Through the study of history, students learn that just as with a film, the current scenes cannot be understood without having seen those that came before. Once outside the narrow frame of our own time and place, we are much better able to exercise what historian Jacques Barzun calls “a quick and shrewd understanding” of contemporary developments. This unique historical perspective offers intellectual insight, provides the basis of informed citizenship, and cultivates a skill set that can be applied to a variety of careers. These include law, government, museum and historic site management, research and archives, teaching, and journalism. The major is also excellent preparation for graduate and law school.
Major in History
Students majoring in history are required to complete 36 course hours, including 15 hours of core curriculum and 21 hours of electives in approved history courses.
Minor in History
Students minoring in history are required to complete 18 course hours, including one research course and 15 hours of electives in approved history courses.
Minor in Public History
Students minoring in public history are required to complete 19-21 course hours, including 12 hours of core curriculum, six hours of electives in approved courses and an internship.
Pre-Law and History
An illustrious set of Meredith History alumni have gone on to legal professions. It makes sense; the American Bar Association identifies the study of history as one of the traditional pathways to law school. As a history major you will develop the skills central to the legal profession, as our curriculum teaches you to conduct research, evaluate evidence, formulate arguments, and present your findings in written and oral presentations.
Beyond honing skills, the ABA states that the study of history “is helpful to a legal education and to the development of a competent lawyer” because it provides “A broad understanding of .... the various factors (social, political, economic, and cultural) that have influenced the development of our society in the United States.”
Students can further enhance their preparation for law school by pairing a history major with a pre-law minor, strategic internships, foreign language skills, and carefully selected electives.
Curriculum requirements and course descriptions are subject to changes with each catalogue.