Dec 01, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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212 Minné Hall
History website
Matthew Lindaman, Chairperson; email:
Department email:


Juandrea Bates, Assistant Professor; BA, State University of New York-Oneonta; MA, University of Texas-Austin; PhD, University of Texas; 2015 -
John Campbell
, Professor; BA, Wesleyan University; MA, PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; 1996 -
Erik A Heinrichs, Assistant Professor; BA, Marquette University; AM, PhD, Harvard University; 2013 -
Colette A. Hyman, Professor; BA, Brown University; MA, PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; 1990 -
Matthew Lindaman, Professor; BA, MA, University of Northern Iowa; PhD, University of Kansas; 2002 -
Matthew Lungerhausen, Associate Professor; BA, University of California-Santa Cruz; MA, Binghamton University SUNY; PhD, University of Minnesota; 2004 -
Gregory Richard, Associate Professor; BA, MA, University of Louisiana at Lafayette; JD, BCL, Louisiana State University; PhD, University of Mississippi; 2013 -
Gregory G. Schmidt
, Professor; BA, MA, PhD, University of Illinois-Urbana; 1984 -
Tomas Tolvaisas, Associate Professor; BA, Wake Forest University; MA, Purdue University; PhD, Rutgers University; 2007 -

Degrees and Programs

The History Department offers a BA major and a BA minor in history. In addition, the department administers the BS Paralegal Program, advises pre-law students, and directs the Law and Society Program. The department also coordinates the Social Science/History Program for secondary-level social studies teachers.

History Program

History programs enable students to study diverse societies and cultures while enhancing their abilities to read critically, think clearly, and write effectively. Both the major and minor programs require students to take courses in the histories of Europe and the United States and to select among courses in the histories of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Majors and minors take courses at both the introductory and advanced levels, as well as the course in Historical Research Methods and Historiography, which instructs them in methods of historical research, interpretation and writing. As a capstone experience, majors complete their course of study in a two-course Senior Seminar sequence, which requires them to produce an original research project (a Senior Thesis) and enables them to practice, reinforce and expand upon what they learned in the program. History programs, providing a broad range of academic experiences, enhance students’ intellectual skills and understanding of the present, while promoting informed citizenship in a rapidly changing world.

History programs provide reliable preparation for any career prizing analytical ability, clear thinking, and strong communication skills. The programs also form a solid basis for graduate study in law, history, and other liberal arts fields. The department strongly recommends study of foreign languages to students who are interested in studying history at the graduate level.

Paralegal Program

The Paralegal program enables students to develop both intellectual and professional skills in the law. It is designed to meet the needs of students wishing to enter a career that demands knowledge and experience with legal systems and institutions. This includes careers working for law firms, government agencies, insurance companies, banking institutions, and more. It also serves as an excellent preparation for law school.

The program is an interdisciplinary program within the College of Liberal Arts that develops skills in legal research; writing and investigation; and a deeper understanding of the substance, politics and history of the law. The American Bar Association approves the WSU Paralegal Program. For more information see the Legal Studies (LGLS) - BS Major .

Secondary-Level Social Studies and History Teaching

Students interested in teaching history at the high school and middle level need to complete a broad field program in history and the social sciences in preparation for licensure as a “social studies” teacher. There is no license in Minnesota for teaching history only. The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB), not Winona State University, defines the scope of teaching licenses. For the broad field program for social studies teachers, Social Science - History Teaching (SSHT) - BT Major . The education component of the program, called the Professional Education Sequence, is described in the Teacher Education Licensure Programs  section of this catalog.

Law and Society Program

The Law and Society Program is an interdisciplinary major that enables students to study law and legal culture from many different disciplinary, conceptual, historical, theoretical, and empirical perspectives. For more information see the Legal Studies - Law & Society (LAWS) - BA Major .

Department Scholarships and Awards

The History Department offers four scholarships each year. Contact the department office for further information.

  • Junior and senior history majors with a strong interest in historical research may apply for the Jederman Scholarship established in the memory of Frederick A. Jederman who taught history at WSU from 1924 to 1964.
  • Junior history majors may apply for the Norman and Clare Sobiesk Scholarship, honoring Dr. Norman Sobiesk, who taught history at WSU from 1970 to 2005.
  • History and paralegal majors are eligible for the Marvin and Muriel Palecek Scholarship, honoring Dr. Marvin Palecek, who taught history at WSU from 1964 to 1985.
  • Paralegal students may apply for the Association of Paralegal Students Alumni Scholarship established by graduates of the Paralegal Program. 

Museum Internship Opportunities

The department offers for-credit internship opportunities in the Winona County Historical Society Museum and other historical museums for students interested in exploring careers in the field of public history. Contact the department office for further information.

Program Results and Assessment

The department believes that the history major should produce the following educational results for students:


  • Enhance students’ ability to critically read and evaluate historical scholarship.
  • Develop students’ ability to understand the main lines of historiographic debate concerning a topic and frame new questions.
  • Develop students’ ability to engage in historical research focused on primary sources.
  • Develop students’ ability to express their ideas clearly in written form.
  • Develop students’ ability to express their ideas in oral presentations.
  • Develop students’ capacity for independent, critical thought.
  • Develop in students the understanding that history is actually an ongoing interpretive debate and not a series of short answers.
  • Provide training that is sufficiently rigorous to permit qualified and motivated students to succeed in graduate programs in history.


  • Develop students’ understanding of both long-term trends and discrete events in the history of the United States, Europe, and at least two other cultural groups.
  • Develop students’ ability to consider the past in terms of both change and continuity.
  • Develop students’ ability to identify and explain change over time.
  • Develop students’ understanding of the ways in which change affects different groups in different ways.


  • Enhance students’ ability to use the skills promoted by the history program in their life and career plans.
  • Enhance students’ toleration of diverse peoples and cultures.
  • Enhance students’ ability to act as responsible citizens who make informed, reasoned judgments.
  • Develop students’ commitment to a life-long search for learning and truth.
  • Promote among students a collaborative work and learning ethic.

The department has adopted a plan to use samples of student work to assess the program’s effectiveness and need for change.

Additional Requirements

Coursework below a C grade in 300/400-level courses does not count toward completion of the history major or minor program.

Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Courses

No history course can be taken on a P/NC basis, with the exceptions of internships and institutes.

Transfer Student

For the BA history major, transfer students must complete at least 18 credits of WSU history coursework in addition to the Senior Seminar. Transfer coursework completed on a P/NC basis is not accepted for the WSU history major or minor. Transfer students who wish to complete the BA history minor must complete at least 12 credits in WSU history coursework.

General Education Intensive Requirements

Students may use intensive courses to satisfy both General Education Program (GEP)  and major requirements. Intensive courses will usually be in the student’s major or minor program. The following are offered as GEP intensive courses in the History Department:


Oral (◎)
Math/Critical Analysis (◆)
Writing (△)

Intensive courses that can be used to satisfy major/minor requirements are identified in the lists of required courses and electives.


    Bachelor of ArtsMinor

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