History Department


SUNY Cortland’s History Department offers two majors, a minor, and a graduate program. Browse our department webpage to explore options. We have a world-class faculty offering classes ranging from Revolutionary America to Ancient Greece; from Medieval Europe to Modern China; from the Spanish Civil War to Native American History; from World Environmental History to Public History; and dozens more. In our history courses, students don't just study the past---they become historians.

Check out these additional resources on why majoring in history brings a lifetime of opportunity, career choice, and excitement:

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Department News

  • We are saddened by the recent death of Dr. Leonard F. Ralston, professor emeritus of history. Dr. Ralston taught in the history department from 1957 to 1987. He is best known on campus for writing Cortland College: An Illustrative History
  • Judith L. Van Buskirk published her latest book, Standing in Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017). Praising her work, Edward Countryman calls Standing in Their Own Light a "thoughtful, deeply researched, well-written book [that] makes a big contribution to understanding the Revolution in its liberating but tragic ambiguity.” 


Students Model European Union in Big Apple

Twelve attended the Model European Union conference held March 30-April 2.

Series to Focus on Africana Diaspora Experience

Films and a lecture by a book author will focus on modern racism.

Brooks Lecture Series Concludes with Maya Culture Talk

Ceramics professor Jeremiah Donovan will discuss Maya Cultural Rediscovery on April 5.

Upcoming Talks to Address Global Issues

A panel will discuss domestic terrorism around the world on March 22.

‘The Secret Path’ Film to Screen March 28

This Native American-themed animated film will be shown on March 28.


The History Club is one of SUNY Cortland’s fastest growing organizations on campus! Its goals are to provide a social setting for developing interests in historical topics and to establish a better relationship between faculty and students.

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