History majors learn:

  • to develop an understanding of history as a discipline and of the historical method
  • to cultivate general historical knowledge and an understanding of historical time, change, perspective, context, and judgment
  • to develop written and oral skills in communicating historical concepts
  • to foster an appreciation of the use of history as a structure for integrating knowledge from other areas of the curriculum
  • to develop skills in using and conducting research in primary and secondary sources
  • to foster an interest in foreign studies and other cultures
  • to have an awareness of career opportunities and graduate study in the fields of teaching, archives, museum studies, historic preservation, and public history
  • to understand the ethical issues involved in historical research and writing

History faculty at MBC put a strong emphasis on writing well, primary source research, and personal contact. The curriculum offers both concentration in broad areas of history and specialized focus through colloquia on unique topics such as Jamestown and the Atlantic World and Lewis and Clark. Every student in both the undergraduate residential college and in the Adult Degree Program writes a senior thesis. There are minors in historic preservation and public history, the Virginia Program at Oxford, the George C. Marshall Foundation, chapters of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary, and Phi Beta Kappa. All faculty are PhDs and active scholars. The library houses an excellent collection of primary source research materials. The department also has numerous internship opportunities at places such as the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, the Museum of American Frontier Culture, the Augusta County Historic Society, the R.R. Smith Center for History and the Arts, the Stonewall Jackson House, and the MBC archives.