1. Learn about the past to understand the present
Find out why today is the way it is. As a history major at Saint Michael's College, you'll be offered a diverse array of courses on the introductory and seminar levels that focus on a variety of geographical regions and time periods. These areas include the United States, Europe (modern and pre-modern), Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East.
2. Get to know your professors
As a department, we emphasize individual attention and availability of faculty to students. Survey courses that cover more general topics like United States History since 1865 are limited to 30, and seminars that focus on a specific theme like The Crusades or the Black Death are capped at 15. Students meet several times a year with their individual advisors. For the capstone seminar (in which students write their senior theses), each student meets regularly with her or his thesis advisor.
3. Conduct advanced research to solve an historical problem
The capstone course of the history major, History 410, emphasizes and highlights the development of significant research skills and writing, and it focuses on regular communication between the faculty thesis advisor and the student. Our Saint Michael's College history majors have recently written theses exploring topics and events such as the evolution of Italian gangs in America, feminists in the Temperance Movement, and Jordan's religious conflicts.
You'll also have the opportunity to conduct grant-funded summer research here on our campus. During the summer months, our students apply to work one-on-one with a faculty member to prepare a paper that could be published in an academic journal.
4. Work with noted historians
The faculty members of the Department of History are all active professional scholars in their fields of research, and they bring their expertise and their enthusiasm for their research into their classrooms and seminars. Among the fields in which faculty members have published are the following: 19th century New England and New York, China and its politics in the 20th century, medieval Italy and medieval religion, 20th century US politics and culture, race and society in the Caribbean, and Britain before and during World War II.
5. Develop the research, writing, and critical thinking skills to succeed
In all of our courses, we emphasize critical thinking, research skills, oral presentations, and good writing. These are the necessary skills that are all applicable to a wide variety of professions and occupations in the economy today.
6. Prepare yourself for a variety of employment opportunities after graduation
After graduation history majors have gone on successfully to pursue a variety of professions. Those occupations include but are not limited to the following fields: law, high school and elementary school teaching, law enforcement, museum administration and/or curatorship, library science, college or university-level teaching and research, information technology, and business. Our program prepares its students for a range of career and graduate school paths. History is among the majors that are recommended for those students who wish to attend law school and pursue a career in law. Saint Michael's College has outlined a pre-law resource guide that will enable aspiring law students to succeed in reaching their goal.
7. Become a double-major or minor
Our department is also closely associated with two interdisciplinary majors (American Studies and Gender Studies), two academic programs (the Humanities Program and First-Year Seminar), and three minors: History, East Asian Studies, and Medieval Studies. Many of our students choose to double-major or minor with one of these other disciplines to further enhance their academic experience. If you are thinking of becoming a teacher, History will prepare you well to work in the classroom.
8. Do an internship and study abroad
Our department encourages majors to take advantage of Internship and Study Abroad opportunities. Students have interned at a variety of places, including a local land trust, the Office of the Governor of Vermont, a local historical society, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Vermont Commission on Women, and the Shelburne Museum. Many of our students study abroad all over the world, including Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
9. Become a member of national honor societies
Our department has a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international Honors Society in History. Saint Michael's College founded its chapter, Alpha Epsilon Nu, in 1991, and membership is open to all students, regardless of major. Special programs and activities are planned throughout the academic year. Phi Alpha Theta’s motto is "seek truth." Every year the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Saint Michael's College (Gamma of Vermont) also inducts several history majors and minors into its ranks.
10. Learn from outside lecturers
Our department sponsors the prestigious and annual Norbert A. Kuntz Memorial Lecture in History. The department established the lecture series to honor Dr. Norbert Kuntz, a long-time Saint Michael's professor and chair of the History Department. This series brings a historian of international stature to Saint Michael's College to address the community. Members of the department also work with other programs and honor societies to bring noted scholars to campus to interact closely with our students. For example, our department cooperated recently with the college Phi Beta Kappa chapter to bring a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to campus.