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Discover empathy across time and space. 

The study of the past has the power to foster the compassion, humility, and moral vision that Branson strives to impart on all of its students. Our diverse history courses challenge students to engage with the past critically in order to better understand and affect the world we live in today.

Through a sequenced program of integrated skill-building, students are encouraged to formulate their own questions about the past, analyze primary and secondary sources, conduct research, and apply analytical thinking in projects and papers that consider a variety of perspectives. And after your first two years of survey courses, you will choose from a rich menu of seminar offerings in specific historical themes, regional areas of study, and relevant issues facing the world today.

You will find the history classroom is an open space for discussion, debate, and collaboration. You will engage with concepts and controversies while considering a variety of perspectives and developing a better understanding of yourself and empathy for others. Our classes will provide you with the tools to engage meaningfully in the challenges of the future as members of a global community.

History Requirements

9 units (3 years)

All students take Modern World History in the ninth grade, U.S. History in the tenth grade, and select a minimum of two semester-long seminars during the eleventh and twelfth grade.  

Meet Our History Faculty

Malik Ali

Malik Ali

History Teacher; Varsity Track & Field, Head Coach
Frank Karioris

Frank Karioris

History Teacher
Julie Kuo

Julie Kuo

History Teacher; Summer Session Director
Whitney Livermore

Whitney Livermore

History Teacher, Interim Sophomore Class Dean
Ashton Richards

Ashton Richards

History Teacher
History Teacher
Hilary Schmitt

Hilary Schmitt

History Teacher, History Department Chair

View the Curriculum Guide

Yearlong Courses

  • Modern World History

  • United States History Honors

Fall Semester Courses

  • The Constitution and Its Controversies
  • Freedom in the Bay Area
  • Ethics and Justice 
  • History of American Sports
  • Immigration 
  • Journalism
  • Principles of Economics (Same course as in the Spring)
  • The Post-Colonial World
  • Soviet Union 

Spring Semester Courses

  • American Politics
  • Food: A History
  • History of Hip-Hop
  • Modern East Asia
  • Principles of Economics (Same course as in the Fall) †
  • The Power of Public Opinion
  • Race in America
  • World War II
  • World Religions
  • Modern Latin America

For a complete list of history courses and their descriptions, read the 2021-22 Curriculum Guide