Holocaust and Genocide Studies



The demand for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has grown over the past thirty years. Five states mandate that the subject be taught in the schools, and seven states -- including Pennsylvania -- are recommending inclusion in school curricula. It is expected that more states will institute such requirements. Thus, teachers and librarians are seeking more information and instruction. Furthermore, the end of the 20th century saw an explosion of new scholarship and new perspectives on the Holocaust. This scholarship is reinforced by the desire of survivors and those who lived through World War II to educate future generations and to bear witness to the fact that the Holocaust did happen. 

Subsequent episodes of genocide in the modern world generate a continuing need for education and a demand for teaching resources. As a public, comprehensive university that has been training teachers for more than a century, West Chester University is able to provide excellent scholarly and pedagogical resources to students, teachers, and the community

WCU faculty have been pioneers in Holocaust Studies since 1978 when professor Irene Shur first offered an undergraduate course on the Holocaust. The program now includes a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, a certification program, an undergraduate minor, a regional education center, and a library collection. Students in the MA program take ten courses in disciplines that include history, philosophy, psychology, and language arts, while students in the graduate certificate program and undergraduate minor take six courses. Graduate students are eligible to apply for a number of merit-based scholarships.

Alumni have gone on to do important work across the United States in the field of Holocaust education and human rights advocacy. Students have also entered doctoral programs at the University College of London, Lehigh University, the University of Tennessee, Wayne State University, Arizona State University, and George Mason University. 

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

Holocaust and Genocide Studies Class and Event Schedule for Spring 2022

Undergraduate Courses for the Holocaust Studies Minor Spring 2022 

  • SOC 335 Race and Cultural Minorities  MWF 1:00-1:50pm Valerian DeSousa 
  • PSY 120 Multicultural Psychology W 4:25-7:10pm Ramona Roberts 
  • PSY 120 Multicultural Psychology TTh 2:00-3:15pm Vanessa Johnson 
  • HIS 331 20th Century Europe Th 7:10-9:55pm Jonathan Friedman 
  • PAX 200 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies TTh 11:00-12:15pm David Headman 


Graduate Courses for the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Master or Arts or the Graduate Certificate in Holocaust Studies Spring 2022 

  • HIS 520 History of Racism M 7:10-9:55pm Elizabeth Urban 
  • PHI 599 Philosophy of Freedom T 4:25-7:10pm Matthew Pierlott 
  • PHI 640 Seminar on Hannah Arendt W 4:25-7:10 pm Cassie Striblen 
  • CRJ 505 Criminological Theory T 4:25-7:10pm Chris Przemieniecki 


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