Examining the Past to
Understand the Future

Studying history through today's lens

Who We Are


With an unparalleled location in the nation's capital, award-winning faculty and access to some of the most important research repositories in the world, the GW Department of History offers an ideal platform from which to explore our past. Undergraduate and graduate students are exposed to a diversity of topics, from the Africa diaspora to the Cold War, from imperialism to urbanization, from the founding of Islam to Jewish history, from race relations to labor, law and politics. Students graduate with the knowledge and analytical tools necessary for success in a wide range of careers.


Where We Are

the national mall

The Washington, D.C., area offers a front-row seat to history. Students are immersed in their surroundings through trips to museums, battlefields and historical sites including the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Jamestown Settlement, the Gettysburg Battlefield, the Society of the Cincinnati and George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

Through the department's collaborative relationships with institutions throughout the region, students also have extraordinary access to historical documents at the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Security Archive and the Smithsonian Institution.

News and Events


Max Skidelsky

"Thanks to the History Department, I was able to learn fascinating subjects, conduct important research, conference with knowledgeable and attentive professors, and graduate feeling prepared for the future as a historian."

Max Skidelsky
BA '20

 History by the Numbers

100+ students in the major


50+ students in the minor


~40 full-time faculty members


Our Highlights 


Faculty Books

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Leading Change: George Washington and Establishing the Presidency

Denver Brunsman, associate professor of history, details the creation of the executive office by our country’s most influential political leader, George Washington....

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City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York

Tyler Anbinder, professor of history, chronicles the American immigrant story by focusing on New York City as the nation’s defining port of entry for nearly four...

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Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America

David J. Silverman, professor of history, examines the adoption of firearms by American Indians between the 17th and 19th centuries as a turning point in the history...

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Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction

Dane Kennedy explores the historical process of “Decolonization” — the transition from a world of colonial empires to a world of nation-states.