Skip to header Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Get guidelines and information for fostering a safe campus during COVID-19 at

Department of History

College of Humanities and Sciences

[View Image]
historical figures such as frederick douglas, maggie walker, abraham lincoln, and king tut with the robert e. lee statue graffitied from summer 2020 black lives matter protests in the center [View Image]

Why study history?

The study of history begins with questions, not answers. We seek to know what happened in the past, and we also seek to understand why.

Our present-day context raises new challenges for our communities, historians are inspired to ask new questions about the past, seeking understanding of a broad variety of human experiences. Historians explore questions about past politics and economics, intellectual developments, social concerns shaped by race, gender and class, and facets of culture ranging from arts and languages to human spaces and emotions. As a result, the study of history is dynamic, rather than static, and those trained in this discipline develop valuable skills in gathering, evaluating, connecting and interpreting factual information, and in the use evidence to argue persuasively for their conclusions.

Learn more about what historians do and why employers value these skills.


9/11 conceptual illustration of one of the World Trade Center towers [View Image]

Aug 30, 2021

9/11 and the Constitution: A Conversation

VCU Libraries is hosting a video conversation on how 9/11 radically changed how the Constitution is interpreted.

Brian Daugherity [View Image]

Aug 19, 2021

Brian Daugherty named recipient of Virginia Museum of History & Culture’s William M.E. Rachal Award

The award to Brian Daugherity is in recognition of an article documenting African American activism in Goochland County in the Jim Crow era.

left frame: Bryleigh Jackson / right frame: horizontal color stripes representing juneteenth - red, black, green [View Image]

Jun 9, 2021

Student Perspective: Bryleigh Jackson on American History and Juneteenth

Bryleigh Jackson, a VCU history major, provides her insight about the recognition of Juneteenth as a state holiday as well as her affinity for learning all the nuances of American History.

More news

History Spotlight

Meet Sophie

Sophie Crago has a passion for learning and understanding our past. Visit our 'Meet a Student' page to read more about Sophie's favorite classes, favorite professors, and what she plans to do with her bachelor's degree in history.

Sophie Crago [View Image]


Collaboration and sharing are at the core of our mission.

Mary Beth Norton [View Image]

Society of the Cincinnati Lecture Series presents "1774: The Long Year of Revolution"

Date: Monday, Sep 20, 2021

Professor Mary Beth Norton examines the 16 months leading up to the clashes at Lexington and Concord in mid-April 1775.
View graphic versionView graphic version