Welcome to the History Department at Vanderbilt University. With forty full time faculty, the department is one of the largest in the College of Arts & Science. Twenty of our members hold endowed chairs, seven have won prestigious teaching awards, and two are directors of affiliated programs. Our faculty are dedicated teachers, specializing in the histories of the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Atlantic World, East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Our faculty are also specialists in a wide range of topical areas, including medicine and science, gender and race, slavery, law, economic history, and religion.
We offer more than 150 courses that are available to students in all of Vanderbilt’s schools and undergraduate programs. The department is committed to the principle that in a changing world, the way we learn about the past must also change. It will continue to develop new courses for the twenty-first century, with an emphasis on those that recognize the interconnections among the various civilizations and regions of the globe. For more information on history courses, refer to the Undergraduate Catalog, or speak with Professor Thomas Schwartz, Director of Undergraduate Studies, during his office hours.
Students may elect to obtain a major in History with a concentration in one of eight areas: Asia, Latin America, European, Early America and the United States, Middle East and Africa, Global and Transnational, Science, Medicine, and Technology, and Comparative History/Special Topics. Or students may choose to major in Legal History and Society, or Economics and History. All majors of the History department may become eligible to be part of the Honors Program, from which 190 honors theses have been written and defended since 1985. Additionally, any student majoring in History, Legal History and Society, or Economics and History may also become eligible to participate in Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society, the Undergraduate History Association, and apply for Gertrude Casebier Grants for student honors research.