History faculty with a student reviewing historical documents


History Department


Welcome to the History Department

  • To all students, Washburn University's Department of History offers clearly focused courses in U.S. and world history; small class sizes and, as a result, closer interaction with professors; and select courses, at both survey and upper level, fulfilling General Education requirements for the Social Sciences. For majors, the department provides a clear map to mastery of the field; a course of study that is diverse in terms of both geographical and temporal ranges; and a capstone experience that calls of students to do history themselves, engaging with primary sources to produce a research paper (while also fulfilling requirements for the Scholarly/Creative Washburn Transformational Experience.

  • The Department of History also will work with you to take your history education outside the classroom.  We will help you coordinate (and arrange credit for) internships with local historical agencies and institutions like the Kansas State Historical Society, The Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Site, the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice and the Shawnee County Historical Society.  We encourage study abroad, not only organizing overseas experiences as Washburn courses, but also ensuring the easy transfer of credit from courses taken with existing overseas programs.  We coordinate with the administrators of the Washburn Transformational Experience to get Washburn history students financial assistance for visits to archives or historical sites.

  • At Washburn University, the study of history offers numerous exciting advantages.  All classes are small and the vast majority, are taught by full-time faculty who hold doctoral degrees.  Students in both introductory and upper division classes get to know their professors on an individual basis.

 Amber Rivera ('11)

I majored in History and English Literature at Washburn. My career goal in majoring in History and English Literature was to gain effective research and writing skills to aid me in law school. I graduated in spring 2014, and passed the bar that summer in Iowa. I am currently the Assistant County Attorney for Mahaska County, and I handle all juvenile cases, misdemeanor offenses, and mental health commitments. I continue to use the critical thinking skills I honed in my history courses. - Amber Rivera ('11)