Department of History

College of Arts and Humanities

404 Wayne Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Department of History
Dr. Kodosky, Chairperson
Dr. Fournier, Assistant Chairperson
Dr. Gaydosh, Graduate Coordinator

Programs of Study

The Department of History offers the Master of Arts in History, which provides a broad base for teaching excellence, a platform for studies leading to the Ph.D., and skills for informed decision making in the public and private sectors. Students with permission of the graduate coordinator may take up to six semester hours in a discipline related to their major field of study. The M.A. in History may be earned by completing either a thesis or non-thesis program.

The non-thesis option is designed for students who desire more content courses as background for their own teaching, further academic work, or personal enrichment.

Students must concentrate in one of three fields: world/comparative, European, or United States.

The department also offers a non-degree professional growth program in which students take graduate courses for personal and professional growth without enrolling in the graduate program.

Master's Programs in History

All applicants to one of West Chester University’s graduate programs will be held to the graduate admissions requirements. When applicable, additional requirements for admission into specific department program(s) may be listed below.

The Department of History requires a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in history and a 2.8 overall GPA for admission to its graduate programs. A statement of professional goals, two letters of recommendation (preferably academic), current resume/curriculum vitae, and a sample of analytical writing that demonstrates proficiency in writing skills also are required. Applicants must have completed undergraduate surveys in U.S. history and world or Western civilization, and an undergraduate course in historical methodology or historical research. Applicants who do not meet the above criteria may be admitted on a provisional basis. Students also may take up to three graduate courses before formal admission to either graduate program.

All graduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog. Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.

Degree Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and apply for degree candidacy upon completion of 12-18 hours of applicable course work. In both programs candidates must pass a written comprehensive examination at or near the conclusion of their course work. The comprehensive examination is administered each semester. Those candidates wishing to take the examination in a given semester should contact the graduate coordinator during the first three weeks of the semester. Students may take the comprehensive examination twice. Failure to successfully pass the comprehensive examination in two attempts will result in the student's dismissal. With approval of the graduate coordinator, candidates also may complete up to two courses in a field related to history. Candidates also may apply towards their degree up to six credits of graduate course work taken elsewhere.

Comprehensive Exam

Candidates failing the comprehensive examination may retake it once. A candidate who fails for the second time will be dropped from the program

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit

The Department of History has approved the following undergraduate courses for graduate credit when scheduled with the approval of the graduate coordinator or the department's chairperson. No more than six credits of 400-level course work may be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements.

HIS 411The Pre-Modern Middle East3
HIS 412The Modern Middle East3
HIS 415History of Science3
HIS 416Crime & Punishment In Europe: 1450-17893
HIS 421History Of England To 16883
HIS 422History Of England Since 16883
HIS 423Modern Germany3
HIS 425Twentieth-Century Russia3
HIS 427Modern France: 1789 To Present3
HIS 428History Of Spain3
HIS 435European Intellectual History Since 18003
HIS 450Internship In History1-3
HIS 451Women In History3
HIS 474American Religions3
HIS 480Digital History3


Cecilia Lee-Fang Chien (2005)

B.A., Central Michigan University; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University

Jonathan Friedman (2002)

Director, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Graduate Coordinator, Holocaust and Genocide Studies

B.A., Kent State University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Maryland - College Park

Karin E. Gedge (1997)

B.A., Lake Forest College; M.A., State University of New York at Brockport; Ph.D., Yale University

Wayne Hanley (2000)

B.A., M.A., Central Missouri State University; Ph.D., University of Missouri

Charles A. Hardy (1990)

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Temple University

Lisa A. Kirschenbaum (1996)

A.B., Brown University; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Associate Professors

Martha Donkor (2014)

B.A., University of Cape Coast; M.A., University of Guelph; Ph.D., University of Toronto

Eric Fournier (2008)

Assistant Chairperson, History

B.A., M.A., Universite de Montreal; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Brenda L. Gaydosh (2013)

Graduate Coordinator, History

B.S., Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales; M.A., West Chester University; Ph.D., American University

Steven Gimber (2007)

B.A., Rowan University; M.A., University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., American University

Robert Kodosky (2009)

Chairperson, History

B.S., University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Villanova University; Ph.D., Temple University

Anne Krulikowski (2013)

B.A., Immaculata University; M.A., Villanova University; Ph.D., University of Delaware

Thomas J. Legg (2000)

B.A., State University of New York at Cortland; M.A., State University of New York at Brockport; Ph.D., College of William and Mary

Janneken Smucker (2012)

B.A., Goshen College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Nebraska

Latonya Thames-Taylor (2001)

Director, African American Studies Program

B.A., Tougaloo College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Mississippi

Assistant Professors

Tia Malkin-Fontecchio (2006)

B.A., University of California, Berkeley; M.A., Ph.D., Brown University

Brent J. Ruswick (2013)

B.S., University of Nebraska; M.A., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

James M. Scythes (2013)

A.S., Cumberland County College; B.A., Rowan University; M.A., Villanova University

Elizabeth D. Urban (2014)

B.A., Rice University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago


HIS 500. Methods & Materials Of Rsrch In History. 3 Credits.

Basic techniques and procedures in research; major types of research and methods for locating, evaluating, and interpreting evidence. The student develops a tentative outline, bibliography, and summary of an investigative procedure. Required of all degree-program students.
Typically offered in Fall.

HIS 505. Studies In The History & Culture Of East. 3 Credits.

The traditional basis for modern Chinese, Japanese, and Korean societies. The interaction between European and Asian cultures and resulting changes in East Asia.

HIS 509. The Modern Middle East And The West. 3 Credits.

Recent history of major Middle Eastern societies; Iran and the oil situation; Israel and the Palestinian question; conflicting cultures.

HIS 511. Africa to Independence. 3 Credits.

Emergence of modern African nationalism against the background of traditional African society and the legacy of European colonialism.

HIS 512. Independent Africa. 3 Credits.

The post-war experience of Sub-Saharan Africa, viewed in the light of the end of European colonial administration and the growth of an independent African society.

HIS 515. Latin American Since Independence. 3 Credits.

Pre-Columbian art and thought, scholasticism, mercantilism, the Great Debate, Baroque architecture, Enlightenment, conservatism, liberalism, Romanticism, Modernism, Positivism, Aprismo, Mexican muralists, novel of social protest, existentialism, and music. Lineaments of the Latin-American mind.

HIS 520. Racism, Bigotry, Prejudice. 3 Credits.

Course examines the evolution and roots of human prejudice and bigotry from a variety of perspectives - historical, sociological, and psychological.

HIS 523. History of Germany. 3 Credits.

Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries: Napoleonic era, rise of Prussia, nationalism and unification, imperialism and World War I, National Socialism, World War II, divided Germany and Reunification.
Typically offered in Spring.

HIS 530. Problems In Medieval Civilization. 3 Credits.

Rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire, conquests of the Arabs and Turks, the crusades for the recovery of the Holy Land; the religious orders and the universal aspirations of the Papacy.

HIS 532. The Reformation. 3 Credits.

Major and minor Protestant leaders and their movements; effects on the evolving nation-states; the Church of Rome's response; Wars of Religion and Treaty of Westphalia; the Scientific Revolution.

HIS 534. French Revolution & Napoleonic Era. 3 Credits.

The central themes of the French Revolution, from the origins during the ancien regime to the fall of Napoleon and Congress of Vienna.

HIS 535. Nationalism & Democracy: 1815-1914. 3 Credits.

Aftermath and effect of the French Revolutionary era; events brought on by the growth of nationalism and democracy; development of the industrial revolution. Roots of the First World War.

HIS 536. Europe Since 1914. 3 Credits.

Twentieth-century Europe, with emphasis on causes of World War I, Europe between World War I and World War II, and problems of contemporary Europe.

HIS 543. Jews In Modern European History. 3 Credits.

This course assesses Jewish life and thought in the context of major European historical developments during the 19th and 20th centuries. Special attention is given to the emancipation and acculturation process and the proliferation of anti-Semitism.
Typically offered in Fall.

HIS 544. Final Solution. 3 Credits.

This course explores the "Final Solution" of the "Jewish Question," the core of the Nazi Holocaust as it was administered in each country in Europe under German occupation during World War II.

HIS 545. The Holocaust. 3 Credits.

The study of steps leading to the Holocaust (1933-1945), the Holocaust itself, and the aftermath. The rise of Nazism is included.
Typically offered in Fall.

HIS 546. Genocide In Modern History. 3 Credits.

Case studies of major atrocities of the 20th century, analyzing how and why particular genocides were committed.
Typically offered in Spring.

HIS 547. Asocials And The Holocaust. 3 Credits.

This course studies the other victims of the Holocaust: Gypsies; homosexuals, people with handicaps, Jehovah's Witnesses and others.

HIS 548. Women And The Holocaust. 3 Credits.

An examination of women's experiences in Nazi-occupied Europe. Also explores the role of gender in Nazi ideology and in postwar testimonies.

HIS 550. Colonial America: 1607-1763. 3 Credits.

Development of the 13 colonies of Anglo-America from their settlement to mid-18th century. Emphasis on a conceptual analysis of specific events and problems.

HIS 551. Revolutionary America: 1763-1789. 3 Credits.

American development from the mid-18th century to the framing of the Constitution, with emphasis on the causes of the American Revolution and the evolution of American institutions and ideas throughout the period.

HIS 553. The Rise Of The New Nation: 1789-1850. 3 Credits.

A historiographical approach involving interpretations of the foundations and development of the Federalist Party, emergence of Jeffersonian Democracy, evolution of Jacksonian Democracy, and events of the Middle Period leading to the decade of controversy.

HIS 554. Civil War & Reconstruction: 1850-1877. 3 Credits.

The war and its aftermath as the great watershed of United States national history. Emphasis on the conflicting interpretations of the causes, nature, and effects of the Civil War.

HIS 555. Emergence Of Modern America: 1876-1923. 3 Credits.

The rise of industrial capitalism, urbanization, mass consumer society, and culture, and the impact of modernization on class gender, race relations, governance, and foreign policy.

HIS 557. Problems In Amer Constitut Development. 3 Credits.

Selected problems in the development of American constitutional government. The progressive adaptation of the law to a changing social and economic order. Conflicts such as nationalism versus states' rights, and vested rights versus police power.

HIS 558. History Of The Cold War. 3 Credits.

American foreign policy in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East from 1945 to the end of the Cold War. Objectives sought by the United States and the political, military, economic, and social policies pursued during the Cold War.

HIS 561. The Indian in America's Past. 3 Credits.

The dispossession of the American Indian: land seizures, wars and treaties, cultural contact; customs, mores, economic, and religious life of the Indian; assimilation and preservation of Indian culture.

HIS 600. Internships in History. 3-6 Credits.

A fully supervised learning experience in a professional setting, designed to provide students hands-on experience in one or more aspects of public history.
Pre / Co requisites: HIS 600 requires a prerequisite of HIS 500.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

HIS 601. Directed Readings in American History. 3 Credits.

A critical examination of significant works on selected topics in the field.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Repeatable for Credit.

HIS 602. Directed Readings in European History. 3 Credits.

A critical examination of significant works on selected topics in the field.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Repeatable for Credit.

HIS 603. Directed Readings World/Regional History. 3 Credits.

A critical examination of significant works on selected topics in the field.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Repeatable for Credit.

HIS 650. Seminar in American History. 3 Credits.

Selected problems in American history. Subject announced in advance of each semester.
Pre / Co requisites: HIS 650 requires prerequisite of HIS 500.
Typically offered in Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

HIS 651. Seminar in European History. 3 Credits.

Selected problems in European history. Subject announced in advance of each semester.
Pre / Co requisites: HIS 651 requires prerequisite of HIS 500.
Typically offered in Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

HIS 652. Seminar in History of non-Western World. 3 Credits.

Selected problems in non-Western world history. Subject announced in advance of each semester.
Pre / Co requisites: HIS 652 requires prerequisite of HIS 500.
Typically offered in Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

HIS 660. Field Studies In History. 3-6 Credits.

A fully supervised learning experience, usually a tour, designed to expose students to the culture, artifacts, and research facilities of a given country or area.

HIS 690. Independent Studies in History. 1-3 Credits.

Research projects, reports, and readings in history.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.

HIS 691. Thesis I: Research. 3 Credits.

This course allows students to complete the research necessary to the writing of a thesis.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.

HIS 692. Thesis II: Writing. 3 Credits.

This course allows students to complete their thesis.
Pre / Co requisites: HIS 692 requires a prerequisite of HIS 691.


SSC 502. Meths & Maters For Tchg Social Studies. 3 Credits.

Current practices and procedures; organization and planning; the use of classroom, library, and curriculum materials; testing, measurements, and evaluation; bibliographical sources for both teachers and students.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

SSC 503. Teaching Holocaust - Genocide Secondary Education. 3 Credits.

Special secondary social studies methods to prepare teachers of the Holocaust and genocides.

SSC 540. Topics In Holocaust And Genocide. 3 Credits.

Topics in Holocaust and Genocide studies. Subject announced in advance of each semester.
Repeatable for Credit.

United States history courses:

HIS 520, 550, 551, 553, 554, 555, 557, 558, 559, 561, 601, 650, 660, 690, 691, 692

European history courses:

HIS 520, 523, 530, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 540, 543, 544, 545, 547, 548, 558, 602, 651, 660, 690, 691, 692

World/regional courses:

HIS 505, 509, 511, 512, 515, 520, 546, 558, 603, 652, 660, 690, 691, 692