The study of history at RIT promotes inquiry into the origins,
character, and significance of various stages in human history,
throughout the ages and across the globe. In addition, students
learn the methodologies that historians use in studying the
past, present, and future as interrelated parts of a time
continuum. Specifically, the History Department encourages
• acquire a framework of knowledge
that reflects the multiple dimensions of human experience.
Students learn to take broad perspectives on their own culture
and the cultures of others; on events, ideas, and material
artifacts; on the lives of individuals (ordinary as well as
extraordinary); and on major historical trends (social, political,
• gain proficiency in the discipline
of historical thinking. Students learn how to keep their bearings
in time, place, and historical circumstance; they learn how
to select, read and evaluate an array of historical sources.
• formulate their own interpretations
of historical events on the basis of various primary and secondary
sources. Students learn how to compose and communicate their
findings, through written and oral presentations.
• approach history from a global
perspective. Students learn how to make comparisons and draw
contrasts; they learn how to appreciate cultural differences
and notable human achievements as contributions to human development.
The History Department prepares RIT students
to succeed in their professional careers. The skills they
acquire in their history courses – broad perspectives
on human experience, critical appraisal of sources, effective
expression of ideas, and identification of comparisons and
contrasts – are essential in a wide range of professions,
including business, education, journalism, law, politics,
government, and public service. Cultivating these skills also
prepares each student for a lifetime of meaningful contributions
as a citizen of local, national, and world communities.