Understand the past to shape the future

Welcome to the Florida State University Department of History, a place to explore and examine the past to cultivate a deeper understanding of the present. Choose from a rich selection of areas and themes and access exceptionally rich historical resources as you pursue your undergraduate or graduate degree in the field.

Who we are

FSU History faculty are committed to excellence in both teaching and research, and our courses and areas of specialty span a wide range including Asian, American, Latin-American, and European history, and gender and sexuality, military history, race and racism, legal history, environmental history, and more. You’ll find topics and resources that spark your curiosity in learning more about humanity’s journey to the present and the histories – told and untold – that help us understand our world.

As a leading history department in the Southeastern U.S., FSU History has a lengthy tradition of scholarly excellence and academic achievement. Our graduates, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, go on to work in public policy, law, museum and public history operations, and education, among many other areas, and they excel at the local, state and national levels

Learn more about the department Learn More About the Department

Department of History

Programs and Institutes

The FSU Department of History offers a variety of programs designed to prepare students with valuable, marketable skills that enable them to succeed in the career of their choosing.

While many people enjoy history simply because it is interesting, there are a number of practical reasons for studying it: Understanding the past helps us live in the present and build the future, and it also helps us understand how political, economic, social, and cultural systems work and the benefits and disadvantages of each. Understanding the ways in which historical experiences have shaped our own lives and outlooks, and those of others, enables us to see why we think the way we do and examine differing experiences in context.

FSU history students receive training and gain experience in analytical thinking, research, problem-solving, communication and presentation, and project management — in-demand skills sought by employers across industries — through coursework and engagement with the department's specialized programs and institutes.

An interview with Mallory McGovern about her Virtual Student Federal Service internship with EducationUSA.

An interview of FSU History alumnus Lee Morrison by Kiri Raber in which he is discussing his experiences in graduate school.

An interview with Megan Groninger, PhD candidate in British history, who is working with Dr. Chuck Upchurch. She is investigating ways in which British women in the early to mid-19th century used motherhood as a site from which to argue for social and political change and how this changes how we view the early women’s movement. In 2021, Megan was the graduate student representative on the executive council of the North American Conference of British Studies (NACBS), the premier academic organization for British studies in the U.S. and Canada.

In this article, Dr. Stephanie Laffer talks about her career since gaining her PhD from FSU History in 2010. Dr. Laffer describes how the different skills, tools, and knowledge gained in the graduate program at FSU have helped her with every facet of her career. Currently she is a customer support training manager for Promethean, an educational technology company.

An interview with Emily Lu and Danielle Wirsansky, PhD students, about the play "Kokonron" that they put on during FSU's School of Theatre's Spring Fringe Festival.