The department, like the university as a whole, combines two models: the liberal arts college, strongly committed to undergraduate education, and the research institution, dedicated to the creation of new knowledge. Small class sizes and the opportunity for individualized instruction mean that students have contact with a distinguished research faculty. We offer students a bachelor of arts degree, as well as a masters and a doctoral degree. In addition, the Lehigh history department offers both undergraduate and graduate students a concentration in public history, designed to provide the skills to make history accessible to the public in settings like museums, historical societies, and other non-profit institutions.
We are proud of the department’s history as the intellectual home of Lawrence Henry Gipson (1880-1971) a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. His legacy at Lehigh University can be found in a continued interest in the scholarship of colonial American and the Atlantic World, and in the Gipson Institute, an active sponsor of scholarship and campus programs on eighteenth-century history. In addition, overlapping clusters of faculty have strong research and teaching interests in the areas of technology, gender, environment, industrialization, cities, and culture.