The Value of History

The study of History develops intellectual rigor, a keen understanding of the past, and the skills—to analyze documents, to formulate arguments, to appreciate the importance of context, to conduct independent research—that will further success in a wide variety of careers. Our graduates have gone on to the top law, graduate, and professional schools and have made their marks in the fields of business and finance, education, journalism, and government. We pride ourselves in the care we provide to our pupils both in the classroom and out. Small classes enable students to hone both their written and oral abilities and permit us to provide greater individual attention. While many in the history faculty have received national and regional honors for their work, they are above all teachers and mentors, as evidenced by the recognition accorded to them for their work with students. 


The Scope of History at New Paltz

The Department of History portrays the sweep of history from the ancient world to the present. Courses range from histories of civilizations and nations to specialized studies of societies, cultures, ideas, legal systems, technology, and economic and business institutions. Such studies provide the student with an understanding of the past and its relevance to the complex world we now inhabit. We expect our students to read, think, and write critically, skills which are not only important in the study of history but also essential for success in today’s rapidly changing world.

The department regularly offers more than fifty different undergraduate courses each year. Our courses and research incorporate a wide range of topics, many with specialized themes encompassing gender studies, ethnic studies, religious history, and in cooperation with the Department of Black Studies, the history of Africa and the history of the African diaspora in the Americas. We also offer seminars, fieldwork experiences, and internships with regional historical societies and historic sites.

The Sojourner Truth Library provides excellent resources for both study and research and contains an extensive collection of US and New York State government and historical documents. Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library also offer resources for historical study and research on the part of our faculty and students.


How to Contact the Department:

  • Office: Jacobson Faculty Tower, 916A
  • Department of History
    State University of New York at New Paltz
    600 Hawk Drive
    New Paltz, NY 12561-2440
  • Phone: 845-257-3545
  • Fax: 845-257-2735
  • Chair: Andrew Evans

The Department of History Facebook Page