The Department of History offers the following degree programs: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy.
History is a pragmatic discipline in which the analysis of change over time involves sifting the influences and perspectives that affect the course of events, and evaluating the different forms of evidence historians exploit to make sense of them. Teaching students how to weigh these sources and convert the findings into persuasive analysis lies at the heart of the department's teaching.
The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:
- an understanding of what it means to think historically: locating subjects in time and place and being sensitive to the contingencies of context and to change over time.
- critical and interpretive thinking skills using course's primary source materials.
- the ability to identify different types of sources of historical knowledge.
- analytical writing skills and close reading skills.
- effective oral communication skills.
The primary goal of the Stanford Department of History's graduate program is the training of scholars. Most students who receive doctorates in the program go on to teach at colleges or universities. Other students have obtained positions in university administration and research.