The department offers a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Bachelor of Arts in History with Teacher Certification, a Bachelor of Science in History, and a Bachelor of Science in History with Teacher Certification. Minors are offered in Geography, United States History, European History, and International Studies.
All full-time faculty members in the department are published scholars and have earned doctorates from excellent graduate programs in their respective academic disciplines.
The department is committed to the development of a strong academic culture on campus through its sponsorship of special lectures, events, and seminars on topics in the areas of history and geography. Independent student research and presenations at a variety of regional and national venues are encouraged and supported by the department.
Expanding the realm of students’ experiences beyond the limits imposed by their own life span and mobility is the focus of the History program. Faculty members are committed to developing a historical consciousness among our students. Geography faculty members help students develop skills in spatial reasoning, analyzing complex situations, and trends, and drawing logical inferences from these analyses.
Recent graduates of our programs who are seeking advanced degrees in History, Geography, or other academic disciplines are currently attending the following universities – University of Chicago, University of Kansas, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Southwest Missouri State University, University of Washington-Seattle, and Northwest Missouri State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and University of Illinois-Champaign.
Other recent graduates of our programs are pursuing law degrees at the following law schools – University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and University of Oregon.
Students desiring to major in History must have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Applicants for secondary teaching only must have completed the following courses before their major applications will be considered: HIS 100, 110, or 130; HIS 140 or 150; ENG 104, with a grade of C or higher in each course.
High school students preparing for a major in our department should take the high school core classes. Two units of foreign language are also strongly recommended. Students need to take as many courses as possible that require analytical reading, writing skills, and research skills.
General studies courses in History range in size from 30 to 60 students. Upper-level courses in History range in size from 10 to 25 students.
General studies courses in Geography range in size from 45 to 55 students. Upper-level courses in Geography range in size from 10 to 15 students.
Students in all of our courses receive individualized attention from our faculty by simply asking for it. Students have access to our faculty during regularly scheduled office hours, as well as via voicemail or e-mail. Students are able to schedule appointments with faculty very quickly.
Our majors all have faculty advisors within our department to help them in planning their academic schedules from entry through graduation. Faculty members provide student instructors and/or student tutors to assist those students who want extra help.
Faculty members are willing to work with students who wish to engage in faculty/student undergraduate research. Each year our department conducts a symposium at which students majoring in our programs can present their research to the college community. Faculty serve as mentors to help students prepare their work for presentations at regional or national conferences.
History department students have an opportunity to join the Phi Alpha Theta Honors Society, a chapter of the national History honors society.
Our faculty and students provide service to the community through local, regional, and national organizations, including local churches, Second Harvest Food Bank, various offices of the City of St. Joseph and Buchanan County, Missouri Humanities Council, Gamma Theta Upsilon, and the Association of American Geographers.