The human story 

Become well versed in the human experience studying History through time, space and analysis. As a major or minor you’ll have opportunities to cover different periods, subjects and areas of interest. You'll learn to understand what humanity is by investigating what humanity has done and be poised to tackle emerging world challenges from a place of knowledge.

Student SpotlightZachary Gleit '23

majors: history, English
minor: French 

 "Since coming to HWS, my general love of history has been refined to discussions of law and the mechanisms through which disparate cultures interact with each other. The ocean and all things maritime have a particular hold on me, being the most prominent conduit of international exchange. Professor Crow has really helped me foster these interests. His seminar "Ocean, Law, and Empire: Research in Oceanic History" allowed me to delve deep into the narrow space I care most about. I am hoping to go to law school after I graduate, a choice influenced by the History department." 


Honors and Research

And Research

History students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in their chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty member.

Recent examples of Honors projects include:

  • Walker Anderson ’21: An Examination of the Role of Clergy Spouses in Two Churches in the Finger Lakes
    Janette Gayle, Adviser
  • Brandon Dean Bistodeau ’19: The Naturalization of Profit Maximizing Capitalism
    Matthew Kadane, Adviser
  • William J. Cost ’18: A Glorious Martyrdom: Elijah Lovejoy and the Evangelical Mind
    Matthew Crow, Adviser


Experiential EducationGrasp the Past toEnvision the Future

Through the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, meet alums who have graduated with degrees in history or attend guest lectures on Latin American feminism hosted by the Fisher Center for Gender and Justice. 

At Hobart and William Smith , learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.


No Borders:Global Education

Study American imperialism in Vietnam or historical religious perceptions in the Czech Republic.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.


Czech Republic


Discover the roots, people, questions and legacies created by our past and explore their connection to contemporary life.

HIST 112 – Soccer: Around the World with the Beautiful Game 

Discover the sport’s industrial roots, its dissemination around the world and the sometimes hopeful, oftentimes violent and always controversial nature of the beautiful game's rich past.

HIST 202 – japan since 1868 

Survey the formation and development of Japanese state and society from the proclamation of the Meiji state to the present.

HIST 317 – Women’s Rights Movements in the U.S. 

Examine the creation and development of women's rights movements in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Alum Impact

Josh Hylkema '21
master's in diplomacy and global governance at the brussels school of governance 

Major: History
Minors: Music; Entrepreneurial Studies 

"It is so fulfilling to be able to say, upon graduating, that I picked the perfect college for myself. Throughout my four years I've been able to create a second family that includes HWS students, faculty and staff. HWS has provided me with so many opportunities that as a first-generation college student I never knew were possible. I've been able to learn abroad in five different countries through four different programs, complete two legal internships, engage with many amazing communities, and challenge myself academically. All of which have given me the necessary experience for my life after HWS and the confidence to pursue a master’s degree in Brussels, Belgium."

Companies That Employ Our graduates

  • Bank of America
  • Belltower Books
  • Brown, Gavalas & Fromm LLP
  • CBS News
  • Connecticut Science Center
  • Citibank
  • Corporate Executive Board
  • DeWitt Stern Group
  • Discovery Communications
  • Fidelity Investments Brokerage Group
  • German Marshall Fund of the U.S.
  • HSBC Bank USA
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Museum of Our National Heritage
  • National Public Radio
  • Nova Group
  • Peace Corps
  • Rochester Business Journal
  • Barnabas House
  • UBS Financial Services
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • The Washington Times

universities where our graduates are studying

  • Boston College
  • Cornell University
  • Heidelberg University
  • Montana State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Stanford University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University of California
  • University of Chicago Law School
  • Washington University in St. Louis