Department of History

Building Room: King Hall C4066
Phone (323) 343-2020 | Fax (323) 343 -6431 |                                                        Office Hours M-TH: 9:00am-1:00pm; 2:00pm-6:00pm F: 8:00am-1:00pm; 2:00pm-5:00pm

Program Overview

Ma Yuan (Chinese, active c. 1190–1225)  Ma Yuan, a fourth-generation member of a family of painters, was a leading artist at the Southern Song painting academy in Hangzhou. A city of unsurpassed beauty, Hangzhou was graced with pavilions, gardens, and scenic vistas.   In this album leaf, which shows a gentleman in a gardenlike setting, the jagged rhythms of the pine tree and garden contrast with the quiet mood of the scholar, who gazes pensively into the bubbling rapids of the cascade.

The Cal State L.A. History Department faculty believes that historical perspective is fundamental to understanding

the world in which we live. To that end, the department offers a great variety of courses to both majors and non-majors that explore both past and contemporary societies and their peoples. These offerings cover all areas of the world in all time periods, from ancient to modern, explore all aspects of history, and offer both graduate and undergraduate degrees. The department also provides an institutional home for the university’s minors in religious studies and in labor and working class studies, and includes two student organizations: Phi Alpha Theta (the History Honors Society) and the Comparative Religion Club. It also sponsors Perspectives, a student-edited journal publishing works of original research by both its undergraduate and graduate students.

The study of history is among the most broad and interdisciplinary of disciplines. The Cal State L.A. History Department’s curriculum and faculty offer unique strengths in:

  • the place of race, ethnicity, class, and gender in human experience
  • the evolution of ideas, cultures, values, ideologies, and knowledge-systems
  • the development of contemporary nations, states, peoples, and political structures
  • transnational and comparative studies, including the history of the Americas and world history

As a Department, we are committed to providing our students with a transformative education that is student centered, interdisciplinary, and rich in undergraduate and graduate research opportunities, while also enhancing the critical skills of writing, thinking, and analysis necessary to comprehend the range of human experiences from a historical perspective.

We are likewise committed to fostering a community of scholars comprising both professors and students that is ethnically diverse, professionally outstanding, and dedicated to advancing knowledge, changing lives, and transforming local and global communities.

And we are committed to educating our graduates to be successful professionals and responsible community leaders. To this end we aim to provide

  • the best secondary-school teacher preparation in the state of California
  • an outstanding foundation for careers in public history, law, journalism, business, international affairs, public service, and community college teaching
  • A rigorous pathway to further study of history at Ph.D.-granting institutions