Are graduate studies available for this program? No
Can you major in this program? Yes
Can you minor in this program? Yes
Emphasis within the major: U.S. history, ancient and medieval history, modern central and east European history, Islamic and east Asian history, with collaboration in interdisciplinary programs including African, American, Latin-American and Russian Studies
Popular second majors: English, international studies, political science, Russian studies
History students expand their knowledge and understanding of the past and present, and develop research methodologies and verbal and written communication skills.
This fact sheet is also available as a PDF.
History lies at the heart of a liberal arts education. By combining methods of the social sciences with those of the humanities, this discipline seeks to reconstruct the past in order to better understand and gain perspectives on the present.
Students study diverse peoples and cultures and visit times and places both distant and familiar. Follow Harriet Jacobs as she escapes from slavery. Accompany Mohammed on his journey from Mecca to Medina. Read the German Kaiser's letters to his cousin, the Russian Czar. Ask why the United States went to war in Vietnam. Did King Arthur really exist? Who planned the Holocaust?
The history department at Stetson University offers a broad selection of core courses in the history of the United States, ancient and medieval Europe and the Near East, modern central and east European history and Islamic and east Asian history, supported by courses in Latin-American and African history.
What makes the program distinctive?
Every history major is required to take two research-intensive courses emphasizing historiography and methodology at a level that compares with first-year graduate work. The history program is rigorous, with attention paid to close reading of texts, analysis, research, interpretation and presentation. Many of our majors study abroad in locations such as Oxford, Edinburgh, Avignon and Moscow and spend considerable time developing their foreign language skills.
Academics and Research
Each history student is required to engage in independent research. Recent research topics include Romano-Celtic relations in ancient Britain, Mongol rule in Iran, modern Breton/French nationalism, early Soviet courtship of Jewish groups, an examination of how high school history textbooks differ in the treatment of slavery, and the effect of the anti-Vietnam movement on U.S. policy.
Facilities and Opportunities
History is housed in Elizabeth Hall, where a number of classrooms were recently renovated and fully equipped with smart technology. The department offers many great opportunities to students, including a field course to Great Britain every other year to explore the history of ancient Britain and medieval England and its preservation in modern British culture.
Preparation for graduate study
The senior capstone thesis is designed by the student and research advisor, and reflects the student's own personal historical interests. This level of research is so distinctive that Stetson University students are often mistaken for graduate students at regional and national student conferences. Consequently Stetson University students find little difficulty navigating the first year of graduate work.
Awards and Recognition
Members of our faculty include three Fulbright Scholars, one who has received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award from the German government, one who has received a McEniry Prize for Excellence in Teaching and two Hand Research Award recipients. Faculty include:
- Paul J. Croce, Ph.D., Brown University; American politics and culture, political and ideological trends, popular culture, environmental issues, science and religion
- Eric A. Kurlander, Ph.D., Harvard University; Modern German, European and world history, including the history of French and German liberalism, Jewish history, and the Holocaust and the history of the European Occult
- Emily Mieras, Ph.D., College of William and Mary; gender and social reform, college student activism, popular culture, community in contemporary America, youth culture
- Kimberly D. S. Reiter, Ph.D., University of Virginia; ancient and medieval eras, religious movements of the early Roman Empire and Roman Britain, environmental history
- Leander Seah, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Maritime China and maritime Southeast Asia, modern China, modern Japan, migration and diasporas, transnational and world history
- Paul D. Steeves, Ph.D., University of Kansas; Russian history, religion, art and architecture, religions of Russian and former Soviet Union, Russian pacifism (website)
- Margaret L. Venzke, Ph.D., Columbia University; Middle East, Ottoman Empire in the 16th century
One of the ways Stetson University fosters excellence in undergraduate programs is through the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience (S.U.R.E.) program. Each year undergraduate scholars are selected in a university-wide competition for grants to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project.
Undergraduate awards and honors
Annual awards include the Gilbert L. Lycan Outstanding Senior Award in History, the Gilbert L. Lycan Outstanding Junior Award in History, and the John Taylor Rhett Manuscript Award. Students also have the opportunity to join Phi Alpha Theta, a national honor society.
Beyond the Classroom
The department offers internship opportunities at several organizations including the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Colonial Williamsburg, History Channel and the Mitrou Bronze Age excavation site in Greece, from which students have gone on to graduate work in public history and museum studies.
Recent Stetson University history students have gone on to careers in academia and public education, business, government, medicine, politics and public affairs, the FBI, law, librarianship and the museum world. Students have attended Oxford University, University of York and Wake Forest University School of Law, among others.