The study of history prepares students for informed citizenship in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. A diverse undergraduate history curriculum at William and Mary enables students to better understand the human experience around the world and over time, through broad surveys and more specific courses on Europe, North America, Africa, Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. A major in history trains students to read intelligently, think critically, and write effectively.
The pursuit of history can be enriched through experience in different cultures and societies, and many history majors study abroad. Faculty advisors can help students integrate foreign study into their academic and career plans. Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society, has an active chapter at the College. Furthermore, the History Department, either alone or in conjunction with such institutions and programs as the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, American Studies, Women's Studies, the Reves Center, Medieval-Renaissance Studies, and Black Studies, sponsors numerous lectures which undergraduates are encouraged to attend. These events are publicized in the William and Mary News, The Flat Hat, and on posters in James Blair Hall.
History majors have established themselves in a wide variety of career fields. In addition to gaining entry to some of the nation's best graduate programs in history, many graduates have found rewarding careers in law, education, business, museums, historic sites, non-profit institutions, government, and foreign service.
History majors should take note of the alumni newsletter, the William and Mary Historian, published by the Department periodically and usually in the spring. All students are asked to keep in touch with the Department after graduation, and to inform us of any news regarding employment, scholarly activities, or personal events. Material can be emailed to the newsletter editor.