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
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.
Department of History
News and Features
This is an interview with Danielle Wirsansky about her contributions to “The Sum of Many Spaces: Landscape Photography and the Sense of Self,” an exhibition currently at Dirac Science Library on Florida State University’s Tallahassee Campus. Danielle’s photography will be exhibited in Dirac alongside the works of other photographers for the remainder of the spring semester. If you are interested in seeing the exhibition- just visit the entry floor of Dirac and walk straight ahead!
#SeniorSeminar: Cassandra & “’L’état c’est moi ?” Enlightened Absolutism and the Maupeou Reforms of 1771”
Hi, I am Cassandra, and I recently graduated from FSU's Department of History. In this project, I explore the connections between a series of government reforms occurring near the end of the reign of King Louis XV and enlightened absolutism. I spent the summer of 2022 studying in Paris and loved seeing all of the history in the city for myself. I chose Dr. Cathy McClive's senior seminar on Claudine Rouge’s disappearance in 18th century France because it would give me a chance to explore more complex themes in early modern French history, which is one of my favorite time periods in history.
The HGSA was founded in 1997 and has been a part of graduate student life in the History Department ever since. Here we speak with Rhiannon Turgel-Ethier, the current president, and Dragana Zikovic, the communications officer, about their dissertation research and their involvement with the HGSA.