By engaging the culture, politics, and societies of the past, students of history become engaged citizens, informed members of our community, and knowledgeable participants in our global society.

In pursuit of this, history courses at Occidental stress critical thinking and the application of evidence and argument to understanding the larger world, as well as attention to new perspectives on the world’s peoples and societies. Studying history prepares students for a complex, changing, and globalizing world. Students can choose from a wide range of innovative courses which cover a broad span of time periods and geographical locations. Our courses cover historical eras and places as varied as medieval Europe and contemporary China. We also look at the past thematically in courses such as the history of medicine or the history of genocide and mass violence. Our courses span the world, including Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the United States.

Through our institutional relationships in Los Angeles, students can intern at the Gene Autry Museum, the Wende Museum of Los Angeles, or the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Study abroad opportunities in a wide range of locations enrich the academic experience of history students. Students also have opportunities to participate in campus-based courses that have Oxy faculty-led study abroad components.

History provides a critical foundation for a liberal arts education. It forges globally-informed and ethically-driven thinkers who apply their historical knowledge and critical thinking skills to innovative and satisfying careers in a broad range of fields. The study of history prepares students for the fields of law, business, government service, non-profit organizations, museum work, historic preservation, journalism, teaching and much more.