Named for Lyon Gardiner Tyler, the College's seventeenth president, the Department of History's dedicated faculty and distinctive history give it a unique character among public institutions, and create a learning environment that fosters close interaction among students and professors.
The Department of History's faculty members have areas of expertise ranging across the globe, and covering the entire period from the end of the ancient world to the dawn of the twenty-first century. Numerous faculty members have won William & Mary's, Virginia's, and the historical profession's most prestigious awards for teaching, for scholarship, and for general excellence; US World & News Report's 2009 rankings of graduate programs in History named the Department of History's doctoral program in U.S. Colonial History as one of the top four in the country, alongside the University of Pennsylvania's, Yale University's, and Harvard University's.
Undergraduate students pursuing their Bachelor of Arts degree are welcome (and encouraged) to explore the histories of North America, Latin America, South America, of Africa, Asia, and Europe. At the graduate level, the Department of History offers a Ph. D. in American History, as well as Master's Degree Programs in American History and in Comparative History.