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.


The new digital map will enable visitors to the Barton Heights Cemeteries to locate their position, search gravesites by name, and click on points to see pop-ups displaying information about selected markers.

March 21, 2023

Digital map of Richmond’s Barton Heights Cemeteries to be unveiled

The project by VCU, University of Richmond and community partners will make it far easier for descendants to find graves of family members at the historically African American cemeteries.

VCU's Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and others are hosting numerous events celebrating women's history throughout March. (Getty Images)

March 8, 2023

An overview of upcoming Women’s HerStory events at VCU

Virginia Commonwealth University will observe Women’s HerStory Month with a slate of interesting, informative and fun events throughout March.

Bridget Ferguson interned as an interpreter with the Chesterfield County Office of the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission and the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. (Photo by Kevin Morley, Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

March 6, 2023

Class of 2023: Bridget Ferguson is providing much-needed Spanish interpretation services in the legal system

Ferguson, a student in VCU’s Spanish-English Translation Interpretation Certificate program, says it feels “meaningful and rewarding to be able to put my abilities to use in a way that helps people and helps to maintain the integrity of our legal system.”

History Spotlight


Collaboration and sharing are at the core of our mission.

Randall James Stephens

Sanctified people got more fire: The Pentecostal Roots of Early Rock 'n' Roll

Date: Thursday, Apr 13, 2023

The annual Blake Lecture in the History of Christianity is pleased to present the 2023 lecture, "Sanctified people got more fire: The Pentecostal Roots of Early Rock 'n' Roll," presented by Professor Randall James Stephens of the University of Oslo on April 13.