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Department of History

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Special Programs


All students majoring in history may participate in the Undergraduate History Association and in Phi Alpha Theta, a national honorary society in history. Majors are also encouraged to attend the lectures, seminars, and films sponsored by the Department, including the annual Byrn History Lecture. 

Certification for Teaching

History majors may choose to "double major" in Social Studies education, a prudent choice if interested in teaching. Each year U.S. News & World Report ranks Peabody among the best graduate schools of education in the country. Another option is Peabody's fifth year Master's program for History majors interested in teaching. Upon graduating with a B.A. in History, History majors in our fifth year program would spend the next summer and academic year earning their M.Ed. and teaching licensure.


Students seeking teacher certification in history or other social science disciplines at the secondary level should refer to the chapter on Certification for Teaching in the Peabody College section of the Undergraduate Catalog. Please contact Professor Andrew Hostetler, Coordinator of Social Studies Secondary Education, at a.hostetler@vanderbilt.edu for more information.

Special Degree Programs - Combined BA/MA (4+1) Program

The Department of History offers a combined BA/Masters in History called the 4+1 program.  This is coordinated through the Director of Graduate Studies in History and Martin Rapisarda, Associate Dean
College of Arts & Science, martin.rapisarda@vanderbilt.edu. Please see the guidelines here

Study Abroad

No other major gives you so many different opportunities to receive direct credit for study abroad, both at Vanderbilt-in programs and at Vanderbilt-approved programs sponsored by other institutions. History majors with the appropriate qualifications are eligible to participate in a wide variety of programs for a semester, year, summer or Maymester. For a full listing please visit the Global Education Office’s website: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/geo. Students may also apply to the Vanderbilt Committee on Individual Programs for transfer credit (hours only) from overseas programs other than those sponsored by Vanderbilt. More information is available from the Global Education Office, Suite 115, Student Life Center, and at www.vanderbilt.edu/geo. Before enrolling for history courses at other institutions, you should also consult with Professor Lauren Clay, Director of Undergraduate Studies so that he may evaluate the course you are planning to take to make sure it will be eligible for Vanderbilt credit.  

Summer Work Elsewhere

If you need approval for a history course that you plan to take at another institution, please link on "Summer Work Elsewhere" form to the right and follow the instructions.

Your petition must be completed by the second Friday in April prior to the summer session you plan to attend.

History Internships

Under faculty supervision, students from any discipline can gain experience in a broad range of public and private agencies, institutions, and programs. In some cases, such as historical societies or museums, history is a central part of the organization’s mission; in other cases, the student will play a role in managing the institution’s records or writing its history.

The Department of History has one established internship program at Belle Meade Plantation located in Nashville, Tennessee. Interns working at the Belle Meade Plantation will assist the museum with historic research, designing exhibits, inventory, cataloging, and conservation of historic artifacts and documents, teaching and planning for school groups. Please contact Jenny Lamb at jenny.lamb@BelleMeadePlantation.com if interested. The contact professor in the Department of History is Professor Richard Blackett.

History Majors might also be interested in The Vanderbilt Internship Experience in Washington, D.C. (VIEW) program which includes a one-credit course that takes place throughout the spring semester, and then the students complete internships over the summer. Students apply directly through Office of Active Citizenship and Service, and the application process generally opens around the middle of the fall semester. Students of all majors are welcome to apply. Contact Meagan Smith, Program Coordinator with questions.

In order to get credit for an internship students must have a 3.5 History grade point average, 6 hours of prior work in history and meet with Dean Yollette Jones to discuss a specific plan BEFORE requesting permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Lauren Clay Please contact Dean Jones's assistant Amber Allen for an appointment at 615-343-3141.

 updated March 6, 2017