Bachelor of Arts
Master of Arts
The Department of History explores links between the past and our contemporary world. History helps us craft narratives of the past based on the interpretation of a wide range of artifacts from the past. Through the study of history, students learn to compare elements of their own culture with those of other cultures and from other time periods. Students consider the impact, lives, and perspectives of individual men and women in the histories of both the United States and the world, while appreciating the significance of national and trans-national structures and forces such as cultures, economics, the environment, gender, religions, politics, and war. Students both examine those historical perspectives that are well represented by the documentary record and consider ways of recovering perspectives that have been silenced.
Learning experiences available to history majors include regular classroom courses; independent studies and tutorials; study abroad; and internships at libraries, archives, historic sites, and other institutions, particularly in state government. The history curriculum includes courses covering America from the colonial era to the present; interdisciplinary, trans-national thematic courses in such areas as imperialism, the history of religion and women’s history; courses in the history of Europe, Asia, and other world regions; and courses analyzing historic forces shaping the contemporary world.
History Department Honors Program
The UIS History Department Honors program is designed to provide an opportunity for the highest-performing students in the major to develop skills above and beyond what is required of the typical BA student. The Honors program focuses on developing skills that will assist high-performing students in applications to graduate and professional schools.
Course-embedded portfolio model
Students will develop a portfolio of Honors work by taking four enhanced HIS courses at the upper level. An ‘enhanced’ course requires the research and creation of a project in addition to those required by the standard 400-level course (this project should not simply be a longer version of a class project). These projects should be tailored to the academic and professional goals of the student. Examples of enhanced portfolio projects include:
Creation of a research-based website
Development of a teaching curriculum
A short film
For study abroad and internships, students must design and develop a project based on time spent at their activity.
Honors Portfolio and Defense
Students will present their completed Honors Portfolio to an Honors Committee, comprised of three members of the UIS History Department. Students will present for 20 minutes on their portfolio, followed by an oral examination of that portfolio by the committee. This presentation can be conducted via Skype for online students. During the presentation, students will reflect on their enhanced work and discuss how their projects relate to each other or build on each other.
History majors can be licensed to teach at the elementary, middle, or secondary level. Students must apply separately to the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Students seeking licensure will be assigned both a history advisor and a TEP advisor, whom they should consult regularly to make sure they satisfy requirements for both the major and licensure. Students interested in licensure should consult the Teacher Education section of this catalog.