Dr. Gabrielle M. Lanier, Interim Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6132
Location: Jackson Hall, Room 201
J. Arndt, K. Borg, J. Butt, P. Dillard, M. Galgano, M. Gubser, S. Guerrier, S. M. Hanifi, K. Hardwick, R. Hyser, G. Lanier, M. Mulrooney, D. Owusu-Ansah, S. Reich, M. Seth
R. Brannon, S. Chappell, J. Davidson, C. Davis, T. Fitzgerald, M. Gayne, H. Gelfand, Y. Hu, L. King, K. McCleary, R. Meixsel, A. Sandman, W. Van Norman, E. Westkaemper, A. Witmer
E. Friss, M. Galmarini-Kabala, P. Herrington
The Department of History supports the academic mission of James Madison University by providing the highest quality educational experiences within the liberal arts tradition that meet students’ needs and prepare students for meaningful careers and active citizenship. The department focuses on the student as individual learner and global citizen. Our dedicated faculty members are classroom innovators and scholars who work responsibly and supportively with students to expand their knowledge and skills, and to create a foundation for their lifelong learning.
Inside the Classroom
Students of history will become well-rounded and engaged citizens by:
- Acquiring knowledge of the human condition through the study of political, cultural, and social experiences of people around the world
- Learning the historical contexts of major political, intellectual, social, economic, religious and environmental events and transformations
- Understanding the major cultural developments in fine and popular arts in societies around the world in their historical contexts
- Discerning how people from a variety of societies hold differing values, ethics, and legal concepts and comprehending how these ideas relate to each other and to Western ideas and values
Students of history will gain the following skills
- Reading, writing, and speaking effectively and critically
- Making informed judgments based on existing evidence
- Locating printed and online information to research a topic exhaustively
- Critically evaluating textual evidence by identifying its thesis, sources, conclusions, perspective, bias, and reliability
Beyond the Classroom
While at JMU, students of history will bring the insights and skills they learn in the classroom to their relationship and experiences with their broader communities.
Possibilities for such interactions include:
- Leading efforts to promote open dialogue, civic engagement, and public service.
- Fostering interdisciplinary relationships by engaging with the larger scholarly community at the university.
- Participating in partnerships and events that expand and challenge their own worldview.
- Studying abroad to deepen their understanding of cultural differences and non-US historical perspectives and experiences.
- Becoming involved in professional work through internships.
Students graduating with a major or minor in history leave JMU with skills that are sought after by a wide range of employers. History graduates are adaptive learners and able project managers. As a result, they are particularly marketable in a world where professions change rapidly. Some of the career paths that history majors follow include:
- Archives and Libraries
- Digital humanities
- Information Management
- Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations
- Project Management
- Public History and Museums
- Public Policy
- Writing and Editing
Undergraduate work in history is also a successful foundation for advanced degrees in the humanities, law, the social sciences, medicine, and other disciplines.
Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
Degree and Major Requirements
Bachelor of Arts in History
History courses introduce students to the nature of history and survey the globe in a historical context. The 100- and 200-level courses are world or regional surveys, covering extensive periods of time, while the 300- and 400-level courses are focused on one theme, time period or geography. The upper-level courses require extensive analysis of sources and texts, and they include a research assignment that showcases the students’ ability to develop and present their own historical interpretations.
The major requires three core courses: HIST 101 , HIST 102 and HIST 395 . Majors must take eight additional courses: Two on the 200 level and six on the 300 and 400 levels—with at least three of the upper division courses taken at the 400 level. In addition, majors must take one upper division course in each of the following fields: U.S., Europe and World history. For students writing a senior honors thesis, only three hours of HIST 499. Honors may be counted among the three 400-level courses required for the major.