Develop a keen appreciation for the wisdom of the past and its relationship to the present.
About the Major
The Department of History provides opportunities for students to study the wisdom the past affords and learn skills in critical thinking, effective communication and responsible citizenship that can be applied to present-day academic and professional pursuits. The curriculum fully engages students in historical inquiry, where they compare methods and perspectives and examine specific historical problems. Courses range in scope from ancient to modern, including the history of the New South. Students will be able to communicate a detailed knowledge of specific pre-modern European, modern European and American historical eras and fields. They also earn proficiency in historical methodology and both written and oral historical argumentation. Historians think and write clearly, organize and interpret evidence, and confront complex issues in informed, insightful, and ethically alert ways, all of which are excellent preparation for leadership and for a great variety of callings.
A major in History consists of 33 hours. Majors must take an upper level course in each of the three areas: Pre-Modern Europe, Modern Europe, and U.S. history.
About the Minor
A minor in History consists of five courses, three of which must be from the upper division of courses offered.
Secondary Teacher Certification Program in History
Teacher certification in history (6-12) is available to history majors.
History majors may attain Departmental Honors by earning a grade of B+ or better in the Research Seminar in History course and by attaining a grade point average of 3.75 in history courses and 3.5 overall.
History students are eligible for membership in Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. The Department and the Mercer Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta hosted the 2011 Georgia Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference and hosts regular events on the Mercer campus.
Outreach and Engaged Learning
History majors have the opportunity to study abroad for course credit. Students have participated in historical archaeology in St. Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands and studied "Art, Religion, and Revolution" in Colonial Quito, Ecuador.
Other opportunities include:
- Annual Lamar Lectures on Southern History and Culture featuring one of the nation's leading scholars.
- Internships at local and regional historic sites, attractions, preservation initiatives, archaeology projects and more.
- Presentations at both BEAR Day and at regional and national history conferences, as far away as California, Oregon, and Hawaii.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Research starts early for undergraduates by crafting a conference-length paper of original historical research. Upper level students have opportunities for research-oriented internships on a topic of local or regional historical interest. During the senior year, students craft an article-length paper of original historical research.
In the Classroom
With an average number of 15 students per classroom, the History Department develops personal relationships with students in and out of the classroom. It also has an "open door" policy that encourages further discussion with professors outside of the classroom. Opportunities for student and faculty include:
- Faculty-hosted fall dinner for majors and minors
- Faculty-hosted spring dinner for graduating seniors
- Special lectures followed by inclusive receptions
- "Hollywood and History" program every semester featuring two films followed by open discussion
History provides knowledge and skills for an appropriate background for graduate and professional school and many kinds of non-academic employment. Opportunities based on alumni include:
- Law school
- Medical school
- Graduate school
- Teaching in secondary school
- Banking and business
- Documentary film production
- U.S. Army officer corps
- Historic preservation
- Land development