methodological approaches in historical scholarship.
  • SLO3: Students will demonstrate competence in specific theme or field.
  • SLO4: Student will show evidence that is clear and demonstrate well-organized writing.
  • SLO5: Student will formulate an individual argument based on close reading and analysis of primary and secondary sources.