History is the systematic inquiry into the past in order to deepen understanding of the human experience and to make the present more intelligible. In assessing the unique perspective of the present, historical study focuses on a critical examination of social, economic, political, intellectual, religious, and cultural dimensions of the human experience as perceived at specific times and places.
The History program at HNU offers a variety of current methodologies, including the recent fusion of gender studies with cultural, social, and anthropological history. The major includes area studies of Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin and Central America, Africa, and the United States. Students majoring in History must take five courses from the Latin America, United States, and Multicultural clusters, with at least one from each cluster. There are also three experiential courses to choose from: African American Communities and Experiences, Latino/Hispanic Communities and Experiences, and Asian American Communities and Experiences. The major culminates in a senior seminar in Historiography and Historical Methodology.
Faculty teaching in the History program maintain close contact with their areas of specialization through research experiences in various parts of the world. These experiences are shared with students in small, seminar-type classes which are typical of the classroom situation at HNU.
There are countless careers in which a degree in History would serve as preparation, such as business, government, law, teaching, journalism, archival work, and research. Recent graduates of the HNU history program have been employed by Sumitomo Bank, California Federal Savings and Loan, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and various elementary and secondary schools. Many graduates continue their advanced studies at institutions such as University of California, Berkeley; American University; Georgetown University; the College of William and Mary; Monterey Institute of International Studies; and Hastings Law School.