Explore world and American history in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a city with a long human story of its own. Here you can study pre-European cultures, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the 20th century — and that’s just outside the classroom. UMW’s master teachers will ground you in a broad knowledge of history and help you narrow your focus to gain specialized expertise. You’ll leave ready to make a difference in a career or graduate school.
Students majoring in History who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History.
Areas of Study
The history curriculum offers courses from ancient to modern times in the Americas and around the world. The major is distinctive for courses that develop critical judgment, including first-year seminars, history colloquium and practicum, and a senior-level historical research class.
UMW history majors graduate with skills in research, analysis, writing, public speaking, and digital media. Recent UMW history graduates have found careers as a PBS programmer, a judge, a museum curator, an online writer, a high school teacher, and college professors. Graduates may find work in media, government, national parks, education, law, business, international management, and more. Many earn advanced degrees.
UMW is in history-rich Fredericksburg and an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, making our campus an excellent base for a history-focused internship. UMW students have found internships with the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, the U.S. Marine Corps at Quantico, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Mount Vernon, and regional museums.
To be considered for honors in history at graduation, you must have at least a 3.5 grade-point average in the major and must research, write, submit, and defend a historical paper before a faculty panel.
Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honorary society, offers opportunities to participate in social and educational activities.
The history major requires 36 credits including survey courses, electives at the 200 level or higher, and electives at the 400 level. Internships are encouraged and may receive academic credit at the discretion of the department chair.
The department awards five scholarships annually through competitive application for history and American studies majors.