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About the Department of History

The Department of History at Purdue University was established on July 1, 1964, but instruction in History has been offered at Purdue since the 1876-1877 school year when Edward P. Morris, A.B., taught history and Latin. In 1962 the department received authorization to offer the M.A. degree and in 1969, the Ph.D. degree. The 1960s also witnessed the complete remodeling and modernization of University Hall, the home of the department and the only building surviving from the original Purdue campus of the 1870s. Between 1960 and 2008, the department grew to thirty-seven faculty members.

In 1963, the department offered seven undergraduate courses--four Western Civilization and American history surveys and courses on Roman history, the history of science, and the modern Far East from the American perspective.

Today, the department offers more than 135 courses on American Indians, China, Japan, Islam and the Middle East, Latin America, the African American experience, women in European history, Middle Eastern, and United States history, the Holocaust, the Crusades, World War II, the Vietnam War, and many others.

The 34 faculty who teach and conduct research in the department came to Purdue from leading history graduate programs at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin, University of Virginia, Georgetown University, Yale University, Stanford University, Brown University, and Columbia University among others. Purdue's History faculty have published their work with leading university presses including Johns Hopkins, Cambridge, Oxford, California, Chicago, Indiana, North Carolina, Louisiana State, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, and others.