Department of History
History lies at the heart of the liberal arts education. By combining the methods of the social sciences with those of the humanities, our major seeks to reconstruct the past in order to better understand the present. Courses study diverse peoples and societies from global and interdisciplinary perspectives, visiting times and places both distant and familiar. Accompany Mohammed on his journey from Mecca to Medina. Follow Harriet Jacobs as she escapes from slavery. Read the German Kaiser’s letters to his cousin, the Russian Czar. Ask why Rome fell? Why did Japan bomb Pearl Harbor? Did King Arthur really exist? Who planned the Holocaust? Why are there so many violent drug cartels in Mexico? History students attempt to answer these questions by analyzing a diverse array of primary and secondary sources drawn from politics, economics, and sociology; art, literature, and film; religion, philosophy, and psychology; and the natural sciences and environmental studies. Our students also apply an interdisciplinary lens drawn from the Department’s commitment to Africana Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, and Stetson’s Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (SPREES). Indeed, we seek to develop a breadth of understanding regarding world cultures, societies, and peoples, produce in-depth research projects, and enhance their communication and critical thinking skills through writing and discussion-intensive classes. Given this rigorous, interdisciplinary preparation, it is hardly surprising that many American presidents, Supreme Court justices, business leaders, educators, and journalists have been majors in History. Students who major in History continue to perform near the top of all majors nationally on admissions exams to law and business schools.
The History Department offers a Bachelor of Arts in History (History Major), a Bachelor of Arts in History (History Major) with a Public History Concentration, and a History Minor. The Public History Concentration is particularly useful for students who want to work in government, museums, libraries, archives, documentary films, or consulting.