Gain an understanding of diverse cultures over time.
As a student of history, you will learn effective skills in research, analysis, critical thinking and communication. Through Meredith's history program, you will learn how to apply historical and political analysis to understand and address the problems facing today's world.
Meredith's location in North Carolina's capital is ideal for history majors. You'll be able to see state government in action, visit multiple historic sites and museums, and take advantage of educational opportunities at international businesses in nearby Research Triangle Park. We also offer hands-on learning opportunities including a Model United Nations team, and a student-led voter registration project each election year.
Meredith's history program offers courses that touch every time period and almost every continent: the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Most of our majors also study abroad all over the world.
Our faculty have chosen Meredith College because they most highly value teaching, advising and working with undergraduates. Our annual student course evaluations are among the highest in the college year after year. Our advising is highly professional but also individualized to our students, whom we get to know quite well during their time with the program.
History majors study abroad all over the world, including in France, Iceland, England, Ireland, Germany, India, China, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Australia, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, The Czech Republic, South Africa, New Zealand and a variety of other places.
Through courses and internships we prepare our majors for meaningful professional careers - some choose to seek licensure and teach in the public schools, but many more take our excellent training and either move directly to graduate study or law school, or enter the professional work force with the state and federal government, the foreign service, international business, and a variety of museums, historic sites and public archives.
We have recently placed interns at the Museum of History, the Duke Homestead Historic Site, the State Capitol, Legislature, and Supreme Court, several bilingual nonprofit organizations and international businesses at RTP, local law firms, and even on Blackbeard's sunken Queen Anne's Revenge.
Students who love history and want to work in an environment other than a classroom should consider the public history minor. Meredith has been preparing women for careers in museums, historic sites, public archives and historic preservation since the 1950s and continues to place graduates in rewarding positions within the field.
The program’s longevity and success are built upon an interdisciplinary curriculum that affords students exactly the skill set that is most attractive to employers. Our location in Raleigh places us at the heart of archives, museums and historic sites in North Carolina. Since 2005, 92 percent of our graduates have found meaningful employment in the field, while 67 percent have added master’s degrees along the way.
Recent graduates hold significant positions at many local sites: Director of Museum Education and Interns at the N.C. Museum of History; Assistant Site Managers at Historic Oak View, Mordecai Historic Park and Stagville Plantation; Archivists at the N.C. Division of Archives and History and at the Archives of the Reagan National Library.
Recent internships through the Public History program include:
Recovery Project for Queen Anne’s Revenge; Historic Mordecai; Historic Oakview; Stagville Plantation; N.C. Museum of History; N.C. Division of Archives; Bennett Place Historic Site; Duke Homestead; N.C. Maritime Museum.
Meredith prepares history majors for meaningful careers and successful graduate study. Career choices of recent graduates include:
- Master’s Program in Archaeology, University of Sheffield
- Master’s Program in History, UNC Greensboro
- UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law
- Elon University School of Law
- Venezuelan Information Agency, Washington, DC
- Research Specialist, Supreme Court of Virginia
- Christie’s Auction House, New York, NY
- Ph.D. Program in International Studies, Warwick University
- MLS Program, University of Pittsburgh
The Alice B. Keith Senior Scholarship, for which juniors in the department apply each year, awards roughly $1,000 to that student with the best combination of academic achievement and career goals. The Frank and Carolyn Grubbs Scholarship goes each year to that rising senior with the most compelling combination of academic achievement and promise as a teacher. The members of the Department decide upon the recipient of this roughly $2,000 award.
In addition to these discipline-specific scholarship opportunities, Meredith offers a range of merit and need-based financial assistance. Last year, Meredith coordinated $42.8 million in financial assistance.
Meredith’s student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and average class size of 17 ensure that students get to know their professors. In turn, our faculty know students by name and, just as important, are familiar with each student’s unique strengths and interests. This allows faculty to identify interesting research and internship opportunities for students, to write meaningful letters of recommendation, and to support students as they conduct in-depth undergraduate research. In fact, students and faculty frequently work together on such projects—more than 140 were conducted by student/faculty teams last year.
Meredith's history faculty come from first rate doctoral programs. Among our degree-granting universities are The University of Mississippi, The University of Michigan, The University of Virginia and Harvard University.
History faculty members include:
- Dan Fountain, Ph.D. Dr. Fountain's research interests focus on the nineteenth century US and the US South with a specific interest in the history of slavery and race. He has published several articles on the history of slavery and a book that examines the conversion of African-American slaves to Christianity during the 19th century.
- Michael Novak, Ph.D., Department Head. Dr. Novak's special teaching interests are Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation Europe, The Scientific Revolution and Western Civilization.
- Molly Varley, Ph.D. Dr. Varley's areas of study are the Progressive Era, and the social and cultural history of nationalism and national identity located in intentionally created cultural landscapes (parks, monuments, etc). She teaches courses in US, women's, and Native American history, as well as film history and Latin America.
- Gregory Vitarbo, Ph.D. Dr. Vitarbo teaches in the fields of Russian/Soviet history, Western Civilization, and Modern European history. He has developed new and revised courses in the history of Modern Russia, Modern Britain, Twentieth Century Europe, and the World in the Twentieth Century, has taught on the Meredith in Italy program and also hopes to create new courses in the fields of Modern German history and the historical relationship of gender, culture, and warfare. His forthcoming book examines the military, social, and cultural impact of the new technology of the airplane on the Russian Imperial army in the decade before World War I.
For more detailed information about the history major, please go to the program website.
For information about other majors at Meredith, return to the Admissions majors page