Overview: Why choose history? First, it is the stockpile of human experience, and we need to draw on it fully to grasp the forces that influence our lives. It is central to a liberal arts education and a defining feature of the Jesuit tradition. Some call it the Queen of Humanities because it provides a general framework and a unifying perspective for many more narrowly specialized disciplines. Second, it is highly enjoyable; real stories are often much more fascinating than fiction, and the detective work we do as we dig into sources can be thrilling. In the great theatre of history, we do not look at the stage only; we also visit its dressing rooms. And third, it teaches information-processing skills of mind that remain in strong demand on the ever-changing job market: analytical thinking, effective use of evidence, researching, writing and rhetorical abilities, and understanding cultural differences.
Curriculum: The Department of History follows a long tradition. It has been providing a solid foundation of historical understanding to the undergraduate students of Saint Louis University for more than a century and a half. The program begins with introductions to American, European, and non-Western history. Students then take courses in more specific historical areas that allow exploration of certain subjects in greater depth. Finally, students take seminars that require them to research and write in more narrowly focused areas. The Department of History participates in the activities of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. History majors are also encouraged to explore the certificate programs available at Saint Louis University, including the certificates in Catholic Studies, African American Studies, Russian and East European Studies, and Women's Studies.
Faculty: The History Department is an active community of diverse, internationally recognized scholars. "We have no uninteresting faculty members," says Dr. Michal Rozbicki, Department Chair. Every one of the twenty-three professors is engaged in original research, and dedicated to sharing it with our students. The strong research culture of the department is reflected in the volume of scholarly publications; just between 2003 to 2008, the faculty have published 25 books and 66 peer-reviewed articles, and given numerous scholarly papers at national and international conferences. Our course offerings range around the globe, and include the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and the Far East.
Internships: The Department of History offers a variety of internships; for example, in an archive, a museum, a historical site, or on a specific project.
Careers: Our graduates find a broad range of employments, including education, law, journalism, international business, museum and library work, and public service. Many have successfully pursued graduate studies, and now teach in academic institutions. Survey data of former History graduates for 2007 shows that 93% consider themselves "satisfactorily occupied."