The Department of History provides students with a broad range of historical viewpoints and events, problems and approaches to the societal, cultural, political, intellectual, economic, and global challenges and developments. Rigorous coursework coupled with a research component helps our students gain deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.



History faculty and affiliated faculty are accomplished teachers, scholars, and writers who are well versed in a range of historical periods, peoples, languages, and cultures. They do extensive research in their area of expertise and present their findings in noted journals and periodicals, at conferences, seminars, and at other institutions.

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Department Overview

History is one of the largest academic departments at Oberlin. Interdisciplinary by design, we engage our students in numerous subjects approached through a variety of methodologies to help them become astute observers, practiced researchers, and critical thinkers. Our students study history and historical narratives in different cultures, and political and social institutions in order to become competent communicators, able to interpret information and express ideas in written and oral forms.

What else makes the study of history at Oberlin appealing?

  • We introduce our students to the joys of historical research, learning how to pose and answer significant and meaningful questions.
  • Our history faculty members are accomplished, widely published scholars, and committed teachers.
  • History faculty are involved in the life of the campus and community.
  • History courses provide entry points into many related fields of study, including comparative American studies, Jewish history, African American history, the classics, East Asian studies, and gender, feminist, and women's studies, among others.

History graduates are among the most well-rounded and satisfied Oberlin alumni. They also make our department the largest undergraduate source of students for doctoral degrees in history of any liberal arts college in the country.

History News

A girl wearing glasses sitting in an audience.

The Perfect Career Sweet Spot

November 20, 2020
When she was a student at Oberlin, Rosemary Boeglin ’14 thought a career in journalism was in her future. Today, instead of writing the news Boeglin helps to create it in her role as a rapid response spokesperson for President-elect Joe Biden.

History Facilities

Rice Hall

Rice Hall

Rice Hall holds faculty and academic department offices for the social sciences and the humanities.