entranceway to Bosworth Hall
An entranceway to Bosworth Hall, built of Indiana limestone, fronts Tappan Square and has a central Romanesque tower and hand-carved medieval doorways. Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97
Program Overview


Program Type:
  • Major
  • Minor
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department: History

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.

Program Director

Leonard V. Smith ’80

Frederick B Artz Professor of History

Jennifer Drop

Administrative Assistant 440-775-8520

Why Study History at Oberlin?

Study Away Programs
Variety of Courses
Archival Collections
image of two brochure pages
Brochure from Digital History Lab project on the Washington, D.C. courts of the 19th century. Photo credit: Digital History Lab

Digital History Lab

The Digital History Lab (DHL) is a learning and teaching resource for students and faculty interested in applying digital methods to the study of history. DHL features seminar projects that emphasize experiential learning and student learning outcomes and individual projects driven by faculty research. Students can take select courses that use the digital humanities or can apply for summer or winter-term opportunities with faculty interested in working with students using digitally focused research.

Sample Courses

  • HIST 285 - American Indians: Pre-Columbus to the Present 4 credits
  • HIST 180 - Global Environmental History 4 credits
  • HIST 238 - Slavery in the U.S. 4 credits
  • HIST 383 - Borders, Wars, and Refugees from the Ottoman Empire to ISIS 4 credits

History Faculty

Explore Faculty within History

“The Oberlin history department offers students a chance to work closely with committed and accomplished faculty, to immerse themselves in the study of many different eras and geographic locations, and to discover the ways in which understanding history is central to the practice of engaged citizenship today.”

Renee Romano, Professor of History, Comparative American Studies, and Africana Studies
See Profile

History News

Oberlin historical marker sign. Photo.

App-based Tour Illuminates Oberlin’s History

July 15, 2019
What began as an aspiration to open a history museum in Oberlin morphed into a series of app-based tours that aim to represent the city’s diverse history—including the first 100 years of Oberlin College.

Life After Oberlin

Graduates of the Department of History apply history to such professions as law, journalism, editing, and museum history; and have attended graduate programs at such schools as the University of Chicago, University of North Carolina, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Michigan.