Department of History

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research is a core aspect of the historical discipline, the general tasks, and the mission of an undergraduate history program. All history majors are required to write at least one historiographic essay and a senior thesis. Majors must defend their thesis publicly to department faculty and classmates in the senior seminar. Although in the past Alaskan subjects tended to dominate, students are successfully pursuing research in other areas as well. Recent topics have ranged widely, including historiographic investigations of the gun control debate in America, historical myths surrounding William "Braveheart" Wallace, family narratives about dry-land farming in the Dakotas, the Pilgrim family in Alaska, political reform in Russia in the Duma Era of 1905-14, Old Believer communities in Alaska, and the CIA led coup against Mohammed Mossadeq in Iran.

The department annually supports student attendance at a regional history conference held by Phi Alpha Theta, the national honor society in History. The department and the Office of Public History together have supported between 5 and 12 students (dependent on university support) to attend this conference and present their original research on wide-ranging historical topics.