Presidential impeachment, gun control, racial divisions, the role of ethnic minorities in our society - these and all of the critical debates of our time can be understood only in the context of history.
Knowledge of the past helps us to gain a perspective on the issues of the present and of the future; knowledge of the roots of their culture helps citizens to engage the issues of today so that they may shape tomorrow.
The study of history promotes continuity with our past; encourages understanding of social, political, and economic institutions; and provides insight into our cultural heritage.
Millersville is the only institution in southeastern Pennsylvania outside the Philadelphia area to grant advanced degrees in history, Baccalaureates in Liberal Arts and in Education, and a Master of Arts in History.
The department offers a quality program in either Liberal Arts or Education. Our faculty, which is recognized as being dedicated to teaching, historical research, and the profession, maintains a strong commitment to scholarship. In addition to offering a wide range of courses in the traditional fields of United States history and European history, the department also offers courses dealing with Africa, Latin America, the Atlantic, the Middle East, Violence, Women, and the Holocaust. Undergraduate students may also qualify to matriculate in the history department's Master of Arts Degree in History to enhance their undergraduate experiences.
Extracurricular events are vital for a thorough education. The department hosts a variety of conferences and colloquia, and there is a student-run History Club. In addition, the department annually presents a variety of academic awards to students majoring in history.
The members of the History department are dedicated to the teacher-scholar model of professional development. Committed to strong and effective teaching, historical research, and community service, the faculty reflects a variety of teaching and scholarly research specialties. Most are members of major international, national and regional historical associations and are involved actively in research and publishing. Several hold leadership positions in professional organizations like the American Historical Association, the Society for French History, the Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, as well as the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. And all have doctorates. Two important editing projects are housed in the department: the Winthrop Papers and the Journal of Baltic Studies.
A degree in history may be an end in itself. It is, however, an excellent choice for anyone who wishes to pursue entry into the profession of history. Many recent graduates have gone on to study in the nation's leading graduate schools and now teach in colleges and universities.
For those who wish to teach social studies in secondary schools, our faculty works hard to provide education majors with an understanding of American culture, Western Civilization, and the major cultures of the non-western world.
Other history graduates have found careers in diverse fields including:
- Real Estate
- Government Services
- Historical Preservation
The history faculty not only has taken the initiative to integrate computer-based technology into the classroom but also it has created nationally recognized historical archives and other on-line projects. The following Web sites may be accessed on the Internet at:
- The Annual Holocaust Conference: bringing world-class scholars to Millersville as part of the ongoing struggle to understand this horrific event in human history.
- Columbus and the Age of Discovery Web Site: a nationally recognized database of information offered by the University in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Encounter of Two Worlds.
- The Winthrop Papers: a compilation of papers, writings, and other information that document the life of a key figure in American Puritanism.
- The New Media Classroom: in association with the American Social History Project (CUNY) and the American Studies Association's Crossroads Project, Millersville is a regional center for new educational technologies in the humanities.
The History department is located on the second floor of the Sanders P. McComsey Hall; most classes, lectures and seminars are held in this building. The Helen A. Ganser Library has one of the finest collections of books in the field of history and related disciplines in the region. In addition to a large collection of titles in the field of history, the library subscribes to a wide array of historical and related journals, some in hard copy, others in microfilm or on-line form. This includes a fine collection of reference and government materials.
An efficient system of interlibrary loans allows students to draw upon even more works, if needed, from research libraries all over the world. Computer workstations in the library and elsewhere on campus allow students ample opportunity to research topics on-line.
For more information, contact Ms. Maggie Eichler, Department Secretary.