The field of history has changed significantly in recent decades—and public interest in history has grown. From the development of the field of women's and gender history to new perspectives on cultural analysis and cultural diversity, the discipline of history has expanded in scope, theory and methodology. Moreover, increasing attendance at historical sites and museums, as well as interest in documentary films and the History Channel, has spurred the growth of the field of public history.
The Department of History's curriculum reflects these changes, while maintaining Loyola's traditional strengths in Medieval, Modern Western European and United States history. In our core offerings, students now may choose among courses in European, American, African, Asian, Latin American and World history. For upper-level undergraduates, the department offers a variety of specialized courses in all of these geographical area. Our faculty and courses play a significant role in Loyola's interdisciplinary programs, including International Studies, Asian Studies, African Studies and the African Diaspora, Peace Studies, Urban Studies and Women's Studies. At the graduate level, we were one of the first in the nation to offer a master's degree in public history, and now are one of the first to offer a PhD in the field.
We offer an undergraduate major; master's programs in history and public history; a master's program in history and library information science (jointly with Dominican University); and a doctoral program in history. Graduates are prepared for careers in teaching and public history, but they also have transferable skills, and many undergraduate majors make careers in law, business, government and research institutions.
Our curriculum is designed to develop a deep understanding of the human past and to provide students with insight into the world in which they live through a perspective of time and change. History courses include a consideration of ideas, values and value systems, enhancing students' understanding of and appreciation for both their own and other cultures. At the same time our curriculum teaches historical writing, analysis and research, and it fosters an appreciation of historical prose as a distinctive form of literature.
The strength of the history department lies in the achievements and quality of its 32 full-time faculty. They have a national reputation for scholarship, as reflected in their extensive records of publication with major scholarly presses and journals. Four current faculty members have received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, four have been Fulbright Senior Scholars and nine have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships. Our faculty members bring their expertise to the classroom, and the department is known for the fact that our senior faculty teach both introductory and advanced undergraduate courses. We offer many small classes, which facilitate close interaction between faculty and students, who appreciate the quality of the teaching provided and the personal attention they receive.
Loyola belongs to the Chicago Inter-University Consortium for Advanced Studies in Renaissance and Early Modern European History. The department's faculty participates actively in the consortium, which includes faculty from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and staff from the Newberry Library. Seminars offered by this consortium, held at the Newberry Library, are open to Loyola graduate history students.