Why study history?

The study of history begins with questions, not answers. We seek to know what happened in the past, and we also seek to understand why.

As our present-day context raises new challenges for our communities, historians are inspired to ask new questions about the past, seeking understanding of a broad variety of human experiences. Historians explore questions about past politics and economics, intellectual developments, social concerns shaped by race, gender and class, and facets of culture ranging from arts and languages to human spaces and emotions. As a result, the study of history is dynamic, rather than static, and those trained in this discipline develop valuable skills in gathering, evaluating, connecting and interpreting factual information, and in the use of evidence to argue persuasively for their conclusions.

Learn more about what historians do and why employers value these skills.


At the time Paul Henderson started to write his book, he felt as though he was going through a tunnel "and I just didn’t see the end of it." (Tom Kojcsich, University Marketing)

Oct. 3, 2022

Meet-a-Ram: Paul A. Henderson, an educator who wrote a book about perseverance

Henderson, a former track and field athlete at VCU, strives to help students be the best versions of themselves.

4 VCU students standing outside the Byrd Theatre for the movie

Sept. 19, 2022

History in Movies: Why Matt Damon’s hair matters

VCU history student Nyah Graham recaps the key lessons of our recent event, History at the Movies: The Last Duel.

Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015. (Joel Rouse/ Ministry of Defence)

Sept. 12, 2022

Historian reflects on Queen Elizabeth II and the longest reign in the British monarchy

Brooke Newman discusses how the world changed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and what King Charles III’s reign might look like.



Collaboration and sharing are at the core of our mission.

Victor Narro

The Journey from VCU to Los Angeles: Immigrant Rights and Activism

Date: Thursday, Oct 6, 2022

The School of World Studies presents a discussion CHS / history alum, Victor Narro, J.D., a nationally known expert on immigrant rights and low-wage workers.