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Your Place in History


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Your Place in History

The department welcomes all students to the study of history. The program blends core requirements with great choice, permitting students to pursue particular interests while developing a broad understanding of the historic past.

Do you want to teach high school social studies? A History major is excellent preparation for this field, and JMU offers a  well-mapped path to teacher certification.

Are you interested in history "in the field?" The department's  Public History concentration prepares you for careers in museums, historical sites, archives, and other places where the public encounters their history.

Are you thinking about a career in business but don't want to miss out on a liberal arts education? Consider the History and Business  concentration.

Do your passions cross disciplinary boundaries? Many  cross-disciplinary minors go well with a History major.

History students gain historical knowledge and understanding of many societies and cultures; improve their research, writing and computing skills; become independent, creative, and self-directed learners; and work with a superior and dedicated faculty. It's a strong preparation for any path in life.

Requirements for the Major in History

Click to obtain a  Checklist word format. 

Majors in history are strongly encouraged to continue study in foreign languages beyond the minimum university requirement and to integrate their foreign language studies into their history classes.

Syllabus Policies

JMU Honor Code and Academic Honesty. When you make references to the ideas of others, it is essential to provide proper attribution and citation. Read the rest of the policy.

Intellectual Property. Any tests, assignments, or other material presented or distributed to you in this course are for your exclusive use only and not to be shared with anyone or published 

Registration Dates and Deadlines. Students are responsible for knowing about the last day to drop/add a class, the last day to withdraw from a class (Course Adjustment deadline) as well as the date and time of the final exam. 

First-week Attendance Policy At the instructor's discretion, any student registered for a class in the College of Arts and Letters who does not attend the first two (2) scheduled meetings of the class (or does not attend the first scheduled meeting of a class that meets once a week) may be administratively dropped from the class.

Disability Accommodations. JMU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandate reasonable accommodations be provided for students with documented disabilities. 

Religious Accommodations. All faculty are required to give reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students requesting them on grounds of religious observation. 

Inclement Weather. For the safety and well-being of its student and employees, the university may close or limit its services based on inclement weather or other emergencies.

Credit By Exam

Students may receive credit by exam for U.S. History (HIST 225). Examinations are offered the first week of every fall semester, the first week of every spring semester and the first week of every May session. Contact  Dr. Rebecca Brannon for further information.

Students may receive credit by exam for World History to 1500 (HIST101) and/or World History since 1500 (HIST102). Examinations for both of these courses are offered within the first month of the fall semester and the first month of the spring semester. Contact  Dr. Stephen Chappell for further information.

Public History Concentration

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. The concentration provides a foundation for history majors seeking employment as public historians and also prepares students for graduate study in public history. Students pursuing the concentration augment their foundation of traditional history courses by taking introductory and specialized public history courses and completing a semester-long internship. Access more information about the concentration in the  Public History section of this site.

Business Concentration 

Many graduate business schools encourage applications from liberal arts majors. History majors who wish to prepare for admission to a Master of Business Administration degree program should declare this concentration and schedule 27 credit hours from courses offered by the  College of Business.

COB 191 Business and Economic Statistics 3 Credit Hours

COB 204 Computer Information Systems 3 Credit Hours

COB 218 Legal Environment of Business 3 Credit Hours

COB 241 Financial Accounting 3 Credit Hours

COB 242 Managerial Accounting 3 Credit Hours

ECON 200 Introduction to Macroeconomics 3 Credit Hours

ECON 201 Principles of Economics (Micro) 3 Credit Hours

FIN 345 Finance for Non-Financial Managers 3 Credit Hours

MKTG 380 Principles of Marketing 3 Credit Hours


27 Credit Hours Total


Students should consult regularly with the associate dean of the College of Business.

Senior Honors Thesis

As part of its commitment to student research and writing, the Department of History encourages students to write a senior honors thesis. Any student with a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher is eligible to write a senior honors thesis.

If you are eligible to write a senior honors thesis, the History department will notify you by email in the spring of your junior year. Feel free to inquire if you do not hear.

Students who plan to write a senior honors thesis begin by identifying a topic of interest and a faculty member to serve as project director. The project director will help the student to create a thesis prospectus (at least 3 pages in length) and a full bibliography and to identify two additional readers for the work. This information goes on to the Honors Application, which the student submits to the Honors Program office.

The Senior Honors Project 

Handbook and the Honors Program  forms page for the Honors Thesis application are resources for your planning; History majors and minors follow Track III.

College Attendance Policy

At the instructor's discretion, any student registered for a class in the College of Arts and Letters who does not attend the first two (2) scheduled meetings of the class (or does not attend the first scheduled meeting of a class that meets once a week) may be administratively dropped from the class. Students dropped for non-attendance will be notified via e-mail by the Associate Dean of the College.

Students who fail to attend the first two meetings of a class for which they are registered but who do not receive an e-mail notification have not been administratively dropped by their instructor. Unless those students drop the course on their own, they will receive a grade at the end of the semester. All students are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their schedules and changes made in their schedule via e-mail and  through the web.