For Prospective Students and Parents

Founders Hall - home of the History Department
Professor Quinn Slobodian
Professor Brenna Greer
Professor C. Pat Giersch
HIST201 The Rise of the West? Europe 1789–2003
HIST340 Seminar. Seeing Black: African Americans and U.S. Visual Culture
HIST372 Seminar. Chinese Nationalism and Identity in the Modern World
Founders Hall
Founders Hall
The Margaret Clapp Library
Professor Ryan Quintana
HIST 245 History of American Capitalism

The History Experience at Wellesley

Wondering what makes Wellesley’s History Department unique?  Read what students have to say!  To see a list of courses currently offered, please visit our Curriculum.  And don't forget to check out You Are Here for more inside information about life at Wellesley!  See the Parents & Families page for more information on family events and involvement.

Why did you decide to major in History?

"I chose History because I love learning about the past. We can't separate ourselves from it. And what is also interesting about history is how we keep revisiting events and try to dig up more details, try to look at things from a different perspective. It's not just about dates and places, it's the various layers and complications that we don't think about, the voices we had not yet heard, the angles we have not yet attempted. History is a constantly reconstructed story happened 24/7 around the world. I focus on IR-History for that very reason, honing into a region or across regions connected by a certain theme. I never cease to be excited by the content I encounter."

-Victoria Yu, IR-History & Comparative Literature, 2016

 "I chose the History route because I believe in order to understand the world around you and attempt to solve current global problems there is a need to delve into historical origins for better insight into the roots of the problem."

-Pelumi Botti, IR-History, 2016

How would you describe the faculty?

"The faculty in the history department have made my academic experience far richer, they truly want their students to understand the course material and do well in their lifelong goals. My professors at Wellesley have guided me to adopt a broader way to analyze history and any information presented to me. I have been able to discuss my concerns about my major, possible graduate programs, and prospective career goals." 

-Bristol Gunderson, History & Russian, 2016

"The faculty have been amazing. Everyone really cares and tries to get to know the students. Personalities differ wildly and that's part of the charm of taking classes with various professors. I remember when I was trying to figure whether a summer abroad course could transfer credit back to Wellesley, Professor Slobodian (the Modern Europe and German specialist) was extremely helpful along the way and spent an entire month doing whatever he could to help me find a suitable program and even contacting those he knew abroad! I felt so guilty for always bothering him and yet so grateful that Wellesley has professors willing to go the extra mile for their students." 

-Victoria Yu, IR-History & Comparative Literature, 2016

"The faculty have a diverse set of experiences and come from many different background. Many have dedicated most of their lives to the study of specific regions of the world. This makes for a plethora of knowledge at your fingertips as well as some very exciting stories to hear." 

-Pelumi Botti, IR-History, 2016

"One of the best, if not the best of the college. Always so helpful and willing to listen!"

-Nicole Kang, History & English, 2015

What is the overall atmosphere of the History Department?

“The atmosphere of the History Department is wonderful, and why I chose the major.  All the professors are supportive and aware of the students in their department.  It was easy to get to know them all, as well."

-Hadley Chase, History, 2015

"History is a difficult subject, but the faculty and students in the department are very relaxed.  The students are much more focused on learning and getting the most from than material than the grade itself."

-Celeste Zumwalt, History, 2015   

What have you gained from studying History?

"I am very thankful to have studied history at Wellesley College because it has shaped how I approach reading or visual material so that I can interpret the content in context. History students here gain the ability to be more aware of bias in the news and literature and account for it when forming opinions based on source material."

-Bristol Gunderson, History & Russian, 2016

"History is all about context. It teaches me to look for the roots of an issue, decipher what it means, and how it fits together with what I'm researching. The skills I've learnt while conducting research has made me a much more detail-oriented and focused person when working on any topic of choice. I've also been able to look at events happening around me here at Wellesley, in the US, and around the world with a more critical eye, taking the information given to me and making it my own."

-Victoria Yu, IR-History & Comparative Literature, 2016

How has your History major prepared you for life after college? 

"It has honed my skills to analyze objectively, and come up with, at the very least, some sort of explanation/solution to a variety of situations."

-Nicole Kang, History & English, 2015

"I think the analytic skills refined through a history degree here are easily transferable to everyday life as an aware and competent citizen, leader, or productive member in the work force."

-Bristol Gunderson, History & Russian, 2016

What Professors have to say:

"Wellesley students are very vocal, intellectually engaged, and passionate about their opinions.  They come to class with a firm grasp on the material, ready to participate."

"Throughout my time at Wellesley, students have become more diverse, in more ways than one.  The continuous joy of teaching here is that Wellesley Women are smart, hardworking and willing to invest in the learning community."

"There is great diversity among the History Department faculty; we come from very different backgrounds and intellectual approaches.  Yet everyone is very friendly and supportive of each other."

"The History Department continues to advance for the better.  We've expanded rapidly in a geographic sense, and we as faculty have all been pushed to teach our areas in wider contexts of the world.  Technology has become increasingly more important and has qualitatively improved relations and the ability to provide feedback between the professors and students."

"Wellesley supports faculty research but also cares deeply about the quality of teaching, so there is a symbiotic relationship between research and the classroom experience.  The school wants its faculty to write and be at the cutting edge, which means Wellesley students also get to be involved in groundbreaking research."

"The opportunity for internships and study abroad experiences has become much more accessible to all students, and creates a valuable connection between experiences in and out of the classroom."