About Us

One of the Department's greatest strengths is its diversity. We offer more than thirty different courses each semester that cover a wide range of cultures, time periods, and themes, reflecting the diverse backgrounds, perspectives and interests of the faculty.

Our Mission

The Villanova History Department believes that knowledge and understanding of the history of human experience — in all its cultural, intellectual, material, social, and spiritual diversity — are essential to prepare students in the 21st century to become responsible global citizens and thoughtful, compassionate human beings.

History thus serves the university’s dual mission of igniting change, and contributes to the uniquely Catholic and Augustinian identity of Villanova University through its special commitment to research and teaching about the roles of religious institutions, faith, and values in the development of human communities around the world.

The History Department is committed to maintaining an intellectual, social, and emotional environment conducive to the development of the necessary components of the human spirit — love, respect, intellect, faith and care — among the undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff who form its community. Mutual respect and support, concern and openness are the values that the members of the department seek to implement in their daily interactions with each other.

Learning Goals and Objectives

1. Knowledge

a. Demonstrate historical knowledge across a range of chronological, cultural and geographic areas.
b. Demonstrate a familiarity with the concept of historiography, including a sense of changing historical interpretations and an understanding of various approaches to historical explanation.
c. Describe how different aspects or types of human endeavor and experience may be connected.
d. Identify the historical roots of contemporary issues and challenges, with attention to social values and the role of religion in the human experience.
e. Construct historical questions and arguments about the problems that run through history.
f. Understand and evaluate the role of human choice in history.
g. Recognize a range of career options available to undergraduate history majors.

2. Analytical and Research Skills

a. Demonstrate the ability to reconstruct historical events from available evidence.
b. Demonstrate familiarity with contemporary historical tools including the use of primary and secondary source collections, print resources, visual and material artifacts and sources, computer databases, and other computer-mediated resources.
c. Analyze and evaluate a variety of texts, data, and interpretations in terms of credibility, authenticity, interpretive stance, audience, bias, and value for answering the research question.
d. Synthesize evidence from research to support a historical argument.
e. Apply a critical perspective to evaluating historical arguments, including the quality of sources, the validity of the interpretations of those sources, and the soundness of the argument’s use of evidence to support that interpretation.
f. Articulate objectives for post-graduate employment or further education.

3. Expression

a. Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills, including the ability to:

i. Summarize historical findings, arguments and interpretations
ii. Reconstruct historical events
iii. Formulate and support an argument in a well-focused, logically organized piece of historical writing.
iv. Review and evaluate others’ arguments and interpretations.

Some comments from recent graduates:

stained glass

"History allowed me to be theoretical and critical in my thinking with the ability to make specific comparisons and analogies with the information I acquired."

"Villanova has an excellent history program with courses on a wide variety of subjects offered each semester."

"The history department has really exceeded my expectations...everyone has been professional as well as warm and welcoming."