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The History Program
For nearly eighty years, the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History Graduate Program in History has been offering students a unique opportunity to pursue Master’s and Doctoral Degrees. Named for Lyon Gardiner Tyler, the College’s seventeenth president, and the son of the nation’s 10th president, William & Mary’s Department of History is the oldest history department in the United States. Its moderate size, dedicated faculty, and distinctive history give the department a unique character among public institutions, and create a learning environment that fosters close interaction among students and teachers. The department’s graduate program offers a Ph.D. in Early American and U.S. History, as well as Master’s Degree Programs in Early American, U.S. and Comparative and Transnational History.
The Program prides itself on its commitment to preparing broadly trained faculty who are leaders in their fields of specialty. The topics of recent dissertations have ranged from Loyalists, Indians, and Slaves in the Deep South during the American Revolution to Race, Gender and Film Censorship in the New South. The program prepares students to be teachers and scholars, while also offering training for careers as editors and historical archaeologists, and as public history professionals in historical societies, libraries and museums. The Program’s excellent placement record is testament to its success.
The Department of History also offers a unique opportunity for students in the master’s and doctoral programs to obtain practical experience in a variety of history related career fields by competitively awarding apprenticeships in the following areas: Archives and Manuscript Collections, Editing of Historical Books and Manuscripts, Humanities Computing, International Studies, and Vernacular Architecture. All doctoral students do intensive teacher training.
Graduate students also benefit from the Department’s close association with the American Studies Program, the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, the National Institute of American History and Democracy, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, Swem Library, and the Center for Archaeological Research, among many other local historical institutions of national importance.
Chair — Leisa D. Meyer Associate Professor (Ph.D., Wisconsin-Madison).
Graduate Director — Brett Rushforth Associate Professor (Ph.D., California-Davis).
Undergraduate Director — Frederick Corney Harrison Associate Professor (Ph.D., Columbia).
Click Here to view the full History Department Faculty list.
The History Department offers a Doctoral Program in Early American and United States History, and a Masters program with specialization in Early American, United States, and Comparative and Transnational History. Doctoral students develop a minor field in a non-US geographic area such as Africa, Britain, or Latin America History or a comparative/transnational theme such as the Slave Trade, the Atlantic World or Comparative Revolutions as well as a thematic field in subjects such as African American, labor, or women’s/gender history. Ph.D. students may do research in all sub-fields of American or U.S. history, including, but not limited to, Native American history, women’s history, international relations, African American history, labor history, social history, cultural history, political history, and the history of sexuality. A distinguishing characteristic of our program is its apprenticeship and internship opportunities (please see below).
(See general College requirements in the section entitled ‘Graduate Regulations ’ in this catalog.)
A required supplemental application is available on the department’s web page at www.wm.edu/history. Applicants must submit official undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and official copies of scores from the Graduate Record Examination. A writing sample is required. A separate application is not necessary for financial aid. For full consideration, completed applications must be postmarked by December 5, 2012 for the Masters and Ph.D. programs in American and U.S. History and the Comparative and Transnational Master’s program. Applications submitted after the deadline must be mailed and may be evaluated if space is available. Minimum requirements for admission include an overall academic average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and the completion of 24 semester hours of work in history. Additional hours in history and course work in a foreign or classical language are highly recommended.
Apprenticeship and Internship Programs
In addition to traditional preparation in research, the Department of History in conjunction with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the Earl Gregg Swem Library, the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, the Department of Anthropology, the Center for Archaeological Research, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation offers a unique opportunity for masters and first-year doctoral students to obtain practical experience in career fields related to history. Apprenticeships are available in archives and manuscript collections, the editing of historical books and magazines, international studies, humanities computing, and historical architecture. Apprenticeships commence on July 1, August 1, or late August of each year and extend to May 15 or June 30 of the succeeding year. The History Department also requires doctoral students to participate in a teaching internship that provides supervised experience in teaching college classes.
Programs and Course Descriptions
Description of Courses
Courses listed in this catalog are not offered every academic year. Please consult the website www.wm.edu/history and/or the department office for the current listing of courses offered.
Unless otherwise noted, all courses are graded using standard grading [A, B, C, D, F] scheme (See Grading and Academic Progress in the section entitled ‘Graduate Regulations ’) and may not be repeated for credit (See Repeated Courses requirements in the section entitled ‘Graduate Regulations ’).
- HIST 501 - Independent Study in History
- HIST 502 - Independent Study in History
- HIST 503 - Colonial Virginia
- HIST 504 - France in North America
- HIST 518 - U.S. Gilded Age
- HIST 533 - U.S. Foreign Relations, 1763-1900
- HIST 534 - U.S. Foreign Relations, 1901-Present
- HIST 537 - American Cultural and Intellectual History from the Beginnings through the Early National Period
- HIST 538 - American Cultural and Intellectual History from the Early National Period through the Early 20th Century
- HIST 541 - The Caribbean
- HIST 547 - Crises of European Society
- HIST 559 - Problems in Modern History
- HIST 571 - Contemporary Russia
- HIST 572 - The Russian Revolution
- HIST 577 - History of Mexico
- HIST 591 - Topics in History
- HIST 591 - Topics in History
- HIST 607 - Introduction to Historical Archaeology & Material Culture
- HIST 612 - European History, 1357-1598
- HIST 615 - European History, 1648-1871.
- HIST 616 - European History, 1648-1871.
- HIST 619 - England Under the Tudors, 1485-1603
- HIST 620 - Britain Under the Stuarts, 1603-1714
- HIST 624 - African Diaspora (II)
- HIST 625 - The Rise and Fall of Apartheid
- HIST 628 - Modern Japanese History
- HIST 629 - Modern Chinese History
- HIST 630 - America and China: U.S.-China Relations since 1784
- HIST 631 - History of Spain
- HIST 633 - History of Germany to 1918
- HIST 634 - History of Germany since 1918
- HIST 637 - History of France, 1648 to 1800
- HIST 638 - History of France, 1800 to the Present
- HIST 639 - Latin American History
- HIST 640 - Latin American History
- HIST 649 - The History of Russia since 1800
- HIST 651 - African History
- HIST 652 - African History
- HIST 655 - Medieval Europe to 1000
- HIST 656 - Medieval Europe since 1000
- HIST 658 - The European Renaissance
- HIST 659 - The Reformation in Western Europe
- HIST 663 - The Age of Absolutism and Revolution in Europe, 1648-1789
- HIST 664 - The Age of Absolutism and Revolution in Europe, 1789-1870
- HIST 669 - The History of Britain from the mid-15th to the late 18th Centuries
- HIST 670 - The History of Britain from the late 18th Century to the Present
- HIST 673 - East Central Europe
- HIST 679 - Modern Middle East
- HIST 680 - Modern Middle East
- HIST 687 - Readings Courses
- HIST 687 - Readings Courses
- HIST 691 - Intellectual History of Modern Europe: Renaissance to the Enlightenment
- HIST 692 - Intellectual History of Modern Europe: 19th to the 21st Centuries
- HIST 700 - Thesis
- HIST 701 - History and Literature of History
- HIST 701-01 - American History to 1870
- HIST 701-02 - Comparative and Transnational History
- HIST 702 - American History from 1870
- HIST 702 - History and Literature of History
- HIST 705 - Teaching History
- HIST 710 - Research Seminar: America to 1815
- HIST 711 - Research Seminar: U.S. History, 1815-present
- HIST 713 - Research Seminar: Comparative History
- HIST 715 - Readings Seminars in Early American History to 1815
- HIST 716 - Reading Seminars in U.S. History, 1815-present
- HIST 720 - Readings Seminar in Comparative or Transnational History
- HIST 721 - Advanced Readings Courses
- HIST 721 - Early American History to 1815
- HIST 722 - Early American History to 1815
- HIST 723 - United States History Since 1815
- HIST 725 - Colonial Period of Latin American History
- HIST 726 - National Period of Latin American History since 1824
- HIST 731 - Medieval Europe: 400-1450
- HIST 732 - Europe: 1400-1648
- HIST 733 - Europe 1648-1815
- HIST 734 - Europe 1815-1945
- HIST 735 - Russia and Europe 1905 to the Present
- HIST 736 - England to 1485
- HIST 737 - England 1485-1714
- HIST 738 - England since 1714
- HIST 741 - East Asia: 1600-1850
- HIST 742 - East Asia 1850 to Present
- HIST 743 - Africa: 1800 to the Present
- HIST 745 - The Modern Middle East: 1500 to 1800
- HIST 746 - Advanced Readings Courses
- HIST 746 - The Modern Middle East: 1800 to the Present
- HIST 758 - Directed Research
- HIST 759 - Topics in History
- HIST 800 - Dissertation