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Department of History
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Rarick Hall 344
Phone: 785-628-4248
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Bring History to Life: Hands-On Learning in History

Think that history is only discovered in textbooks? Think again. Pursuing a History degree or certificate at Fort Hays State University requires not only theoretical, classroom exploration but also real-world discovery. That’s why the Department of History has so many experiential, hands-on learning opportunities for students of History.

Whether you go on field trips, conduct research with a faculty member or take on a summer or semester-long internship, discover how you can put the study of history into practice.

The FHSU History program offers the experience of the "real world" before entering the work force full time. With committed faculty members to assist you in networking and finding a position, you can spend valuable time within your field of study while making connections in a field that interests you.

Work at a museum, historical society or other organization related to your field of study, gain hands-on experience and make valuable contacts to give you an advantage when applying for graduate school or that first position after college.

FHSU Internship Programs:

For more information on the Internship Program and the application process, contact Juti Winchester, internship coordinator. For other internship opportunities not affiliated with the Department of History, please explore FHSU's Career Services Internship Resources.

Study Abroad
Are you interested in the history of a particular country or region? Add incredible depth to your degree program by taking a summer, semester or even a year to engross yourself in the culture and history of a different part of the world. Visit the Study Abroad Office to learn more!

Field Trips
Students in FHSU History courses often take trips to historical sites, museums, and archives in the region and out of state. These trips give students the opportunity to see history in practice, meet with successful professionals in the field, and explore a variety of career options. Recent trips include:

  • Students were invited to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum and for a behind the scenes tour of the museum and archive.
  • Museum Studies students went to the Cosmosphere (Hutchinson, KS) to evaluate their exhibits.
  • Public History students went to Wichita to attend an informal meeting of Midwest Public History professionals.
  • Students frequently interact with Don Westfall, Director of the Ellis County Historical Society and Patty Nicholas, Forsyth Special Collections.

Undergraduate Research
The Department of History supports the independent research of undergraduates. Original archival research will strengthen your organizational, analytical and writing skills; plus it’s fun to learn new things about a historical site, person or event. If you’re interested in working on one of the ongoing research projects, please contact Kim Perez. Examples of undergraduate research include:

  • Dr. Winchester taught a research course called “Researching the Buffalo Hunters.” Students conducted research for the final report of the Kansas Archeology Training Program Field School investigation of Billy Dixon’s Whiskey Ranch. The Kansas State Historical Society sponsored the dig and the student research will significantly figure into their report.
  • Dr. Perez taught a course on Local History. Students worked with a local group, the Hays Neighbors, to research a historical faculty neighborhood just east of campus. The research that the students did will assist in the local group’s effort to preserve the neighborhood.
  • Dr. Perez taught a course in Community Public History: Researching the History of Downtown Businesses. Students researched a historic site/business in downtown Hays. Their research was used for a project sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council on the History of the Businesses in the Chestnut Street District.

Service Learning
Through unique, service-learning partnerships, the FHSU Department of History provides research for a number of community agencies. As historians-in-training, our students hone research skills that benefit local organizations. Among our partners are the Downtown Hays Development Corporation, the Ellis County Historical Society, the Hays Neighbors, and the Chestnut Street District. For more information about Service Learning courses or opportunities, contact Kim Perez.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)
If you are a graduate student, why not work within your field? Graduate teaching positions are available each semester to those who qualify. Receive experience working under a faculty member and get paid at the same time!

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