Seminars & Events

Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference

On March 29 at George Washington University, four Saint Mary's students will present their research at the Phi Alpha Theta Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. The history department wishes them the best of luck.

Program Highlight

Historic St. Mary's City

The Colonial History Concentration takes advantage of our special relationship with Historic St. Mary’s City, the first capital of Maryland and a colonial archeological site, research facility, and museum.


SMP Spotlight

Lawrence MacCurtain, "Rhapsody in Red: Classical Music and American Wartime Perceptions of the Soviet Union," 2011.  

"My SMP experience was both challenging and rewarding.  While considering the role of Russian classical music in shaping popular American perceptions of the USSR during WWII, I had the opportunity to conduct exciting research.  I was able to discover unique primary sources at the archives of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Bobst Library at NYU.  Ultimately, my historical findings were surprising and provocative." 


Program Overview

2013-2014 Course Catalog 

The discipline of history is at the core of a liberal arts education, illuminating the ideas, institutions, and sentiments by which people have attempted to order their world. The St. Mary’s College History Department exposes students to the richness and diversity of human history over time and in different geographic regions. In the course of their studies, students will develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their culture, and humanity in general. To broaden their knowledge, students are expected to take a range of courses in American, European, Asian, African, Latin American, and ancient history. In addition, our classes span the centuries, from the earliest history to the modern day and are based on diverse methodologies, including political, social, intellectual, and cultural history. Students also enjoy opportunities to gain hands-on experience in colonial history, archeology, and museum studies at Historic St. Mary’s City, which is affiliated with the College. The practice of history relies heavily on critical reading and many forms of analytical and narrative writing. Carrying out historical research and reporting their discoveries both in written form and orally, students develop their ability to listen and think critically and to communicate effectively. Students will also learn to think historically and to appreciate the contested nature, limits, and possibilities of historical knowledge as they explore the ways in which historians have interpreted the past. The study of history at St. Mary’s College thus lays a sound foundation for the future pursuit of a wide range of careers, including law, public policy, foreign service, library science, public history, academia, journalism, and international business.

Degree Requirements for the History Major

To earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in history, a student must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

1. General College Requirements.

2. A total of 48 semester-hours of history courses, 36 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.

3. 4 semester-hours from one of the following courses:
HIST 104, Historical Foundations of the Modern World to 1450
HIST 105, Western Civilization
HIST 108, History of the Modern World

4. 8 semester-hours of 200-level history courses.

5. Area Studies: At least 4 semester-hours in each of the following areas:
a. United States (HIST 200, 219, 310, 311, 316, 317, 319, 371, 375, 392, 415, 419, 431)
b. Europe (HIST 268, 272, 274, 321, 328, 329, 334, 342, 343, 345, 381, 382, 384, 385, 386, 390, 393, 435, 447)
c. Asia, Africa, Latin America (HIST 206, 253, 280, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 360, 361, 369, 378, 379, 383, 394, 401, 455, 461)
d. Comparative, Thematic, Global (HIST 264, 276, 324, 336, 396, 400, 432, 475)
Cross-listed courses will be assigned to an area studies group by the department chair in consultation with the instructor.

6. At least 4 semester-hours of an upper-level history course with substantial course content from before the modern era.
Such courses include HIST 328, 343, 351, 354, 360, 381, 382, 383, 384.

7. HIST 395, Theories and Uses of History

8. Senior Project: This requirement may be satisfied by either (a) or (b) below:
a. HIST 493/494, St. Mary’s Project in History (8 credits). Students choosing to do a St. Mary’s Project must take at least one 400-level history class - in addition to HIST 493 - prior to enrolling in HIST 494. Students may do a St. Mary’s Project in another department, provided that the project topic is related in content and methodology to the discipline of history.
b. Two 400-level history courses.

9. A grade of C- or better must be received in each course of the major and the cumulative grade-point-average of courses used to satisfy the major must be at least 2.0.

The student will plan a program with an adviser to make a meaningful combination of courses. In their final two years, students should seek a balance between 300-level classes and 400-level classes, the latter of which include a 15-page research paper as part of the course requirements. The following model is suggested as a possible basic program in the major to satisfy the above stipulations:

First Year:

One 100-level class listed under 3 above and one 200-level class.

Sophomore Year:

One 200-level class and 8 semester-hours in two of the fields listed in 5 above.

Junior Year:

HIST 395 in the second semester and 8 semester-hours distributed among the required fields, including at least one 400-level class.

Senior Year:

Either HIST 493/494 and two additional upper-level electives or two 400-level classes and two additional upper-level electives.

 Transfer and AP Credits  

History courses transferred from other colleges generally transfer as lower division electives. A score of 4 or 5 in AP World History, AP European History, and AP U.S. History transfer as HIST 104, HIST 105, and HIST 200, respectively. 

Degree Requirements for the Minor

To earn a minor in history, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

1.  Completion of General Education Curriculum requirements.

2.  At least 24 semester-hours in history, 16 of which must be taken at the 300 or 400 level. At least one of those classes must be a 400-level class. History courses should be drawn from at least two of the six areas of study: the United States; Europe; Asia; Africa; Latin America; and Comparative, Thematic, Global.

3.  A grade of C- or better must be received in each course of the minor and the cumulative grade-point-average of courses used to satisfy the minor must be at least 2.0.