The field of history is central to the liberal arts and is an essential area of study for producing an educated person. It is concerned with the human story in all of its manifestations in the past. History provides the critical insights necessary for understanding the contemporary world and comprehending the context in which one lives and works. The study of history relies heavily upon reading and all forms of analytical and narrative writing.
The historian takes a critical approach to information: they analyze texts, artifacts, and images to challenge accepted knowledge, interpret historical phenomena, and bring insights about the past to bear on the present. Maryville’s history program adheres to the American Historical Association’s History Discipline Core, which stresses history as not simply a discipline, but as an inquiry into what it means to be human, and as a public service in preserving the past and educating the public. The program pairs coursework that examines the rich panoply of our human past with project-based learning, one-on-one advising, fieldwork, and internships. Maryville history majors receive theoretical and experiential training for a host of different careers in public history, law, politics and international relations, and secondary education.
General Education Requirements:
Skills/ Processes for Literacy
Skills/Processes for Literacy
Fine Arts (1 course) ADAH, ADSA, FPAR, MUS
Literature/Language (1 course)
Philosophy (1 course)
Electives (2 courses) ADAH, ADSA, ENGL, FPAR, FREN, HUM, MUS, PHIL, REL, SPAN
Electives from at least 2 areas in ECON, PSCI, PSYC, SOC
Natural Sciences/Quantitative Reasoning
Science (1 course): BIOL, CHEM, FRSC, PHYS, SCI, SUST
MATH (higher than
) or Science (1 course)
Requirements for the Major:
(36 credits total)
Survey Courses (9 credits)
Experimental Courses (12 credits)
Upper Level Electives (300-400) (15 credits)
Elective courses are categorized in 3 ways to ensure exposure to a significant breadth of historical ideas.
- Courses are pre-modern or modern in content. At least 2 of the electives must be pre-modern (pre-1500) in content. This is indicated after all course descriptions by a P or an M.
- Courses are either western or non-western in content. At least 2 of the electives must have a non-western focus. This is indicated after all course descriptions by a W or an N.
- Courses are also categorized according to theme, and at least one course must cover each of the following themes:
Sex & Gender
These courses investigate the ways in which our understandings of the human body, sexuality, and relationships have changed over time. Students will be prompted to think about the ways that gender and sexuality influence identity-making, and will be challenged to see these processes from an intersectional perspective. Students will be encouraged to investigate the shaping of attitudes to, and beliefs about, human sexuality and gender via questions of race, class, geography, religion, and state power. These courses will challenge students to think critically about gender and sexuality issues, and the ways in which they interplay with social justice and social inequality both locally and globally (represented by an S in the course descriptions)..
Class, Race & Ethnicity
These courses examine the ways in which culture, geography, religion, ethics, and economics have shaped our notions of class, race, and ethnicity over time. These courses aim to help students develop a framework for understanding the theories behind these categories, as well as their real-world effects. Similar to the “sex and gender” theme, these courses often deal with questions of identity, asking, “what did it mean to be X in X time? in X society?” These courses inspire students to move beyond familiarizing themselves with the way these questions were asked and answered in the past, to think about how we ask and answer these questions in our own societies today (represented by a C in the course descriptions).
Institutions and Society
These courses will encourage students to think critically about relationships between individuals and communities and the institutions in their societies. Defined as any organization created for a religious, educational, professional, or social purpose, “institutions” in these courses may vary in nature from the Catholic Church to the U.S. Supreme Court. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the ways in which institutions define our everyday lives, creating and controlling access to networks of knowledge and power (represented by an I in the course descriptions)..
Note: As indicated in the course description portion of the catalog, courses are categorized in all 3 ways. For example, East Asia History appears with (M; N; I) indicating it is modern in time period, non-western in content, and focuses on institutions and society.