Why study History?
The study of history is one of the oldest courses of study, and, along with literature and philosophy, remains one of the pillars of a liberal arts education. History allows students to better understand diverse peoples and societies. It also teaches how those societies and cultures were created and how they have changed through time. The examination of the past gives insight into human morality and identity and teaches good citizenship. Peter N. Stearns has an excellent article on the reasons to study history. The skills history teaches—critical reading, advanced research, the ways in which evidence can be used to create arguments, superb writing, and oral presentation proficiency—are essential to any number of careers. Undergraduate history majors from Southern Miss have gone on to some of the finest graduate and law schools in the country, while others have established successful careers in a number of fields.
Bachelor of Arts in History
The Department offers a traditional liberal arts degree in History. The study of history offers students excellent training in critical reading and the analysis of evidence, the ability to form complex arguments and convey them in clear and persuasive prose, and an elaborate understanding of people, societies, and historic change. These are skills highly prized in all walks of life, from law school to museums and from higher education to top-ranked business firms. Once students pass introductory classes in historic methods and world and American history, they can choose from a wide variety of classes on different periods and geographic areas, as well as special topic areas in history. Under the supervision of their advisor, students can choose to specialize in a few subjects or to design a more comprehensive plan of historical study.
Bachelor of Arts in History with Class A License to teach Social Studies
The History Education B.A. with Licensure in Social Studies 7-12 is a nationally recognized program with accreditation from the National Council for the Social Studies. Its graduates have found successful, fulfilling careers in high schools, junior high schools, and middle schools in Mississippi and across the United States. Unlike alternate route programs, the History Education B.A. combines rigorous coursework in history and the other social sciences with a semester-long practicum and student teaching experiences under a variety of master teachers. Practicum and student teaching supervision is carried out by History Department faculty with extensive 7-12 teaching experience in Mississippi classrooms. Coursework in classroom management, assessment, the education of exceptional students, and methods of teaching social studies in the secondary schools help candidates gain both theoretical and practical knowledge. Requirements for formal admission into the University's teacher education program include 44 hours of selected core courses, a 2.75 G.P.A., the passage of a basic technology literacy examination, and passing scores on the Praxis I test (or acceptable scores on the SAT or ACT.)