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 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
General College Requirements
General College Requirements (see Curriculum section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major
- A total of 48 credit hours of history courses, 32 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.
- 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
- At least 8 semester-hours of 200-level history courses, 4 of which MUST be HIST224 Introduction to Historical Methods and Skills.
- Area Studies: At least one course in each of the following areas:
- United States (HIST 200, 310, 311, 317, 371, 375, 392, 408, 415, 419, 425, 430)
- Europe (HIST 268, 272, 274, 321, 328, 329, 330, 334, 339, 342, 343, 345, 380, 381, 382, 384, 385, 386, 390, 393, 435)
- Asia, Africa, Latin America (HIST 206, 253, 280, 314, 351, 352, 354, 355, 360, 361, 369, 378, 379, 383, 394, 401, 455, 461)
- Comparative, Thematic, Global (HIST 219, 276, 324, 336, 357, 396, 400, 405, 432, 475)
- An upper level history course with substantial course content from before the modern era. (HIST 328, 343, 351, 354, 360, 381, 382, 383, 384)
- Cross-listed courses will be assigned to an area studies group by the department chair in consultation with the instructor.
- HIST 395. Theories and Uses of History (4 credits)
Senior Project: This requirement may be satisfied by either option below:
- 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 beginning HIST 494.
- Two 400-level history courses.
Minimum Grade and GPA Requirements
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.
Sequence of Study
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 15-18 page (3750-4500 words) 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 above and one 200-level class.
- Sophomore Year: HIST 224, and 4 credit hours in one of the fields listed in the "area studies" distribution above.
- Junior Year: HIST 395 (or in second semester Sophomore year), 8 upper-level credit hours distributed among the required fields, and 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.
Degree Requirements for the History Minor
General College Requirements
Completion of Core Curriculum requirements.
At least 24 credit 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 four areas of study: the United States; Europe; Asia, Africa, Latin America; and Comparative, Thematic, Global.
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.
Requirements for Teacher Certification
A Master of Arts in Teaching Program is available at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students who are interested in becoming teachers should contact the chair of the Department of Educational Studies or an education adviser in their major field of study for suggested coursework in educational studies, and their specific major. These consultations should take place during the first semester of the sophomore year.
Christine Adams, Adriana Brodsky (department chair), Kenneth Cohen, Garrey Dennie, Charles Holden, Charles D. Musgrove, Gail Savage.