Department of History.

History - A Solid Foundation for Career Success

Our dedicated faculty & staff assist students as they develop the analytical, research, and communications skills that will enable them to excel in their chosen careers, such as teaching, law, government, public history, business, management, non-profit organizations, and public service.

The Department of History is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Many of our students continue their education in graduate programs at other universities, including Law schools. Our students become informed citizens, capable of thinking logically and intelligently about the past and its relevance to the present.

Programs of Study

Undergraduate Degrees

Successful undergraduate students receive a  Bachelor of Arts in History with one of the following options:

Learn more about our undergraduate programstudying history, or view undergraduate courses

Graduate Degrees

We offer a program of study leading to the Master of Arts degree in WIU's  School of Graduate Studies. 





  • Nick Pano, retired History Professor and former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University, was awarded the prestigious "Nderi i Kombi" Medal by the President of Albania, Bujar Nishani. Pano was among four individuals and one organization to receive the award, which was given on this occasion to Albanian-Americans who distinguished themselves in the wake of the Albanian diaspora. President Nishani expressed his nation's gratitude to the award winners for their contribution to the creation and defense of the Albanian state, the independence of Albania and Kosovo, the promotion of freedom and democracy in his nation, the protection of Albanian rights, and the forging of closer ties between Albanians and the American people.
  • Ni hao! Interested in China or how Americans are perceived abroad? A 2015 study abroad course, HIST 379/679, studies the cultural aspects of American-Chinese relations over two centuries. The class will begin meeting after Spring Break 2015, then finish in a trip May 31-June 13 to Shanghai and Beijing. The class will visit and learn about sites important in the American-Chinese relationship: the "old China trade" of opium and tea; American missionaries and businessmen and the founding of Chinese higher education; the Chinese Cultural Revolution and anti-Americanism; Richard Nixon and the "opening" of China; Tiananmen Square and the symbolism of American democracy; American sports culture and modern China. We will focus on Chinese attitudes about American people, policies and culture, drawing on translated sources and conversations with Chinese students at WIU and in China. The course is open to all majors, grad and undergrad, and non-degree seeking students. Interested students may attend interest meetings Tuesday September 23, 4 p.m., Morgan Hall 304 or Wednesday October 8, 4 p.m., Multicultural Center International Lounge, or contact Tim Roberts at tm-Roberts@wiu.edu for additional information. Dr. Roberts was a U.S. Fulbright Lecturer in China during the 2013-14 academic year. 
  • Congratulations to 2013 BA graduate Daniel Lewis on being named assistant men's soccer coach here at Western.  Daniel enjoyed a sterling career as a student-athlete and we wish him, and the team, the very best for the 2014 season.  Go Leathernecks!
  • The History Department is proud to announce that the winner of the 2013-2014 Judy Ellen Thompson Prize for best undergraduate paper in a History course is Kirsten Bellisle for "Historiography's Hold on the Fourth Crusade," prepared for Prof. McNabb's HIST 324 class, The Middle Ages.  The prize was established by Professor Bill Thompson of the WIU Libraries and is named in honor of his mother.  In awarding prize the history department's scholarship committee considers papers nominated by History faculty for the quality of research, excellence in writing, and shrewdness of argument. The prize carries a $150 award. Congratulations Kirsten!