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Information for
Current History Students


Enrollment in Senior History Seminar is limited to majors. Senior History Seminar is held every fall semester. The goal of senior seminar is for each student to prepare a senior seminar paper, which she or he writes, revises, and defends in seminar. Seminar also introduces students to finding their own way in historical research through the use of bibliographies, archives and manuscripts, and computer resources. Students learn to find and criticize historical literature and to identify trends in historiography. The history discipline expects that students who take Senior History Seminar will have completed Hist 101, 102, 111, and 112 by the time they undertake Senior History Seminar. Several student papers from Senior History Seminar have been published in recent years, and others have been presented by their authors at scholarly meetings.


Members of the history faculty offer special directed inquiries as time permits. Directed inquiries are independent study projects planned and carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor. They usually focus on specialized subjects not covered in the standard history curriculum. To take a directed inquiry, the student must first consult with a history faculty member with whom she or he wishes to take the directed inquiry to see whether it is possible to arrange the directed inquiry. To arrange a directed inquiry, go to the professor in the term before the one in which you wish to take the directed inquiry. Ask the professor if he or she would be willing to undertake the directed inquiry. The student must also obtain from the registrar the proper forms for a directed inquiry and then submit them during the registration period for the semester during which she wishes to undertake the directed inquiry. For further information, see Dr. Cole or Dr. Tillerson.


Recent internships supervised by the history discipline have included work at the National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of American Frontier Culture, the Virginia Historical Society, the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, the U.S. Navy Museum, the Historic Staunton Foundation, the Augusta County Historical Society, and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. Students can take their internships in fall, winter, or summer semesters, and they must be registered at MBC during the semester in which the internship occurs.

All arrangements for an internship must be determined before the student undertakes the internship. To take an internship, first speak with Dr. Cole, Dr. Tillerson,or Dr. Potte about what they require for internship credit. Students frequently arrange their own internships at museums, archives, or other historical organizations. Internship opportunities are available in Staunton, but many students take their internships at other places.

Internships at MBC are numbered at the 287 and 387 levels. Hist 287 internships are intended as general introductions to a field, while Hist 387 internships involve more specialized work.

There are certain basic requirements for all internships at Mary Baldwin. The college requires that for each hour of credit a student receives for an internship, she must work 50 hours. Most internships in the history discipline are for 150 hours of work for 3 semester hours credit. No more that 15 semester hours of internship credit may be applied to an MBC degree.

All internships are graded on a Pass/No Credit basis. Usually the professor who supervises an internship in the history discipline will require that the student keep a daily journal of her activities in the internship. The professor may also require that the student read and report on a book about archives, museum work, or the historic site connected with the internship, and that the paper she writes examine the relationship between the book and the experience of the internship.

All written work the student does in connection with an internship will be submitted no later than one week before grades are due in the semester in which the student undertakes the internship. When the student has completed her internship, the student’s supervisor at the site of the internship will write a letter of evaluation to the supervising professor.

After a student has discussed internship plans with a professor, she should obtain the consent of the professor in the history department who she wishes to have supervise the internship. She should then obtain from the Career Development Office an internship application form, which should be filled out in cooperation with the supervising professor. They will agree on what is to be done during the internship and will describe these activities on the form. Next, the student should obtain on the form the four signatures required and then file the form with the college registrar. In addition, the student must file the standard forms for course registration at the appropriate registration session for the semester in which she wishes to take the internship. For summer enrollment in an internship, the student will have to file the required registration forms and pay the summer session fees the college requires.

ADP students may also take internships that fulfill the above requirements.

In general, it is a good idea to plan well in advance for internship programs. Some internships during the summer have early application deadlines.

For further information about the internship policies of the college, contact the Career Development Office at (540) 887-7221.


The George C. Marshall Foundation competition takes place each fall. Students interested in the superb research opportunities at the Marshall Foundation should see Dr. Keller. Students need to have a "B" average in their history courses to apply for the Marshall Scholarship.


Many Adult Degree Program students transfer credit for courses taken at community colleges in Western Civilization and in American History Survey. Others may take CLEP tests to receive academic credit for these courses.

There are special tutorial classes for distance learning at remote sites. See a copy of the most current tutorial list available from the ADP offices in Staunton. You may reach that office by telephone at (540) 887-7003 or by e-mail at .

Other ADP courses are available, though not necessarily advertised on the tutorial list. Each of the regional centers has on file syllabi for special tutorial versions of courses regularly offered on the Staunton campus. Check with the staff of the regional center at which you are advised. Your advisor will be able to help you. The history discipline has prepared a booklet for students who wish to do the Senior Project in History in the Independent Tutorial Format for History 400. Write to Dr. Keller if you would like a copy.

All ADP students who intend to graduate in spring with a major in history should write to Dr. Keller in the fall semester. Their letter to him should indicate when they plan to graduate and what they expect the topic of their senior project to be. He will provide guidance for preparing their senior project according to the standards the history discipline uses.


In general, courses numbered at the 100 level are introductory courses. History courses numbered at the 200 level are advanced courses that assume that students have had some college level history courses. History colloquia, numbered Hist 277, focus on specialized themes and are occasionally offered on a limited enrollment basis. In the history discipline, 300 level courses are specialized topical courses intended for students who have had considerable background in college level history courses. Directed inquiries, usually numbered Hist 390, are independent study projects carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor. They concern curricular areas not offered in the current year or in the regular history curriculum. History 400 is for senior history majors only. Some history courses have prerequisites. For further information on these courses, see the professors who teach them.


Recent graduates of the program have been invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious honorary society in the United States. Others have received honors degrees and have been members of the Mary Baldwin College Global Honors Scholars Program.


The history department recommends that history majors take courses in other liberal arts fields to supplement their studies in history. We urge all history majors to study a foreign language through the intermediate level at Mary Baldwin. In addition, courses in the social sciences, the fine arts, philosophy and religion, English, Asian studies, and women’s studies are strongly recommended. For a list of such courses, see the current college catalog description of the MBC program in history.


For information about graduate studies in history, ask any faculty member. You may also wish to look at the American Historical Association’s Directory of History Departments and Organizations in the United States and Canada in Grafton Library. It gives summaries of graduate programs, names of graduate faculty members and their specialties, names of persons who have recently completed their graduate studies with their dissertation subjects, and addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail locations for graduate programs.


We are happy to send out letters of recommendation to graduate and professional schools and employers on behalf of our students who do well in our classes. There are some basic courtesies to follow when you request a faculty member to send out a letter of recommendation. First, go to the professor from whom you would like to request a letter and speak to them in person about your desire for a letter. Tell the professor what you want the letter for and what you propose to do. Talk about career plans. If the professor agrees to send out a letter of recommendation for you, secure the appropriate forms from the institution to which you are applying and give the professor those forms together with a stamped envelope addressed to the place to which the letter should go, and also give the professor a brief resume of your activities at Mary Baldwin College. If the institution to which you are applying has an on-line process for submitting letters of recommendation, please supply the faculty member you wish to write the recommendation with that e-mail address. Tell the professor the date upon which the letter you are requesting is due at the institution to which you are applying.


Dr. Cole
Office: Academic 404 (540)887-7273

Dr. Franzen
Office: Grafton 107 (540)887-7078

Dr. Potter
Office: Chris House 102 (540)887-7084

Dr. Tillerson
Office: Academic 106 (540)887-7046