Madison Script James Madison University
College of Arts and Letters

Department of History

Department of History

Dr. Michael J. Galgano, Head

Phone:(540) 568-6132
Web site:

J. Arndt, S. Bland, D. Boyd-Rush, J. Butt, L. Congdon, M. Galgano, R. Hyser, R. Lembright, M. Loe, H. Myers, D. Owusu-Ansah, P. Riley, C. Yoon

Associate Professors
S. Guerrier, R. Meixsel, J. Walker

Assistant Professors
K. Borg, P. Dillard, S. Hanifi, K. Hardwick, E. Janik, L. King, G. Lanier, J. Levy, S. Reich, M. Seth

Mission Statement
The Department of History supports the academic mission of James Madison University by providing the highest quality educational experiences within the liberal arts tradition that meet students' needs and prepare students for meaningful careers and active citizenship. The department focuses on the student as individual learner and global citizen. Our dedicated faculty are classroom innovators and scholars who work responsibly and supportively with students to expand their knowledge and skills and to create a foundation for their lifelong learning.

To carry out the above mission, the Department of History seeks the following goals, which focus on student knowledge, skills and experiences.

Students studying history at JMU will
  • Acquire knowledge of the worldŐs great literary, philosophical, religious and artistic traditions.
  • Comprehend the historical and social context of major political, intellectual, religious, economic and cultural developments.
  • Comprehend the major achievements in the fine arts in world civilizations and the achievementsŐ historical, social and cultural context.
  • Evaluate the evidence, ideas and models needed to perceive how people relate to each other, to institutions and to communities as well as to make judgments about the world.
  • Discern the values, ethics and legal issues in world civilizations, including their own, and how these issues relate to Western ideas of a free society.

Students studying history at JMU will
  • Read, write and speak critically, mastering how to make informed judgments based on existing evidence.
  • Locate printed and online information sources to research a topic exhaustively.
  • Critically evaluate textual evidence by identifying a thesis, noting sources used in the argument, discerning the conclusions and determining the perspective, bias and reliability of the argument.
  • Write clear, well-organized, grammatical prose.
  • Solve problems.
  • Communicate persuasively.
  • Use computers effectively.
  • Speak a foreign language proficiently.

Students studying history at JMU will
  • Handle responsibility to become independent, creative and self-directed learners and complete scholarly projects on time.
  • Consider thoughtfully a number of perspectives before supporting one.
  • Develop ways of perceiving, evaluating and behaving within cultural systems different from their own.
  • Understand the importance of change and continuity over time, different peoplesŐ responses to change and the importance of cause and effect in history.
  • Discern the dynamics of an increasingly multi-cultural society.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills
Career opportunities open to those receiving a B.A. in history include
  • Archiving
  • Education
  • Industry
  • Local, state and federal government
  • Museum curation
  • Private business
With additional training, many graduates pursue careers in law or academia. Many graduates also have pursued careers in the health and technology professions.

Students completing an undergraduate degree in history possess marketable abilities in
  • Analyzing
  • Researching
  • Writing

They also possess computer abilities and skills in
  • Data base development
  • Statistical analysis
  • Web site development
  • Word processing

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
  • Phi Alpha Theta (National Honor Society for History)
  • The Madison Historians

Degree and Major Requirements
Bachelor of Arts in History
The requirements for a major in history consist of introductory-, mid- and upper-level courses. The 100- and 200-level courses are global or regional surveys, covering extensive periods of time, while the 300- and 400-level courses focus on specific nations, time periods or themes. The upper-level courses also require more extensive analysis of sources, texts and interpretations. Majors in history are strongly encouraged to continue study in foreign languages beyond the minimum university requirement and, when appropriate, to integrate their foreign language studies into their history classes. This major requires four core courses. Three of these courses are introductory level: GHIST 101. World Culture to 1650; GHIST 102. World Culture Since 1650; and GHIST 225. United States History. In addition to the core requirements, majors must take nine elective courses: two on the 200 level and seven on the 300 and 400 level.

These courses introduce students to the nature of history and survey the globe in a historical context. In addition to involving reading, writing and critical thinking, these courses develop students' elementary computer skills in identifying and interpreting research sources and presenting research results. The other required course is an upper-level course, HIST 395. History Seminar. This seminar on research methods teaches students the most sophisticated computer applications for research and writing.
Degree Requirements

Credit Hours
General Education1 41
Foreign Language classes (Intermediate level required)2 0-14
Philosophy course (In addition to General Education courses) 3
University electives 22-36
Major requirements (listed below) 40

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary. 2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the studentŐs chosen language (typically 232), or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Language's placement test.

Major Requirements

Core Corses Credit Hours
GHIST 101. World Culture to 1650 1
GHIST 102. World Culture Since 1650 3
GHIST 225. U.S. History 4
Any other two courses at the 200-level 6
HIST 395. History Seminar 1 3
Electives 21
Seven 300- or 400-level courses


1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

GHIST courses can be double-counted toward General Education credit. HIST 395 may not be counted toward the 300/400-level course requirement. HIST 395 is a prerequisite for 400-level courses. Non-majors may enroll in 400-level classes without completing HIST 395 with the instructor's permission. Majors must complete four of their seven 300/400 level elective courses at the 400 level. Majors must complete three courses (nine credit hours) outside the field of U.S. History on the 300 and 400 level. For honors majors, only three hours of HIST 499, Honors Thesis, may be counted among the four 400-level courses required for the major.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

Freshman Year
Credit Hours
GHIST 101. World Culture to 1650 (Cluster Two) 3
GHIST 102. World Culture Since 1650 (Cluster Two) 3
Foreign language courses 6-8
General Education courses 9
Skills for the 21st Century (Cluster One) 9


Sophomore Year
Credit Hours
GHIST 225. U.S. History 4
Any other two courses at the 200-level 6
HIST 395. History Seminar 3
Foreign language courses (if needed) or electives 6
General Education courses (Cluster Three, Cluster Five) 12


Junior Year
First Semester Credit Hours
Philosophy course 3
History electives (mix 300 and 400 levels) 9
Electives 9
General Education courses (Cluster Two, Cluster Four) 30


Senior Year
Credit Hours
History electives (mix 300 and 400 levels) 12
Electives 12
General Education courses (Cluster Four) 6



Public History Historians today practice their discipline in a variety of careers as well as in more traditional academic settings. Those historians who work in museums, archives, government agencies, libraries, historic preservation organizations, businesses, contract history firms, cultural resource management firms and historic sites are known as public historians because they use their skills as historians to serve a public audience. The concentration in Public History trains students in the broad range of skills and issues associated with public history while providing them with a solid general background in history.

Students pursuing the Public History concentration augment their foundation of traditional history courses by taking introductory and specialized public history courses and completing a semester-long internship.

History majors opting to pursue the Public History concentration will complete eight elective courses, seven of which must be 300-400-level history courses. The Public History concentration consists of five courses (15 credit hours). Students are required to complete two public history core courses and three elective courses. Two of the three elective courses should be chosen from the list of primary electives; the remaining elective course may be chosen from either the primary or secondary list of elective courses.

History Major with Public History Concentration
Required Course Credit Hours
GHIST 101. World Culture to 1650 3
GHIST 102. World Culture Since 1650 3
GHIST 225. U.S. History 4
Any two 200-level History courses 6
HIST 395. History Seminar Eight electives 3
Non-U.S. 300-400-level History courses 9

Public History Concentration
Required Course Credit Hours
HIST 340. Internship in History 3
HIST 396. Introduction to Public History 3
Primary Electives 6-9
HIST 310. American Business History
HIST/ANTH 331. Historical Archeology
HIST 491. Editing Historical Documents
HIST 492. American Material Culture
HIST 493. Historic Preservation
HIST/ARTH 494. Introduction to Museum Work
Secondary Electives 0-3
HIST 402. Workshop in Colonial American Life
HIST 403. Workshop in Civil War Virginia
SOCI/ANTH 368. Modern American Culture
ANTH 494. Field Techniques in Archeology


1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major. 2 Seven (21 credit hours) of the eight electives must be 300-400-level history courses. At least four courses (12 credit hours) must be 400-level history courses. For honors majors, only three hours of HIST 499, Honors Thesis, may be counted among the four 400-level courses required for the major.

Teaching Licensure
In addition to the general education and academic major requirements, history majors desiring secondary teaching licensure must complete GHIST 225.

For a full description of the program in secondary education, refer to the College of Education. For Teacher Licensure, students must complete the Master of Arts in Teaching degree in addition to the specified undergraduate requirements.

History and Business Many graduate business schools encourage applications from liberal arts majors. History majors who wish to prepare specifically for admission to a Master of Business Administration degree program should schedule from the following courses. A history major may choose no more than 27 credit hours in this program from courses offered by the College of Business. Students should consult regularly with the associate dean of the College of Business.

In addition to the major in history, students are advised to choose from the following courses:
Credit Hours
COB 191. Business and Economic Statistics 3
COB 204. Computer Information Systems 3
COB 218. Legal Environment of Business 3
COB 241. Financial Accounting 3
COB 242. Managerial Accounting 3
GECON 200. Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
ECON 201. Principles of Economics (Micro) 3
FIN 345. Managerial Finance 3
MKTG 380. Principles of Marketing 3

Minor Requirements

African/African-American Studies Minor
The minor in African/African-American Studies broadens studentsŐ world perspectives by enhancing their acquaintance with and understanding of the peoples, cultures and institutions of Africa and the Africa Diaspora in the Western Hemisphere. The minimum requirement for a minor in African/African-American Studies is 18 credit hours. For more information on the minor in African/African-American Studies, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

American Studies Minor
American Studies is an interdisciplinary program of study that promotes an enhanced understanding of the whole of American civilization, past and present through examination of the diverse aspects of our culture and changing patterns of ideas and values. Courses come from the departments within the College of Arts and Letters and students will take courses from within three groupings: Multicultural Studies, Ideas and the Arts, and History and Politics. For more information on the minor in American Studies, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

Asian Studies Minorr
The purpose of this interdisciplinary program is to broaden the studentsŐ perspective by enhancing their understanding and appreciation of Asian culture and institutions. The minimum requirement for a minor in Asian Studies is 18 credit hours. For more information on the minor in Asian Studies, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

Classical Studies Minor
The minor in Classical Studies introduces students to Greco-Roman civilization. The requirement is successful completion of 24 credit hours. For more information on the minor in Classical Studies, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

Historical Archaeology Minor
The minor is designed for students interested in the field of historical archaeology, a discipline that integrates the research interests and methods of archaeology and history. For a full description of this program, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

History Minor
The minor in history is available with the B.A., B.S. or any other degree. The minor requires 21 credit hours of history, including GHIST 101 and GHIST 102. At least six of the remaining hours must be in non-Western history.

International Humanities Minor
The minor in international humanities encourages students to explore the cultural environments of civilizations outside of the English-speaking world of Great Britain and the United States. For a full description of this program, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

Latin American Studies Minor
This minor allows students to acquire a deeper understanding of Latin America. In addition to a B.A. degree language requirement in Spanish, the Latin American Studies minor consists of a minimum of 18 credit hours. For more information on the minor in Latin American Studies, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

Russian Studies Minor
This minor offers a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on Russian culture, history, political institutions, economy and geography. The minimum requirement for a minor in Russian Studies is 18 credit hours. For more information on the minor in Russian Studies, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

Women's Studies Minor
The Women's Studies minor is an 18 credit hour interdisciplinary program that explores the scholarship related to gender and equity issues affecting woment. For more information, refer to "Interdisciplinary Programs."

Credit by Examination
The Department of History offers credit by examination for all survey courses at the 100 and 200 levels. Students who want permission to take an examination must apply in writing to the department head during the regular registration period. Upon application, students should follow the general policies for credit by examination. The examinations are administered during the first month of each semester at a time and place set by the department. Additional information on credit by examination may be found at the Department of History Web site at

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Last Modified: 6/11/2003