Get Involved

  • 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.


Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Livermore, Charles H. Memorial Scholarship

Livermore, Charles H. Memorial History Scholarship is Available to:

History majors; must have a 3.2 cumulative GPA; must be a full-time junior or senior student having completed 30 credit hours at Western Colorado University. Scholarship and intellectual inquisitiveness are major considerations.

History Scholarship Provided by:

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.

Scholarship Recipient 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

Available to:

Full-time students who are Colorado residents; must be a sophomore or higher; History major; must have completed 24 credit hours at Western Colorado University. Financial need will be considered.

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 by:

History Department


Contact the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department for application and deadline information. 970.943.7011 - Kelley Hall 240

Faculty & Staff


Kyle Robinson, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in History
B.A., Anderson University, M.A., Villanova University, Ph.D., University of Rochester
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
B.A., University of Saskatchewan, International Studies, 1987, M.A., Flinders University of South Australia, History, 1992, Ph.D., Tulane University, History, 2002
Phone: 970.943.7128
Office Location: Kelley Hall 225
Duane Vandenbusche, Ed.D. headshot
Professor of History; State Historian's Council, History Colorado
B.A., Northern Michigan University, 1959, M.A., Oklahoma State University, 1960, Ed.D., Oklahoma State University, 1964
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 ÔVikings' 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 HistorianÕs 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
Behavioral & Social Sciences

All things result from what has come before. History students better understand the past and are prepared for the challenges the present raises both for themselves and their communities.

General Description

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 History program has three tracks: The Standard Major, the Secondary Licensure Emphasis and the Public History Emphasis. 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 Secondary Licensure emphasis prepares students for the State of Colorado License in Social Science Education. The Public History emphasis is a foundational interdisciplinary program which prepares students for professions in museums, archives and related professional fields.


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

Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D.