Faculty & Staff

photo of Jonathan Chu

Jonathan M. Chu, PhD

  • Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts
  • Telephone: 617.287.6886
  • Office Location: McCormack Hall 4-629

Areas of Expertise

Professor Chu’s research interests are in American colonial and legal history, and he teaches courses in those areas as well as the American Revolution.


PhD (History) University of Washington
MSL Yale Law School
MA (History) University of Hawaii
BA (American Studies) University of Pennsylvania

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Fall 2015 Office Hours: By appointment

Jonathan Chu was born and raised in Honolulu where he attended the Punahou School. He received his B.A. in American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in History from the University of Hawaii, and a PhD in Early American History from the University of Washington. Coming to the University of Massachusetts, Boston in 1978, he spent the 1982-83 academic year at the Yale Law School where he earned a Master of Studies in Law. At UMass Boston, he teaches courses on Colonial America, the American Revolution, and American Legal History.

Professor Chu has written on a number of subjects ranging from the treatment of dissent in seventeenth-century Massachusetts to the Chinese Exclusion Act. He currently is completing a manuscript on the economic impact of the American Revolution during the period of the Articles of Confederation. He has also published on the teaching of American history in K-12 settings. Additionally, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Antiquarian Society, and the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Outside the university, he has been actively involved in the teaching of American history in schools and various public history activities. A participant in numerous Teaching American History grants, he also has served as chair of the test development committees of the Advanced Placement U.S. History and College Level Equivalent examinations. In June 2013, he will become the Chief Reader of the Advanced Placement History Exam. He also has been recently elected to the Council of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

Professor Chu's CV