About the Department

The History Department offers programs of study for undergraduates pursuing their AB and graduates working towards their PhD.

While history has always been an important component of educating Harvard students, it was not a department, in its own right, until 1839.  For the first 200 years, Harvard University taught the events of the past through courses in classics, philosophy, politics, and economics.

It was not until the nineteenth century that there was an idea of history as being a distinct field of study within academia.  Even after the codification of the history department at Harvard, our students and faculty still drew upon the courses and resources within other departments, a tradition that still exists to this day.  Many of our current faculty members share appointments with other departments on campus and are involved in interdisciplinary collaborations with committees, programs and institutions both at Harvard and around the world.