Departmental Website



The Department of History at EIU offers over 60 courses, ranging from sweeping surveys to tightly focused seminars. Core courses provide grounding in American and World History as well as the tools to research, write, and present results. Core and elective courses in U.S., European, African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Russian, ancient, medieval and modern history provide ample opportunity to develop and hone writing skills. The ability to gather and analyze information is essential to almost every professional pursuit. History majors learn to read and to think critically, and to synthesize their research into understandable English.

With around 200 undergraduate majors, two graduate programs, and 22 faculty, all with PhDs from top universities, EIU’s Department of History provides students with both variety in curriculum and individualized attention. Our undergraduate student/faculty ratio is less than 10/1. Our classes for majors typically number between ten and twenty students.

Whether your hope after graduation is to teach, move into the world of business, or continue on to graduate or professional school in history, information sciences, law or historical administration, your history degree from EIU will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful.

Students may choose from several degree options:

Bachelor of Arts in History
Bachelor of Arts in History with Departmental Honors
Bachelor of Arts in History with Option in International Studies
Bachelor of Arts in History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science
The department also offers a History minor.

Come visit us! We would be happy to have you visit us anytime we are in session, and students and faculty are on campus. Go to http://www.eiu.edu/history/visit.php for information on how you can make an appointment to visit with the chair of the dept., meet with one of our undergraduate advisors, sit in on a class, talk with faculty members, and/or meet with some of our current students.


International Studies, Teacher Licensure

Hours Required

Both the History BA and the History BA with Honors require 54 s.h. in the major (9 of which may be double-counted for General Education); History with Social Science Teacher Licensure requires 78 s.h. in the major disciplines (13 of which may be double-counted for General Education) and 34 s.h. in the Professional Education Core; History with International Studies requires 54 s.h. in the major (12 of which may be double-counted for general Education) and 4 s.h. of intermediate foreign language

Departmental Honors Program


Four Year Degree Plan


Graduate Degree Opportunities After Graduation

History, Law, Library and Information Technology, Museum Studies, Historical Administration, Business, Economics...

The department has two graduate (M.A.) programs: History and Historical Administration.
For information on the MA program, please visit: http://www.eiu.edu/historygrad/
For information on the Historical Administration program, please visit: http://www.eiu.edu/ha/

Course Catalog Listing


Typical Starting Positions

Here are some paths that our graduates take:

Teaching (elementary, secondary, and college levels)
Public History (such as museums and archives)
Government (local, state and federal, from legislative research to the FBI)
Publishing (both print and web)

For more discussion of the above, see our Career Advice & Information for History Majors page on our website at: http://www.eiu.edu/history/careers.php

Well Known Companies that Hire EIU Graduates

Secondary schools and junior colleges in the state and across the nation, American Express, Associated Press, Charleston-Mattoon Journal Gazette/Times-Courier, EIU, Great Books Foundation, Historic Preservation Agency in Springfield, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, McGraw-Hill Publishers, Midwestern University, Purdue University - Westville, Smithsonian Institution, Sprint, U.S.Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of Illinois.

Notable Graduates

Jim Edgar (former governor of Illinois), Bruce Janu (teacher and award-winning documentary film-maker), Martin Ruhaak (Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP , Washington D.C.).

Study Abroad Opportunities

For a full listing visit: http://www.eiu.edu/edabroad/history.php
Study abroad opportunities include Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Latin America.

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity grants: http://www.eiu.edu/honors/URSCA.php Honors Research & Thesis: http://catalog.eiu.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=21&poid=2760&returnto=721
Historia (student journal): http://www.eiu.edu/historia/

Student Professional Organizations

Phi Alpha Theta National Honors Society (EIU Chapter): http://www.eiu.edu/history/phi_alpha_theta.php
EIU History Club: http://www.eiu.edu/history/historyclub.php
Historia Editorial Board: http://www.eiu.edu/historia/

Professional Development Opportunities

History Careers Day and Career Advice & Information for History Majors: http://www.eiu.edu/history/careers.php


For information on departmental scholarships and awards, please visit our department's Scholarships & Awards page at: http://www.eiu.edu/history/awards.php

Scholarship Listing

Alexander Hamilton Paper Award in American History
Anam Cara Scholar Fund
Anne Frank Award
Annie L. Weller Scholarship
Ardath Fogelsanger Scholarship
Balsaar & Ruth Bubeck Scholarship
Cathy Hunter Memorial Study Abroad Scholarship
Charles L. and Kathryn Joley and Family Deans Scholarship in Education
Dr. Barbara L. Hill Memorial Sch
Dr. John Guckert Memorial Award
Dr. Kenneth E. Hadwiger Foreign Cultures Award
Edith Breving Annual Scholarship
Education Scholars Award
Elisha Baumgartner Scholarship
Errett & Mazie Warner History Award
Frank McCormick Phi Beta Kappa Study Abroad Scholarship
History Faculty Writing Award in European History
History Faculty Writing Award in World History
Jeanne & Donald Tingley Memorial Sch
L. Joyce Taylor Student Teaching Sch
Lawrence & Emily Nichols Memorial Award
Leften Stavrianos World History Award
Mary Coon Cottingham Sch
Mary Jane Coartney Memorial Creative Writing Scholarship
McKenna Secondary Education Scholarship
View all results

To search for scholarship opportunities please visit http://www.eiu.edu/scholarships/

Faculty Listing


Faculty Research Interests

U.S. (colonial, revolutionary, ante-bellum, Civil War, progressivism, industrialization, immigration, rural, diplomatic, social, African-American, gender, contemporary).
World (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Russia, social, political, economic, gender, World War I and II).
For more complete information: http://www.eiu.edu/history/faculty.php

Faculty Honors & Awards

Some of the awards recently received by History faculty include, but are not limited to:
EIU Distinguished Professor Award
EIU Distinguished Honors Faculty Member Award
EIU Faculty Laureate Award
Luis Clay Mendez Distinguished Service Award
Rodney S. Ranes Graduate Faculty Mentor Award
President’s Fund for Research and Creative Activity Grant

For more complete information, please look at our department's annual newsletters: http://castle.eiu.edu/histnews/ and History News Blog: https://eiuhistory.wordpress.com/

Media Links

History'>http://eiuhistory.wordpress.com/">History Department News Blog
History'>http://castle.eiu.edu/~histnews/">History Department Annual Newsletter
History'>https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eastern-Illinois-University-History-Department/188326327867661">History Department Facebook Page

Department in the News

http://eiuhistory.wordpress.com/ - History Department News Blog

Department of History, Coleman Hall 2546; 2681
Contact Name: Anita Shelton, Chair or Michael Shirley, Undergraduate Advisor
Contact Email: ashelton@eiu.edu; mshirley@eiu.edu
Web: http://www.eiu.edu/history/