COVID-19 Updates

Read the latest announcements and testing info.


Course offerings reflect the 2020-2021 Elmhurst University Catalog. One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

A topical survey of the history of America from European, African and Native American origins to the Civil War. Special attention is paid to our roots in Western culture and the blending with other cultures. A survey of the founding, independence, nation building and disruption leading to the Civil War. Fall Term.

A topical survey of the emerging facets of an increasingly complex industrial society emerging from the Civil War. Problems related to an increasingly urbanized, multi-national society with effects upon politics, economics and culture are examined. Movement on through to a postindustrial society will be traced. Spring Term.

An introduction to the Western tradition. From ancient Mesopotamia to the beginnings of the Reformation, the political structures, religious and philosophical beliefs, and cultural achievements of the Western tradition are emphasized. Fall Term.

An introduction to the Western tradition beginning with the Reformation and continuing to the present day. Political, religious and cultural themes are joined by economic and social advances in the modern world. Spring Term.

An introduction to the civilizations of India, Africa, China, Latin America and the Near East from circa AD 1500 to the present. Political, religious, cultural, economic, social and intellectual aspects of these societies will be examined using a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches.

A historical survey of Latin America, from pre-Columbian times to the present, with emphasis on the evolution of civilization and culture in the countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean basin. Beginning with the pre-Columbian indigenous societies, the course will then examine the conquest, colonial institutions, independence and the emergence of modern Latin American nations.

A brief summary of earlier civilizations followed by a study of Greek political and cultural life, the military exploits of Alexander the Great, and the cultural patterns of the Hellenistic Age.

Fall Term, alternate years.

Rome from the earliest times to its decline with special emphasis on the political, economic and cultural unification of the Mediterranean peoples, the transmission of culture to Western Europe and the rise of Christianity.

Spring Term, alternate years.

An exploration of the historical roots of the peoples and cultures of the area. Topics are: the Judeo-Christian heritage, the Prophet Muhammad, the Crusades and the Ottoman Empire. This survey traces the origins of the conflicts in modern times.

An examination of selected personalities who have made a major contribution to their age or time. Attention is given to the impact of the time and circumstances upon these persons. The assessment of several historical interpretations is used to evaluate the contributions of such personalities.

This course will survey the history of women and gender in the United States from pre-European settlement to the present. The course will be structured on three main themes: women’s work and the sexual division of labor; the relationship between gender, politics, and the state; and women’s family roles and sexuality.

The study of the diplomatic history of the United States from its inception as a nation to date. An examination of the foreign policy actions and trends in a chronological setting. Special focus will be on the war periods and the Cold War, from beginning to end. Alternate years.

A concentrated study of the political, economic, intellectual and social factors in 20th-century America. An analysis of the meaning of such issues as World War I, the 1920s, the Depression, World War II, postwar affluence and the 1960s. Special attention is paid to the dynamics of modern America, the end of the Cold War and the postindustrial society.

England from its beginnings to the age of the Stuarts. Political, social and constitutional history is traced through the 16th century, including the rise of England as a European and colonial power.

From the Stuart age to the present day. The course traces the formation of the United Kingdom, industrial and political development, intellectual life, and Britain’s role as an imperial power.

Industrializing America examines the events in the United States between the War of 1812 and World War I. The key focus will be an exploration of the impact of the Market Revolution and Industrial Revolution on American lives. We will evaluate the multiple connections between the development of capitalism and the existence of slavery in the United States, followed by an in-depth study of the ways that racial subjugation continued to shape the nation after the Civil War. In addition, we will analyze the antebellum and progressive reform movements as middle-class responses to industrialization, and especially the urbanization and immigration that accompanied it. Finally, we will examine the rise of the labor movement and the efforts of American workers to maintain control over the workplace despite dramatic changes in the structure of the economy.

This course examines antebellum America (1776–1861). These decades witnessed great political, social and economic changes including the “Market Revolution” and the rise of “Jacksonian democracy.” It was a period of significant territorial expansion, technological innovation and westward migration. Americans experienced a powerful religious awakening, new extremes in exploitation of minorities and the intensification of regional animosities.

From the decline of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy with special attention given to feudalism, economic and cultural patterns of the period, and the life and struggle of the church.

From the Renaissance in Italy to the close of the Council of Trent with emphasis upon the intellectual, artistic, social and theological developments culminating in the Reformation movements.

This course will examine the history of disability in America through the interdisciplinary lenses of science, technology, medicine, policy and sociology. This course will ask why and what we can learn by addressing the history of disability in the 19th- and 20th-century United States. Through a cultural study of disability, we will examine the social construction of disability, its representations and its changing meaning in a historical perspective. Our critiques will juxtapose disability and issues of gender, community, class, region and race. Students will be invited to fundamentally re-examine American life and history through studying bodies and minds, identities, languages, cultures, citizenship and rights, power and authority, and what is “natural” and “unnatural.”

This course examines the history of the American West, a region that was only seen as “the West” from the viewpoint of Anglo settlers. The Spanish and Mexicans viewed it as “El Norte” or “the North.” Asians saw it as “the East.” Indigenous peoples understood it as the center of the world. All these groups met in this rich land and shaped its history, creating one of the most diverse societies in world history. Our analysis begins in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition and ends with the current conflict over immigration, drug trafficking, the “wall,” and environmental concerns, among other issues involving the border.

A study of the forces of politics, economics and ideology in inclining the United States into the war in Vietnam. This has been one of the most controversial wars of the 20th century, and an examination of the factors surrounding our involvement and withdrawal provides insights into different cultures as well as the politics of the Cold War.

An examination of the social and intellectual currents that influenced several aspects of the American character from colonial times to the present. Manifestations of these social and intellectual products are traced from the Puritan community to the 20th-century dilemma of democratic rule. Consideration is given to the complex problems of mature nationhood, urbanization, industrialization and the increasing secularization of society. Upon request.

Upon request.

This course acquaints the student with the variety of techniques, methods and approaches in the teaching of history through a schedule of personal consultations, assigned readings and classroom visits. Students familiarize themselves with some of the most recent developments in the field. Prerequisites: SEC 300, SEC 310. Fall Term.

This course acquaints the student with the variety of techniques, methods and approaches in the teaching of history through a schedule of personal consultations, assigned readings and classroom visits. Students familiarize themselves with some of the most recent developments in the field.

Prerequisites: SEC 300, SEC 310. Fall Term.

An analysis of the spirit of 19th-century Europe as reflected in the political revolutions, the rise of nationalism, the unifications of Italy and Germany, and the scientific and cultural movements of the period.

A topical survey of the dramatic events occurring in the 20th century, including two world wars, Bolshevism, Fascism, a bipolar world and the process of emerging nations.

Topics change each term. The seminars are taught by different members of the department and acquaint the student with the nature of historical inquiry and the use of primary sources. Can be repeated for credit.

A detailed and intensive study of the art and the science of the writing of history. Lectures, discussions and class reports. Students are urged to take this course offered in the January Term.

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or consent of instructor.

This course is required of every student majoring in history and is to demonstrate the research, writing and analytical skills of the graduating senior. To be taken in the first or second term of the senior year, this research paper will provide evidence of what the student has learned by having been a history major in terms of knowledge, skills and insights. The topic of the paper will be selected by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Prerequisite: Majors only.

.50 or 1.00 credit

Credit given for students employed by historical agencies, museums and similar institutions. Students must recognize and demonstrate the connection between their academic studies and their field experience in regular reports to the faculty supervisor. Recommended for students intending to pursue employment in museums and foundations or graduate work in museum studies/local history.

Pass/No Pass grading. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and permission of the department chair.

A student majoring in the Department of History is encouraged to engage in independent study. The area of investigation must be approved by the chair of the department. A thesis must be presented, giving evidence of the scope of research and depth of insight gained.

Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

.50 credit

This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of history, culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance.

Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

Connect with #elmhurstu