• Bachelor of Arts in History
    • Major
    • Minor
    • Secondary Licensure
    • Accelerated Master's Degree

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • Field Experience: Seniors travel to historical locations, such as the Sand Creek Massacre and Bent’s Old Fort national historical sites to study the role of commemoration and memory.
    • History Honor Society: Join Iota Nu Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, one of Western’s oldest academic honor societies.
    • History League: Sponsors activities including a book club and catapult construction.
    • Internships: Land an internship with the Crested Butte Heritage Museum.
    • Study Abroad: Travel to India, Ecuador, Prague, London, Italy or Belize through Extended Studies.


    Program-Based Scholarships

    Livermore, Charles H. Memorial Scholarship


    • History majors
    • Must have a 3.2 cumulative GPA
    • Must be a full-time junior or senior (completed 30 credits at Western)
    • Scholarship and intellectual inquisitiveness are major considerations


    This scholarship is provided by the family and friends of Dr. Charles Livermore, who was an extraordinary teacher, scholar and administrator, a professor of history and chairman of the Social Studies Department at Western. 

    Award depends on funds available.

    Selected by: Donor Scholarship Committee (T.L. Livermore) in cooperation with the Western Colorado University Foundation.


    Contact the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

    970.943.7011 | Kelley Hall 240

    Learn more about Western's History Program

    Wilson, Robert Glenn, Jr. Memorial Scholarship


    • Full-time students 
    • Colorado residents
    • Must be sophomore or higher, History major
    • Must have completed 24 credit hours at Western
    • Demonstrate financial need


    This scholarship is provided by family and friends to memorialize Robert Glenn Wilson, an outstanding example of academic achievement, citizenship, and student growth at Western Colorado University.

    Award depends on funds available.

    Selected byHistory Department


    Contact the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

    970.943.7011 | Kelley Hall 240

    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit western.edu/mars.

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Faculty & Staff


    Kyle Robinson, Ph.D. headshot
    Lecturer in History
    Phone: 970.943.2250
    Office Location: Kelley Hall 223
    Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of History; Director of Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization
    Phone: 970.943.7128
    Office Location: Kelley Hall 225
    Duane Vandenbusche, Ed.D. headshot
    Professor of History; State Historian's Council, History Colorado
    Phone: 970.943.2068
    Office Location: Kelley Hall 227


    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     HIST 200 - Historical Inquiry (3 credits)

    Students examine the ways scholars have studied, interpreted, debated and represented the past through time. This course introduces students to History as not only a discipline of study and scholarship but as an inquiry into human experience and a public pursuit. Students develop the research and writing skills required in the field of History across a variety of formats and topics. It is recommended students complete this course no later than sophomore year.

     HIST 254 - History of Africa (3 credits)

    A survey of sub-Saharan African history from earliest times to the present, with particular emphasis on social, cultural, economic, and political responses to imperialist or other outside influences.

     HIST 260 - History of Latin America (3 credits)

    A survey of the major events and themes of Latin American History from pre-Columbian times through the modern era with special emphasis on the interaction of New and Old World cultures and the impact of colonization and the construction of national identity after independence into the modern era. GT-HI1

     HIST 311 - The Medieval World (3 credits)

    Studies of the medieval world. This course is a rotating topic which may include studies of the Black Death and Europe, the Byzantines, Shogun Era in Japan, Irish and Scots, the 'Vikings' or specific African and Asian cultures. Class may be taken twice for credit. Prerequisites: minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission. HIST 200 recommended.

     HIST 333 - American Revolution and the Early Republic (3 credits)

    A study of the economic, social and political causes of the American Revolution. Focused attention is given to the Articles of Confederation, Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian America, the Constitutional Convention, Bill of Rights, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy, Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clarke expedition and the early national era. Prerequisites: minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission. HIST 200 recommended.

     HIST 370 - Public History (3 credits)

    This course explores the ways historians have engaged the public with the past. It provides an introduction to the theory and practice of interpreting history in institutions such as museums, archives, historical societies, and in historic preservation projects, digital projects, and oral histories. The course examines theoretical constructs including memory, heritage, community and commemoration and explores how academic history and public history complement and enrich one another. Prerequisites: minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission. HIST 200 recommended.

     HIST 373 - History of the National Park Service (3 credits)

    Students study the history and development of the National Parks Service of the United States exploring the social, political and economic attitudes towards Wilderness, preservation and conservation. Students trace the development of the guiding principles of the NPS and the evolution of the National Parks system over time while examining the development of national parks systems outside of the United States. This seminar also includes a number of weekend field trips to regional National Parks and National Historic Sites during the semester. Prerequisites: minimum sophomore standing or instructor permission. HIST 200 recommended.

     HIST 402 - Engaging the Past (3 credits)

    Students explore the myriad of ways human beings engage with the Past. Through examination of the development and role of historical inquiry to how we preserve, restore, remember, reenact, manipulate and silence the past, students develop an understanding of how we interpret and analyze the Past as individuals, as communities and as Historians. The role of the historian in society and the ethical considerations which guide the Historians work are woven through the course content. History majors should take this course during or after their second semester of their junior year. Prerequisites: HIST 200 and junior standing or instructor permission.

  • Bachelor of Arts in History
    • Major
    • Minor
    • Secondary Licensure
    • Accelerated Master's Degree

    History provides the means to discover how the past shapes and affects the present and how seemingly unrelated events and forces connect to frame human endeavors. It is not, however, about memorizing dates, names and events. All around us the past is evident, and we interact and struggle with it constantly through memory and stories, commemorations, traditions, restorations and relics. The past tells us who we are, what we value and where we may be going. The study of history brings meaning out of time and helps us to realize the complexity of human affairs from many perspectives.

    The Program

    • The Standard major provides students with a concentration in History, giving them course options from U.S., European and world regions such as Latin American and African history. A Standard History major is supported by a minor in another field or can be paired with a second major.
    • The Public History emphasis is a foundational interdisciplinary program which prepares students for professions in museums, archives and related professional fields.
    • The Secondary Licensure emphasis prepares students for the State of Colorado License in Social Science Education. 

    Careers & Opportunities

    A History degree can prepare you for a multitude of career fields, and historians serve many roles in society. Here are just a few of the roles and employment fields for History majors:

    • Historians as Educators: Teaching (elementary, high school and university) and National Park Service Interpreters.
    • Historians as Researchers: Museums, Cultural Resource Management and Think Tanks.
    • Historians as Advocates: Lawyers, Legislative Staffers and Nonprofits
    • Historians as Communicators: Journalists, Documentary and Multimedia Creators, and Editors.
    • Historians as Information Managers: Archivists, Gallery and Exhibit Managers and Librarians.
    • Historians in Business: Contract Historians, Nonprofits and Project Management.

    An undergraduate History major is an excellent foundational degree for Law School and Graduate Programs in History, Cultural Resource Management, Museum Studies and even an MBA. 

    Learn More

    Reach out to Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D. for more information. 

    Interested in Graduate School?

    Western’s accelerated 3+2 programs allow you to earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in just five years—saving you time and money.

    Students study the snowpack / a student installs a solar panel

    Master in Environmental Management (MEM) 3+2

    Accelerated Master's Degree
    Master in Environmental Management, MEM, Western Colorado University, accelerated degree, 3+2, Western State, accelerated graduate degree
    A student photographs a mountain / a student studies art displayed in a gallery

    Master of Arts in Art: Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization (MGES) 3+2

    Accelerated Master's Degree
    Gallery Management, 3+2, Exhibits, Art, Western Colorado, University, graduate degree, accelerated graduate degree, master's, art gallery, curator, jeff taylor