The Millsaps History Department has developed a curriculum that is intended to expose students to the variety of human experiences. We seek to encourage the free exchange of ideas and interpretations and to help students understand that the really important historical questions--the "why" questions--have no single "right" answer, but that all interpretations must be judged on the basis of the evidence that is offered to support them. Courses are designed to allow students to practice the thinking, evaluation, interpretation, discussion, and writing that are essential to the study of history.
All members of the history faculty hold the Ph.D. degree and are outstanding teachers and scholars. While all members of the department are active scholars, we also realize that the department's primary mission is to teach, with an emphasis on the individual student. The department is especially strong in the areas of American, European, African, African American, Latin American, women's, environmental, and comparative history.
Student evaluations of all members of the Millsaps history faculty are consistently far above the already very high mean for the Millsaps faculty as a whole. Student comments on anonymous written evaluations of our faculty are filled with praise and superlatives. What is especially noteworthy is that students love the teaching of all members of the department, despite the fact that the various members of the history faculty employ very different teaching styles. Students seem to very much like all the different ways in which our faculty members teach.
Members of the history faculty have won the last three Millsaps Outstanding Young Faculty Member Awards. Two members of the history faculty have been named Humanities Teacher Award and one has been named Millsaps Distinguished Professor twice, Mississippi Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Endowment for Education, and silver medalist in the National Professor of the Year competition by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
The bottom line is one that students often write on their evaluations of members of the history faculty: "The Millsaps history department rocks!"
What can I do with a history major?
The best answer to that question is: "Anything you want to do." A history major can, of course, lead into a field directly related to history, including going to graduate school and becoming a professor, teaching history, working in a museum or archive, etc. History is also among the best undergraduate majors for students planning to go to law school. Beyond these career paths, however, what you will learn as a history major, with an emphasis on developing critical thinking, analytical skills, and written and oral communication, will serve as an excellent preparation for almost any career you choose to pursue in the business world, politics, public service, medicine - yes, medicine, too: We have had many pre-med students who majored in history as undergraduates. You can check out what some of our graduates are doing below.
In addition to preparing you for what you will do after your graduation, the Millsaps history department offers many exciting opportunities for you during your time with us. Among them are the Millsaps History Club, chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, internships and award programs.
Noted History graduates
In recent years, Millsaps history majors have gone to well-known graduate and law schools such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, North Carolina, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Texas, Emory, Washington & Lee, Michigan State, and many others. Among the many noted Millsaps history graduates are David H. Donald, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian at Harvard; Otis Singletary, President Emeritus of the University of Kentucky; and Randall Pinkston, CBS News White House correspondent.