Department of History

Department of History


History is about interpreting the past in a way that makes it both understandable and relevant to the present and future.  The Department of History at Virginia Tech excels at producing new knowledge about the past (discovery), training students in the skills and knowledge needed to become global citizens and well-rounded professionals (learning), and sharing that knowledge with the community at large (engagement).  Our newsletter, Historically Speaking, our Facebook page, and the News and Events sections of this site chronicle the many activities in the department and the numerous accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni. 

The History Department features award-winning faculty who pursue a broad range of cutting-edge historical research, share their knowledge as outstanding teachers and mentors, and ably serve the university, community, and profession. 

The History major prepares undergraduates to be informed citizens, critical thinkers, and strong communicators.  Widely recognized for successfully promoting undergraduate research, our department publishes The Virginia Tech Undergraduate Historical Review and hosts a prizewinning Phi Alpha Theta/History Club chapter.   

Our small but effective MA graduate program offers excellent training to students seeking to pursue history as a profession or further training at the PhD level, including admission to one of the two doctoral programs with which we are closely affiliated (Science and Technology in Society and the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought).   Each year the History Graduate Student Association sponsors the Brian Bertoti Innovative Perspectives in History Conference, which attracts young scholars from around the nation. 

And our public history course offerings and outreach programs seek to demonstrate to teachers, community leaders, and interested residents the challenges and rewards of doing good history.  In July 2015, Virginia Tech will host an NEH Summer Teachers Seminar on the Spanish Influenza of 1918. More information about the topic, scholars, program, and application guidelines is available from the seminar website. The Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, which is housed in the department, seeks to shed new light on this tragic conflict, which continues to have a profound impact on the world we live in today.