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History Major

Let the past be illuminated and the present better understood as you study human history.

Gain perspectives of time and place as you examine the complexities of our human history and experience. Grounded in a disciplined study of the past, you will be well-equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century. History majors and minors take courses on histories from around the world, as well as a field specialization in one region or theme. History students develop sharp reading, writing and research skills, preparing them for advanced graduate study or careers in education, public affairs, law, business and more.

Heart of the Liberal Arts
Preparation for Possibility
Chu History Class.jpg
In class with professor Pey-Yi Chu
In class with Professor Ken Wolf
In class with Professor Ken Wolf
In class with Professor April Mayes
In class with Professor April Mayes

What You’ll Study

    • Five courses in a field of specialization
    • Three courses drawn from western and non-western fields
    • A course on any period before 1800
    • Senior thesis
In addition to funding from the summer research program, the History Department offers four other grant sources for students.

Student Projects

Jolo Labio

Documenting the History of Chicanx and Latinx Alumni

Jolo Labio ’20 is conducting oral interviews with Chicanx and Latinx-identifying alumni for Professor Tomas Summers Sandoval’s Latinx Oral Histories course. The project will be showcased in an exhibit celebrating 50 years of Chicanx-Latinx studies at The Claremont Colleges.

Valery Otieno

First World Festival of Black Arts

Valery Atieno Otieno ’20 researched cultural propaganda from Europe and the United States to Africa by looking at the ways in which culture was weaponized in the First World Festival of Black Arts that took place in Dakar, Senegal in 1966.

Alison Choi '19 working on her student project

Tracing the History of Korean Business Owners from South Korea to the American South

Against the backdrop of 20th century U.S. imperialism in South Korea, Alison Choi ’19 is tracing the movement of Koreans who settle in the American South and begin small businesses, specifically in the Black hair and cosmetics industry.

Natalie McDonald ’19

Middle Eastern, Caribbean and Indian Women’s service in the British Army

In London for the summer of 2018, Natalie McDonald ’19 will be looking at diaries, memoirs and oral history of Middle Eastern, Caribbean and Indian women who served in the British army during the Second World War.

Gabby Lupola (center) with Chamorro scholars Alfred Flores and Keith Camacho

The Pacific and its Native Peoples

Gabby Lupola ’21 (center) with Chamorro scholars Harvey Mudd College Professor Alfred Flores and UCLA Professor Keith Camacho. Lupola researches the Pacific and its Native peoples in connection to issues of settler colonialism, indigeneity, military-industrial complex, the environment, intermarriage, language and cultural renewal.

Alison Choi '19
Alison Choi '19

The history program at Pomona has taught me how to formulate my own critical arguments, communicate them through writing and speech, and listen critically to my peers who agree, challenge, and build upon the ideas I share. Taking history at Pomona is as much about intellectual curiosity as it is about personal responsibility to learn about histories of oppression and resistance. History at Pomona is a space where I learn why accountability and political education is important, and it is an opportunity for me to learn about the resistance of my own genealogies, from Pomona student activists to women of color movements in the U.S.

Faculty & Teaching

The history faculty represents a broad swath of expertise, across time periods, movements, cultures and continents. Their nuanced knowledge of the past and the close mentorship they offer will make a lasting impact on your worldview. 

Professor Tomás Summers Sandoval

I think history is the backbone of the liberal arts. We study the past not just to better understand what happened ‘then’ but to better understand our present world and ourselves. Our diversity is a big part of that. We're a diverse faculty with diverse experiences and interests. That’s how we nurture the critical global perspective students need for life in the 21st century.