Learning Outcomes

At the end of their study at WSU, history majors will possess the following skills and knowledge.

Historical Knowledge

I. (Range of historical information)

  • Identify the key events which express/define change over time in a particular place or region.
  • Identify how change occurs over time.
  • Explain historical continuity and change.
  • Describe the influence of political ideologies, economic structures, social organization, cultural perceptions and natural environments on historical events.
  • Discuss the ways in which factors such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, region and religion influence historical narratives.

Historical Thinking

II. (Recognize the historical perspective)

  • Explain how people have existed, acted and thought in the past.
  • Explain what influence the past has on the present.
  • Interpret the complexity and diversity of situations, events and past mentalities.
  • Compare eras and regions in order to define enduring issues.
  • Develop an international perspective on the past that addresses the cumulative effects of global exchange, engagement and interdependence.

Historical Analysis

III. (Emphasize the complex and problematic nature of the historical record)

  • Recognize a range of viewpoints.
  • Compare competing historical narratives.
  • Challenge arguments of historical inevitability.
  • Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation.

Historical Skills

IV. (Develop skills in critical thinking and reading)

  • Evaluate debates among historians.
  • Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations.
  • Assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources.

Historical Research

V. (Develop research skills)

  • Formulate historical questions.
  • Obtain historical data from a variety of sources.
  • Identify gaps in available records.
  • Recognize the discipline’s standards for accurate and ethical research.

Historical Argument

VI. (Develop the ability to construct reasonable historical arguments)

  • Construct a well-organized historical argument.
  • Support an interpretation with historical evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources.