History illuminates the human condition. By investigating processes of change and of continuity, the historical discipline provides a basis for understanding the cultures and communities in which we live, as well as their relationship to the rest of the world. Without a historical perspective, learning necessarily remains incomplete. Thus, students are well advised to study history for its own sake. Not only will it enrich their knowledge of the past, but it will also teach them analytic skills that are applicable to a wide variety of fields and occupations.
What History Teaches You
The study of history prepares students for the dynamics of business, government, or careers in non-profit enterprises. Historical scholarship trains the mind to think on many levels. A student of history learns to deal with rules of evidence and with ambiguity in the human condition. Historical knowledge provides evidence of past experiences with which to judge new solutions to contemporary challenges. It teaches a student to recognize patterns in voluminous data and to establish comparisons and connections across wide distances of time and space. The study of history teaches you to ask the right questions, to think critically, to analyze objectively, and to communicate with power and clarity. More than anything else, the study of history empowers you to understand the human condition: who we are, where we have come from, where we are going.
For more information on history and your future career, visit
Careers in History.
History At Alabama
The student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history takes 36 hours of history, which include introductory courses that examine world, or Western civilization. Students also take courses in American history and are required to take British or European history and Asian or Latin American history.
Other course offerings reflect the diverse interests of the faculty members. Such courses include Age of Exploration and Conquest, Women in America, African-American History, World War I, Nazi Germany, World War II, Chinese History, Military and Naval History, and American Social, Cultural, and Intellectual History.
Innovative teaching methods and new approaches to historical studies are an important part of the History Program. Team teaching is used in courses such as The United States and the Vietnam War.
Courses taught off campus are also available to students. These include the Alabama at Oxford Program, in which History faculty members participate regularly, and courses occasionally offered in one or another of the Latin American countries.
The history honors program is open to history majors who have a 3.0 overall GPA, a 3.3 GPA in history, and at least 12 hours of history courses completed. The program requires 9 hours of honors work, including the History Honors Colloquium (HY399) (usually taken in the junior year) and a 6-hour thesis (HY 498 and HY 499) completed (usually in the senior year) under the direction of a tenured or tenure-track member of the department. Graduating with honors in history requires a 3.0 overall GPA, a 3.3 GPA in history, and satisfactory completion of a thesis judged to merit an honors designation.
Scholarships And Awards
The University offers several scholarships and awards to incoming freshmen and all undergraduates. For more information, go to Scholarships.
Honoraries And Student Publications
A chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society for undergraduate and graduate students, is active on campus. The Department publishes an annual journal, the Southern Historian, which serves as a forum for undergraduate and graduate student articles and book reviews.
Further information about the undergraduate program may be obtained directly from the departmental office, 202 Ten Hoor, or by contacting the Undergraduate Director, Dr. James Mixson.
Mailing Address: Box 870212, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0212.