In the History Department, you will find faculty and students who are equally enthusiastic about the study of the past. That enthusiasm stems from the fact that we all find history fascinating and engaging. Even more important, we believe the discipline reveals important insights about the past, the present, and the relationship between the two. We invite all who share the department’s passion to join us in the study of history.
To fulfill the major requirements, students can choose their own path from among a large selection of courses that cover a wide geographical range and extensive chronological span. The department recommends that students to avail themselves of various research opportunities and encourages majors to do internships.
Through these experiences, our majors develop a sophisticated and complex view of history, recognize the degree to which the past differs from our own time, and understand the forces that have effected change in previous eras. At the same time, majors also sharpen a number of important general skills that serve them well in whatever career they pursue: the ability to think critically, communicate cogently, synthesize information coherently, and research effectively.
Employers find these skills extremely useful, and our alumni are employed in a wide variety of fields. While a number of our graduates teach or find history-related positions, many attain success in a number of other areas, including law, politics/government, business, journalism, public relations/marketing, law enforcement, healthcare, military service, software, filmmaking, social work, and health care. Recent surveys reveal that 100% of responding recent alumni are either employed, volunteering, or attending graduate school full-time.
Casey Breslin was drawn to a history major he says because he spent much of his childhood listening to the Sharpe series on long commutes with his dad and going to Civil War battlefields.
For the last 3 years, Casey has been an educational programs specialist at the Association for Financial Professionals in Bethesda, MD (just north of Washington, DC). He works with banks, consultants, and corporate training vendors to provide educational programs for financial professionals. Each professional needs a certain number of "professional development hours" to maintain their certification and Casey ensures that the programs are "interesting, relevant, and high-quality."
"I have gained lots of insights into how to make a complicated world smaller and simpler-because I had to. Every job seeker gets rejected sometimes no matter what their major. But my networking skills got me my current position which has been great and rewarding. Also Saint A's students don't know how much of a leg up they have in their ability to write well."
- Casey Breslin '11
- Learn to read critically, think analytically, argue cogently, and write clearly.
- Master different types of writing assignments (e.g., book reviews, annotated bibliographies, essays, and research papers).
- Understand the distinct perspectives and values of past societies, their connections to the present, as well as the differences between past and present-day societies.
- Explain the interplay of broad changes and continuities in human society.
- Recall dominant themes and events that constitute significant historical periods.
- Evaluate, analyze, and comprehend different types of primary source evidence within its historical context.
- Use primary sources (written, oral, visual, and material) to develop and support a historical argument.
- Appreciate the complex process of constructing history from a fragmentary historical record and how the interpretation of specific historical events has changed over time.
- Understand historical topics and themes from four content areas (early Europe, modern Europe, the United States, and special areas (World)).
- Pursue a topic to analyze particular themes, time periods, or interpretations in depth through a capstone experience.
- Gain proficiency in historical research methods.