Western Michigan University
Dept. of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5334
North America, Europe, ethnohistory, medieval, public
The Department of History at Western Michigan University offers students a rich intellectual environment, with approximately 26 dedicated faculty members and numerous opportunities for research and professional development. Over 50 graduate students currently study, teach, and conduct research in the Department of History. Department of History faculty members teach and research in diverse geographical, chronological, and thematic subject areas covering four continents, while supporting specialized and interdisciplinary graduate programs and areas of emphasis that address the interests of individual students. The department has broad strengths in North America, Europe, and the pre-1800 world, with a particular focus in medieval history. We offer distinct certificate and degree programs in Monastic Studies, Ethnohistory, and Public History. Graduate students' programs of study can also draw upon History faculty members' thematic specializations and methodological approaches in American Studies, environment, gender, memory, popular culture, transnationalism, visual and material culture, and urban history, among others.
Special Programs or Resources
The Cistercian Studies collection housed in the University Library consists of medieval manuscripts, incunabula and scholarly books on the Cistercian monastic tradition. The combination of these focused materials, on permanent loan, and the University's own extensive book and journal holdings in medieval studies, form a rich and extensive collection. Graduate students are allowed access to both manuscripts and facsimiles as part of their training in paleography, codicology, textual, monastic, and historical studies.
The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University coordinates an interdisciplinary medieval studies concentration which draws heavily on Department of History scholars, as well as upon those from the departments English, Spanish, etc., to offer medievalist students a unique and rich array of courses from which to draw upon as they pursue their research interests. The Institute also sponsors the International Congress on Medieval Studies. At this annual meeting held in May of each year, approximately 3,000 scholars from Europe, North America, and beyond come together to discuss their research in the history, theology, liturgy, manuscript tradition, economics, art and archaeology of medieval Europe. WMU graduate students are able to present the results of their research at this congress and attend sessions by scholars from around the world.
The library's Archives & Regional History Collections houses over 20,000 linear feet of historical University, regional, and local government records. Among its collections is the French Michilimackinac Research Project collection, one of the most extensive collections of microfilmed materials relating to the French presence in North America to 1783. These materials, on permanent loan from Mackinac State Historic Parks, can be read in the reading room. The materials were collected from the national archives of Canada and France, and from other repositories in the United States and Canada.
The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph, Michigan, partners with the department's Public History Program to offer internships and provide field experiences. The holder of the Frederick S. Upton Fellowship in Public History is assigned to work 20 hours a week at the HMCC and receives an M.A or Ph.D. fellowship plus travel and research funding.
The Department of History offers Graduate Assistantships and Doctoral Associateships to approximately thirty students. Total compensation in salary, stipend and tuition remission ranges between approximately $15,800-21,900 (M.A.) and $25,400-$34,800 (Ph.D.) annually, depending on circumstances. Funding is for four years, with a possibility of a fifth year of support, for Ph.D. students and for two years for thesis option M.A. students. Funded M.A. students serve as teaching and research assistants. Funded Ph.D. students generally teach their own courses after their first year of coursework. Several WMU fellowships are available to graduate students through the Graduate College, including the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship and the Martin Luther King/Cesar Chávez/Rosa Parks Future Faculty Fellowship. The King/Chavez/Parks fellowships are offered to U.S. students from historically underrepresented groups with regular admission to a doctoral program who wish to pursue a full-time teaching career in post-secondary education in Michigan or Illinois. The Graduate College offers travel and research support which is augmented from the department's various endowments.
45 hours post-M.A., including 12-18 hours of Dissertation Credit; Comprehensive Examination required.
Information from Department of Education
(Includes information on the size, location, and general characteristics of faculty and student body)
Information from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
(Includes rating of the institution's rating of the graduate instructional program and size and setting)
Full-time Faculty: 27
Relative Size based on Number of Full-time Faculty: Medium [Explain]
Student Demographics (Fall 2011):
Number of Doctoral Students in Program: 18
New Doctoral Students Entering Program: 18
Proportion of Doctoral Students Receiving Financial Aid: 72%
Number of Graduate Students Enrolled: 61
Relative Size Based on Graduate Student Enrollment: Medium [Explain]
First PhD conferred: 1997
History PhDs conferred to Date: 28
Number of PhDs Conferred (2011–12): 2
Relative Size Based on PhDs Conferred: Small [Explain]
Last Updated: October 19, 2012