The History major at Lenoir-Rhyne University is intensive and engaging, combining breadth of knowledge with rigorous critical analysis of the diverse cultural, social, and economic dimensions of past experience. The major is regional, national, and global in coverage, including courses in North Carolina and United States histories as well as Asian, African, Latin American, European, and world histories. With a focus on the philosophy and practice of history, the program is designed around small classes, thorough research, and open discussions—with particular attention given to historical writing and narrative.
The LR History program is a participating member of the American Historical Association Tuning Project, a competitive, nation-wide endeavor designed to identify Core Competencies for all History majors at the AB, BA and MA level. As such, the program actively engages in conversations with faculty throughout the nation about Best Practices in History in Higher Education and regularly assesses and reflects on the effectiveness of our curriculum and instruction. In this way, a major in History at LR prepares students for a competitive workplace and/or advanced graduate studies in ways that few institutions can claim.
As a history major, students are trained to use the cognitive and professional tools of the discipline that inform historical thinking, intellectual engagement in scholarly debates within the discipline, and use of primary source materials in the construction of multiple narratives. In short, knowledge of the political, social, economic, and cultural events of the past equips students with analytical, critical, and innovative skills to address a variety of issues pertaining to the past as well as the present.
The small class sizes of the history program encourage interdisciplinary exploration and a rich learning community between faculty and students and among the History students. Because of the size of the major’s curriculum, History majors also have the opportunity to choose a second major, and they are encouraged to consider options such as English, Philosophy, Political Science, and/or Religion, especially if they are considering graduate studies.
LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
In the History program, much of the skills and content developed in the classroom environment is also applied in the real world through experiential learning and co-curricular activities. For example, regular partnerships with local institutions such as the Hickory Landmarks Society and the Catawba County Historical Museum yield a number of internship and archival research opportunities as well as field trips to Historical sites throughout North Carolina and beyond. Furthermore, the History faculty advise and support the LR History Club, a student organization founded in 2014 which works to promote community appreciation of and participation in local history activities. Finally, the program is committed to exposing students to the professional side of a historian’s education. As such, the program regularly sponsor trips to the annual meetings of American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians in order to give students the opportunity to witness some of the highest level of scholarship in the History discipline, network with faculty from potential graduate programs, and experience the local history of other locations throughout the country via programs sponsored by the professional organization. In short, faculty and students in LR’s History major are committed to “doing” history as well as studying it!
LR offers a BA degree with a major in History. Students may also choose a minor in History. History majors are encouraged to consider a second major in a related area of study to prepare them further for future graduate or professional opportunities.
History majors who are seeking licensure to teach in secondary schools are able to complete their Education courses through LR’s innovative 4+1 program, through which they complete both a Bachelors and a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in five years. Through LR’s Bridges to Dreams and Alumni Advantage programs, there are substantial graduate tuition discounts for students who complete their undergraduate degrees at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
A major in History prepares students for a competitive workplace and/or advanced graduate studies. The analytical and critical thinking skills that a history education imparts to students are the keys to success. In that regard, there are very few fields and professions that do not benefit from historical knowledge. As a result, training within the major provides students with philosophical knowledge and analytical abilities that may be used in a variety of professions including (but not limited to) education/teaching, museum and archival work, writing and publishing, public history and preservation, journalism, media consulting, government, and tourism. Because of the nature of the major, History is also among the most popular and the best preparations for legal careers.