The department, like the university as a whole, combines two models—the liberal arts college, with a strong commitment to undergraduate education, and the research institution, dedicated to the creation of new knowledge. We seek to integrate these two models to the benefit of undergraduates, graduate students, and the academic community at large. We offer students a Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as a master’s 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.
The study of history contributes to the goals of a liberal arts education by enabling students to gain a deep appreciation of the diversity of human experience over time. Small class sizes and the opportunity for individualized instruction mean that students have contact with a distinguished research faculty. The Department of History encourages students to actively participate in historical inquiry, whether in freshman seminars or graduate-level community-based learning. Faculty in the Lehigh University’s Department of History balance four missions:
- To offer undergraduates a history major;
- To provide a range of service courses for all undergraduates in order that they may fulfill requirements and pursue personal interests;
- To offer graduate students programs at both the MA and PhD level; and
- To contribute new knowledge through research in our fields
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 gender, culture, religion, social movements, globalization, technology and industrialization.