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    Welcome to the History Department

    The classrooms of Le Moyne’s History Department extend from traditional lecture halls to historic sites like Gettysburg, Seneca Falls, and Fort Niagara, as well as various museums in New York City, and places around the world. With an excellent and award-winning faculty of teacher-scholars and a range of exciting courses, students are able to build upon their classroom experiences by participating in study abroad opportunities and life-changing internships, which have led to job offers. Recently, in conjunction with the local PBS affiliate, WCNY, and the Onondaga Historical Association, five History majors helped to develop “History Minutes,” mini-documentaries that highlighted Central New York history and put their studies into practice. Through courses focused on the development of critical analysis and writing, the department produces globally informed individuals who, upon graduation, are ready for either the workforce or post-graduate studies. Our successful placement of numerous graduates into leading graduate school programs and law schools attest to the caliber of our History majors.

    History Courses and Requirements

    If you would like to learn more about courses, requirements, and opportunities for the History major, please see the Le Moyne College catalog.

    Mission Statement

    Those who wish to evaluate the complex and challenging issues of the present must seek the perspective conferred by a sound and critical knowledge of the past. History imparts this knowledge, thereby helping the student to understand contemporary affairs and to analyze and evaluate evidence. History also forms part of the foundation of a liberal education by providing essential background for the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and pre-professional disciplines.

    Student Learning Goals

    Students who major in History will learn to:

    1. Describe, discuss, and connect the most important trends, events, developments, and issues of world history.
    2. Understand history as human activities and accomplishments in the past for which there is evidence and history as what historians have written about those activities and accomplishments using the evidence
    3. Read scholarly sources critically and analytically to ascertain and evaluate their main themes and arguments.
    4. Conduct historical research and present the results in clear, well-written, and properly documented papers and oral presentations.
    5. Develop a sense of historical and geographical perspective, an appreciation for diverse cultures, and an enthusiasm for the study of history.
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    Meet the Faculty

    The Le Moyne College history faculty is a community of scholars dedicated to excellence in both teaching and research. The faculty's expertise spans the globe: from the United States and Europe to South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Le Moyne's historians specialize in Women's history, Church history, Russia and modern East Asia, the Islamic world and issues of colonialism and post-coloniality.

    The current faculty has published over two dozen books, scores of articles and chapters in anthologies, and more than one hundred book reviews in scholarly journals. Our articles and reviews have been in the American Historical Review, the Journal of American History, the Boston Globe, The Nation, Slavic Studies, Albion, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies; we have appeared on local news shows and national PBS series.

    Edward Judge's biography of V.K. von Plehve received the AHA's Best First Book Award, and his Easter in Kishinev: Anatomy of a Pogrom has been republished in both German and Russian. Douglas Egerton's study of the Virginian slave conspiracy of 1800 garnered him the annual book prize of the Society of Historians of the Early Republic. Articles written by members of the faculty have earned the Filson Society's Otto Rothert Award, the Alabama Historical Association's Milo Howard Award, and the South Carolina Historical Association's Malcolm C. Clark Prize.

    Equally important is our dedication to teaching. We strive to offer courses that are stimulating, challenging, enlightening and provocative, providing students not only with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of history, but also with the ability to think clearly, analyze evidence and events, conduct effective research, and communicate well. Beyond that, we work with our students on a personal basis -encouraging them, prodding them, challenging them, affirming them, and helping them to be the best that they can be. A number of our faculty have won awards for teaching excellence, and John W. Langdon was the first recipient of the Kevin G. O'Connell Distinguished Teaching Professorship.

    Yamin Xu

    Yamin Xu

    Chair, Associate Professor View Bio
    Godriver A. Odhiambo

    Godriver A. Odhiambo

    Assistant Professor View Bio
    Fr. Robert E. Scully, S.J.

    Fr. Robert E. Scully, S.J.

    Professor View Bio

    Where Does a History Degree Take You?

    For its majors, the history department offers a broad program of courses designed to discipline and develop the mind. When combined with appropriate courses in other fields, this program prepares history majors for careers in law, government service, management and administration, library science, education and journalism. A departmental honors program offers special opportunities for independent work to advanced students.

    One of the most common questions asked by students and parents alike is “what can one do with a history degree?” The answer to this question is not as simple as one would think. Most people see a B.A. in History as a path to a career in teaching, be it in primary or secondary schools or, in some cases, in a college or university. While these are common destinations for history majors (Le Moyne College History graduates can be found teaching in schools throughout Central New York and across the state), they are far from being the only ones. Like the other core disciplines in a liberal arts curriculum, the study of history prepares students to be good writers, critical thinkers, analysts of data, and knowledgeable global citizens. These are skills that are essential in today’s world and make anyone a very marketable job candidate.

    The curriculum for History majors at Le Moyne College teaches all students research skills, the ability to analyze critically source material, communicate their findings both through in-class discussions and in the writing of research papers, and, unlike any other major at the college, gives students a global and historic perspective, a skill that has become increasingly important in our ever globalizing world.  Additionally, the History major gives students thirty credits of free electives that allow students to pursue minors, additional foreign language study, or other courses of interest to help students to prepare themselves for life after graduation. So what career paths are available to History majors? Below see some profiles of our alumni, graduate and law schools to which our majors have been accepted, and careers open to history majors. 

    Historians In...
    Museums, Archives and Historic Preservation

    For many people their interest with history developed from childhood trips to museums or historic sites. The development of these exhibits and sites is largely done by individuals trained as historians.  Additionally, for-profit businesses and public sector agencies require historians to collect, assemble, and preserve archival documents for reference and research.  Thus employment at places as diverse as the National Park Service, Ford Motor Company, and the New York State Archives require trained historians.

    Le Moyne College offers an excellent internship opportunity for History majors interested in historic preservation and archival work at the Le Moyne College Archives housed in the Noreen Falcone Library on campus.

    What do Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, George W. Bush, Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, W.E.B. DuBois have in common? They all were History majors in college. 

    The study of History in college opens many doors for individuals interested in careers in government service or politics, be it local, state, or federal. Some opportunities include work for the U.S. State Department, FBI, CIA, and as a Congressional staffer.

    Would it surprise you that numerous CEOs at Fortune 500 companies were history majors in college? Among these companies are IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Morgan Stanley, and Omnimedia.

    The skills that many businesses seek in their employees such as the ability to research and evaluate data, to communicate their findings in both writing and orally, to possess a global mindset, and to understand the big picture are all required of History majors.

     Writing skills stressed in our History curriculum can help graduates land jobs in the publishing field as editors and writers for both scholarly journals and documentary projects.

    Another option for History majors is spend one to two years providing much needed services to others through the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, among others. Participation in these programs provides the participants with much needed experience and skills that usually result in numerous job and graduate school opportunities.

    Graduate Programs and Law Schools to which recent History majors have been accepted

    Georgetown University

    University of California, Santa Barbara

    University of Colorado

    University of Delaware

    Penn State University

    Bingamton University

    Indiana University

    Loyola University of Chicago

    West Virginia University

    University of Rochester

    Syracuse University

    University of Oklahoma

    Oswego State University

    University of Pittsburgh (archival studies)

    Middle Tennessee State University (public history)

    Emory University Law School

    Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago Kent School of Law

    Michigan State University College of Law

    Penn State University: The Dickinson Law School

    Syracuse University Law School

    University at Albany Law School 

    University at Buffalo Law School

    University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

    University of Pittsburgh School of Law

    University of North Carolina, Charlotte School of Law

    University of Wisconsin Law School

    Wake Forest University School of Law

    William & Mary Law School


    Alumni and Faculty Making History
    Kathy Forbush If you love history, study it!

    When I arrived on the Le Moyne campus I was not sure what I wanted to study, but loved social studies in high school so declaring as a history major seemed like a good idea.

    Douglas Egerton The Wars of Reconstruction, by Dr. Douglas Egerton

    History, many have stated, has a way of repeating itself. Dr. Egerton's latest book may have struck a chord because of this very premise.

    Amy Kostine Photography, History, and Preservation

    I certainly surprised some of my peers when I made the unforeseen decision to transition to a major in history, but we all have many varied interests, and sometimes those interests can meld together and send you on a path to an unexpected career.

    Get in Touch

    Contact the Department Chair:

    Yamin Xu


    (315) 445-4253


    Contact the Department:

    Reilly Hall 401
    Le Moyne College
    1419 Salt Springs Road
    Syracuse, NY 13214


    (315) 445-4100


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