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University Catalog

Department of History

Jeffrey Means, Department Chair
158 History Building
Phone: (307) 766-5101, FAX: (307) 766-5192


RENEE LAEGREID, B.A. Washington State University 1982; M.A.L.S. Wesleyan University 1994; Ph.D. University of Nebraska 2002; Professor of History 2015, 2012.

Associate Professors

ISADORA A. HELFGOTT, B.A. Swarthmore College 1994; A.M. Harvard University 1997; Ph.D. 2006; Associate Professor of History 2015, 2009.
JEFFREY D. MEANS, B.A. Grand Canyon University 1995; M.A. University of Montana 2001; Ph.D. University of Oklahoma 2007; Associate Professor of History 2013, 2007.

Assistant Professor

ALEXANDRA KELLY, B.A. University of Chicago 2004; M.A. 2005; Ph.D. Stanford University 2014; Assistant Professor of History and Anthropology 2014.
BARBARA E. LOGAN, B.A. Queens College, CUNY 1986; Ph.D. University of California-Santa Cruz 2002; Assistant Professor of History 2018, 2011.

Professors Emeriti

Dieterich, Hardy, Kohler, Moore, Roberts


History is a foundational discipline that blends the methodologies and perspective of the humanities and social sciences in order to engage with the history of human culture on a global scale. UW’s History degree program emphasizes interdisciplinary teaching and research and provides course work, research experiences, and internships on both American and international topics. The History program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree major and minor, and a Master of Arts degree.

The study of History at the University of Wyoming provides students with the tools to comprehend the present in order to prepare for the future. Challenging courses are designed to facilitate critical thinking and the development of analytical skills. Each of our courses features the discussion of complex issues, the development of writing and reading skills, and is generally oriented toward promoting individual enrichment. The professional skills that the History program instills transcend our field and allow students to work toward a variety of career choices such as business, law, government service, public history, archives and museum work, education, management, writing, and graduate studies. The ability to develop perspective, render informed judgments, and function as productive citizens of the global community stand as hallmarks of our program.

Learning Outcomes

It is the goal of the History department that our graduates have the following skills and knowledge:

  • Students shall be able to demonstrate thinking skills by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating historical information from multiple sources.
  • Students will develop the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction while understanding that there is no one historical truth.
  • Students will produce well-researched written work that engages with both primary sources and the secondary literature.
  • Students will develop an informed familiarity with multiple cultures.
  • Students will employ a full range of techniques and methods used to gain historical knowledge.
  • Students will develop an ability to convey verbally their historical knowledge.
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of cause and effect along with their knowledge of the general chronology of human experience.

Undergraduate Major (Effective Fall 2015)

The History major requires a minimum of 36 credit hours in History courses or approved substitutions. All courses used to satisfy major requirements – including the language requirement – must be completed with a grade of C or better. To complete the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in History, all University Studies Program (USP) and college requirements must also be satisfied.

Specific requirements for the History major are as follows:

Lower-Division Electives (12 hours):

Students must complete at least one course in a non-Western Civilization content area and one course in a US-Western Civilization content area at the 1000-2000 level.

Non-Western Civilization courses include the following: HIST 1320, HIST 1330, HIST 2040, HIST 2041, HIST 2290, HIST 2320, HIST 2370, HIST 2380, HIST 2385, HIST 2460, HIST 2461, HIST 2470, HIST 2315.

US-Western Civilization courses include the following: HIST 1110, HIST 1120, HIST 1211, HIST 1221, HIST 1251, HIST 1290, HIST 2020, HIST 2050, HIST 2080, HIST 2105, HIST 2120, HIST 2130, HIST 2225, HIST 2230, HIST 2240, HIST 2250, HIST 2252, HIST 2360, HIST 2389, HIST 2500, HIST 2700.

Upper-Division Electives (15 hours):

Students must complete at least one course in a non-Western Civilization content area and one course in a US-Western Civilization content area at the 3000-4000 level.

Non-Western Civilization courses include the following: HIST 3210, HIST 3220, HIST 3400, HIST 3670, HIST 3880, HIST 4000, HIST 4305, HIST 4335, HIST 4380, HIST 4415, HIST 4462, HIST 4463, HIST 4464, HIST 4465, HIST 4466, HIST 4468, HIST 4492, HIST 4495, HIST 4496, HIST 4510, HIST 4546

US-Western Civilization courses include the following: HIST 3000, HIST 3050, HIST 3110, HIST 3230, HIST 3235, HIST 3240, HIST 3275, HIST 4020, HIST 4050, HIST 4055, HIST 4060, HIST 4075, HIST 4076, HIST 4077, HIST 4100, HIST 4110, HIST 4112, HIST 4113, HIST 4120, HIST 4130, HIST 4140, HIST 4150, HIST 4170, HIST 4174, HIST 4175, HIST 4180, HIST 4195, HIST 4270, HIST 4280, HIST 4290, HIST 4310, HIST 4315, HIST 4320, HIST 4325, HIST 4330, HIST 4340, HIST 4405, HIST 4406, HIST 4410, HIST 4440, HIST 4450, HIST 4460, HIST 4470, HIST 4475, HIST 4480, HIST 4485, HIST 4490, HIST 4505, HIST 4515, HIST 4525, HIST 4530, HIST 4535, HIST 4540, HIST 4545, HIST 4560, HIST 4582, HIST 4585, HIST 4610, HIST 4620, HIST 4665.

Elective: any level (3 hours):

One additional History course at any level

Two required courses (6 hours):

  1. HIST 3020, Historical Methods
  2. HIST 4030, Senior Capstone Seminar


Students must complete three semesters of a single foreign language or the equivalent as determined by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. This requirement may be satisfied by American Sign Language. The final semester of this requirement must be fulfilled with a minimum grade of C.

Undergraduate Minor

The history minor must take at least 18 semester hours of history courses, 9 hours of which must be at the 3000-4000 level. These courses must be taken for letter grades with a minimum earned grade of C. For assistance in tailoring the minor content, contact the department office.

History/Social Studies Education Majors

Through a cooperative agreement with the College of Education, students can now earn concurrent majors or dual degrees in history and secondary education in social studies. Interested students should inquire with the Office of Teacher Education, McWhinnie Hall, room 100.

Graduate Study

The History Department a Master of Arts (MA) degree.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

General Regulations

The Department of History requires 18 hours of undergraduate history courses as minimum preparation for admission. The rules under which the student enters remain those governing the program for the duration of the student's continued enrollment. In accordance with university graduate regulations, students are responsible for meeting all deadlines and for fulfilling all requirements for the degree.

Application and Admissions

To be eligible for financial support in the form of a Graduate Assistantship, the Department of History must receive all materials by February 1. All other application materials must be received by the Department of History no later than May 1. The application process is now completely online. In addition to the application, applicants must upload the following documents via the UW Admissions website (

  1. GRE Scores for the verbal and quantitative portions with a minimum combined score of 291 and a minimum verbal score of 153. The Department of History reserves the right to consider the analytical [writing] score as well.
  2. Three letters of recommendation that assess the student's academic and research abilities. 
  3. Transcripts from all undergraduate institutions and graduate programs.
  4. A writing sample of 10-20 pages, typically either a portion of a senior thesis or an upper-level seminar paper.
  5. A statement of purpose of 250-500 words, explaining the applicant's preparation, interests, and plans. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a graduate assistantship.

Program Specific Graduate Assistantships

When applicants submit their materials to the Department of History, they should indicate their wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship. Anyone receiving financial support must be registered as a full-time (9 hours per semester) student and must be making acceptable progress towards degree completion. Renewal of Graduate Assistantships is contingent on such progress. Support is not given for more than two academic years.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master's Program

Candidates for the MA in history are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of course work with at least 24 hours in history. This will include:

  1. History 5880, History Theory.
  2. 12 hours of history course work in a time/place field of history.
  3. 6 hours of course work in a thematic/comparative field of history.
  4. HIST 5910, Seminar on the History Profession.
  5. Students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign language appropriate to their research. Generally, the language requirement may be met by either of the following options:
    (a) Passing a language exam administered by the Department of History.
    (b) Completing the equivalent of the fourth semester of a language as offered at the University of Wyoming. All courses must be passed with a grade of C or better (may be taken pass/fail). In special cases other relevant historical tools may substitute for the language requirement upon approval of the thesis advisor and the Graduate Coordinator.
  6. In the spring semester of the first year, typically in early February, as scheduled by the Department Chair, the student will publicly defend his/her thesis proposal, which must include a written research prospectus and bibliography.
  7. The student will successfully defend the final thesis draft before the Graduate Committee.

History (HIST) Courses

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