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History (HST)

For information, please contact the chairperson, 989-774-3374, Powers Hall 106;

Why Study History?

The study of history is an important part of a university education and an excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. History courses provide an understanding of the political, cultural, social, and economic life of past civilizations and help us understand the world in which we live. A history major or minor provides a broad education that informs and shapes the thinking of the entire person. A history minor, in particular, is an excellent balance to specialized vocational and pre-professional studies. Thus, the career opportunities for history graduates in teaching, the professions and public service, industry and commerce are exceedingly wide and varied. A history major or minor provides direct preparation for graduate study leading to an M.A. or Ph.D. degree and to careers in areas such as teaching, research, museum, library, or archival work. Historical knowledge and the skills in reading, writing, and analysis developed through historical study are excellent preparation for law school and for government employment. Particularly in conjunction with coursework in business, economics, sociology, political science, and mathematics, such knowledge and skills are also excellent undergraduate preparation for graduate work in business administration or journalism.

History at CMU

The Department of History offers a variety of courses in the University Program that introduce students to the multifaceted discipline of history as well as to American, African, European, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American civilizations. Courses on both the 100 and 200 levels are designed for freshmen and sophomores or for students wishing a broad overview of a particular country or civilization. The major or minor in history can be taken on a variety of teaching and nonteaching degrees. The department participates in an interdisciplinary major in social sciences and social studies, and in minors in military science and women’s studies. Additionally, the department offers a Master of Arts (with an option to be on an accelerated program beginning in the Junior year of undergraduate study) and Joint Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in history.

The Faculty

Kathleen Donohue, Carrie Euler, Michael Federspiel, Brittany Fremion, Solomon Addis Getahun, Mitchell K. Hall, Doina Harsanyi, Eric A. Johnson, Stephen A. Jones, Jay Martin, Timothy O’Neil, John F. Robertson, Gregory Smith, Catherine Tobin, Jonathan Truitt, Andrew Wehrman

The Programs

History Major (Non-teaching)

History Minor (Non-Teaching)

Public History Major 

History Major (Teaching)

History Minor (Teaching)


Accelerated Master of Arts in History

(Currently enrolled CMU Undergraduate students only)

The Accelerated M.A. degree allows highly motivated students to accelerate their academic careers by undertaking graduate work toward the traditional Master of Arts degree (not the Joint M.A. in History) concurrently with undergraduate work. This is not for students seeking teaching certification as part of their undergraduate degree work.

Admission Standards:

  1. Written recommendation of a CMU history professor.
  2. Six (6) hours of history coursework completed with at least a 3.25 GPA in those courses and a 3.25 overall GPA.

Retention Standards:

  1. Candidates for the Accelerated Masters Degree Program must meet with the History Graduate Director and complete the Acknowledgement and Approval Form.
  2. Candidates must earn at least a “B” grade in each of the courses listed on the Approval Form.
  3. Students who earn less than a “B” grade in any of their AMDP courses will be notified by College of Graduate Studies of their removal from the program.

Degree Requirements

The degree requirements for the Accelerated M.A. combine the non-teaching major and the traditional M.A. as follows:

  1. The student must meet with an advisor in the History Department and submit an Accelerated M.A. Program Plan to the History Department by the beginning of the second semester of his or her second year of study for the B.A. An accelerated Masters Program Approval Form must also be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies, along with an application for admission to the College of Graduate Studies.
  2. HST 496WI must be taken in the junior (third) year.
  3. In the student’s junior undergraduate year, he or she must apply to the CMU College of Graduate Studies for accelerated admission in the senior year and be admitted to accelerated graduate status.
  4. Three to twelve (3-12) hours of M.A. graduate credit, including one graduate seminar or colloquium, may be taken once the student has achieved senior status (86 credit hours).
  5. The accelerated plan is intended to encourage research and writing competency in a particular research field; therefore, the candidate is encouraged to elect Plan A, the Thesis Option of the M.A. program.
  6. It is highly recommended that the student undertake a one- semester study abroad in history, preferably in the third year of the B.A. work. This can be arranged through the department.