Tulum by Catherwood, 1844Historians study the past as a window into the human experience over time.  We study it for its own sake, and for the ways it helps us understand our present.  History can be a valuable minor alongside any other degree program.

Minor Requirements:

Students should take 18 credit hours in history to fulfill the minor.  At least one course should be at the 300 or 400 level.


Become a minor

History majors may wish to consider adding a minor in one of the following areas:

African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies

Website | Catalog Description

The minor in African, African-American, and Diaspora studies broadens students' world perspectives by enhancing their acquaintance with and understanding of the peoples, cultures and institutions of Africa and the African Diaspora in the Western Hemisphere.

American Studies

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The minor in American studies is based on the desirability of developing a coordinated understanding of American civilization, past and present, acquired through selected courses offered by the traditional departments and special courses offered by the program itself. Focus in humanistic subjects and the social sciences will provide the student with the means of exploring the interrelationships among diverse aspects of our culture and changing patterns of ideas and values.

Asian Studies

Website | Catalog Description

The purpose of this interdisciplinary program is to broaden the students' perspective by enhancing their understanding and appreciation of Asian culture and institutions. This pro-gram combines the offerings of several departments, such as art, economics, history, foreign languages, political science, religion and sociology and anthropology.

Classical Studies

Website | Catalog Description

The minor in Classical Studies introduces students to the literature, culture, philosophy, history, and languages of Greco-Roman civilization. The requirement is successful completion of 24 credit hours chosen from the following courses offered by participating departments. Students who take Latin or Greek can apply up to 12 credit hours to the minor.

Disability Studies


The minor in disability studies engages students in an examination of the many ways disability is defined and constructed. Students will build knowledge of the political, rhetorical, social, educational, historical, legal and medical frameworks of disability through both classroom and experiential study in courses drawn from several disciplines. Students will examine the ways systems inhibit and promote full participation of people with disabilities, explore how communities define and reinforce norms, and understand disability as an inherent part of diversity and inclusivity.

Environmental Humanities

Website | Catalog Description

The Environmental Humanities minor invites students from all majors to discover how their creative and critical thinking skills can lead them to environmental engagement now and in their professional futures. Environmental Humanities is an interdisciplinary minor offering opportunities to explore the complex interactions between humans and the natural environment though the study of literature, history, communication, religion, philosophy, and the visual and performing arts. The minor requires 18 credit hours.

Environmental Science


The environmental science minor is a cross disciplinary program that can be elected by any student. Students pursuing programs ranging from the physical, natural or social sciences, to education, journalism or business could benefit from this broadly-based environmental curriculum. The program draws from courses that focus on the application of scientific concepts and principles to the understanding of environmental problems and their solutions. The minor draws upon the expertise of faculty in areas of biology, chemistry, geography, physics, and integrated science and technology.

Environmental Studies


The Environmental Studies Minor exposes students to the socio-cultural and natural processes that underlie human/nature conflicts and the problems that emerge.

Family Studies

Catalog Description

The minor in family studies is designed for undergraduates seeking enhancement of their major, desiring to increase understanding of self and relationships, and seeking to make a positive contribution to society. A substantial knowledge of family-related issues, family processes, policies, laws, services and the interrelationship of families and societies will enhance majors in many fields including anthropology, early and middle education, health sciences, management, nursing, psychology, social work and sociology. The minor encourages students to make connections between their major field and family studies.

Historical Archaeology

Catalog Description

While open to all majors at JMU, the minor in historical archaeology is designed as a complement to existing majors in anthropology and history, though it should be of interest to students in art history, museum studies and administration. While guided by the theoretical underpinnings of history and anthropology, the minor in historical archaeology is highly field and research oriented. Students enrolling in the program should anticipate courses that require significant effort outside the classroom. The minor requires a minimum of 23 credit hours.

Social Studies

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The social studies minor offers a program of integrated study that exposes students to diverse methodologies, philosophies and controversies that define the social sciences. It is a required minor for secondary education students who wish to teach social studies. The social studies minor incorporates economics, geography, history and political science and is offered in two forms for secondary education students. Secondary education students will major in either history or political science and then complete the social studies minor that corresponds to the major. Through this minor and the completion of the B.A. degree in history or political science, students will gain the content knowledge necessary for success in secondary education in social studies. Student not selecting the secondary education licensure program may declare either form of the minor. The minimum requirement for a minor in social studies for history majors is 26 credit hours.

Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Website | Catalog Description

This minor allows students to acquire a deeper understanding of Latin America. Students are encouraged to explore the possibility of studying in a Latin American country for a semester or summer session.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Website | Catalog Description

The minor focuses on the period from the fall of Rome (5th Century C.E.) to 1700. Students can take courses in Art History, English, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, and a range of languages (Arabic, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Latin as well as medieval languages such as Old English and Middle English) in the original or in translation. Students may focus on either the medieval or the Renaissance periods or combine coursework in both Periods.

Middle Eastern Communities and Migrations

Website | Catalog Description

The Middle Eastern Communities and Migrations minor concentrates on social and political issues involving Muslim, Christian and Jewish populations in their own right and in relation to one another in the territory between the Nile and Indus rivers during the modern period. The program is also designed to accommodate consideration of other communities including Hindus, Turks and Mediterranean peoples in the larger area stretching from North Africa to Southeast Asia as well as Middle Eastern diaspora communities in Europe and the Americas from the ancient period to the present.

Modern European Studies

Website | Catalog Description

The minor in Modern European Studies provides an interdisciplinary understanding of social dynamics in Europe from the Enlightenment (18th century) through the present. Students enrolling in the minor will gain proficiency in at least one European language and will explore European history, politics, society, culture, and thought. They will develop a wide-ranging appreciation of this important and dynamic world region.

Russian Studies

Website | Catalog Description

This minor offers students a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on Russian culture, history, political institutions, economy and geography. This program deepens the students' understanding and knowledge of the Russian and non-Russian peoples of the former Soviet Union, and prepares them for careers in teaching, government and international business.

Science, Technology and Society

Catalog Description

The minor in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) offers students the opportunity to critically examine science, technology, and medicine as expressions of human cultures, past and present. Students learn to scrutinize the ideas, values, and materials embedded in the world they inhabit today and to relate them to other times and places. They explore how choices made within various social, economic, and political structures influence the development of science, technology and medicine. They also see how the adoption and diffusion of ideas, artifacts and techniques can then influence individuals, society, politics, and culture. Courses in this minor draw students together from diverse majors across the campus and encourage open inquiry into the role of science and technology in society.

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Website | Catalog Description

The Women's Studies minor is an 18 credit hour interdisciplinary program that explores the scholarship related to gender and equity issues. This minor includes one required course, WGS 200. The remainder of the program incorporates many academic fields.

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