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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 Department of History encourages students to:

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, economic, etc.).

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.