History at St. Andrews
We must search the past to better understand the rich variety and meaning of the human experience. History affords us experience we cannot otherwise obtain; it provides a wonderful palette from which we might imagine the future. History is a journey where we can learn who we are and where we came from.
Our program offerings are inclusive, spanning human history from West to East, and examining every aspect from political ideas to social contexts. Through your course of study, you will develop skills in writing, interpretation, analysis, and critical thinking.
At St. Andrews, we also encourage you to travel abroad to see the people, things, and places that have changed history: cathedrals, castles, Saigon, the Acropolis, the Forbidden City, the canals of Venice, the Duomo in Florence.
Why Study History at St. Andrews
History majors learn to be dispassionate judges who will illuminate contextual contingency. The St. Andrews History Department helps history majors participate in professional development and prepare for careers outside the profession. We believe history holds an indispensable role in a liberal education and provides a foundation for a variety of careers. St. Andrews graduates have used their history majors for careers in law, teaching, public service, conservation, business, the military, foreign service, public history, religion, journalism, and web design.
The Department seeks enthusiastic undergraduates and encourages its ablest majors to complete honors level scholarship. Faculty members take a personal interest in your success, providing opportunities for you to mature into a competent scholar. Completing an honors thesis in history is the highest academic achievement for history majors. Successfully completing honors in history is a multi-step process. One must first complete History 491 Honors Seminar and develop a thesis proposal. The department permits students who demonstrate appropriate preparation to enroll in History 497 Honors Research during the spring semester of their senior year. Upon completion of a thesis, the candidate must successfully sit for an oral defense of their research.
The Department presents two annual awards to deserving students. The Blair Turner Fellowship honors the first St. Andrews graduate to achieve a doctorate in history. Students receive this award for demonstrating excellence in historical research and writing. The Senior Award is presented to the senior history major who has demonstrated overall excellence in the program.
Specialization and Personal Development
Faculty members take a personal interest in your success, providing opportunities for you to mature into a competent scholar. History majors concerned the standard major may not meet all their needs are encouraged to consider developing contract majors, double majoring, or adding a complementary minor such as Southern Studies. Students should expect the opportunity for many primary research-based projects. Juniors and seniors will work in some of the nation's most comprehensive archives and collections. Seniors will develop original historical interpretations. The department's goal is developing an effective course of study for each individual, designed with consideration of fundamental abilities, career goals, and a broad, liberal arts education. This personal attention helps our majors meet the high standards expected of effective scholarship in a supportive and open environment.
History at St. Andrews is broadly defined by studying either American or European history. The department also has special emphases on the American South and World War II. Other areas of study are possible and vary by semester. The department's size and specialization help undergraduates develop the many different and challenging abilities necessary for graduate study, careers related to history and careers outside the discipline.