The Department of History offers an invigorating learning experience that challenges students to ask not just what happened, but why it happened. The past is not simply a list of facts to be memorized, but it is a mystery to be unveiled in much the same way a detective solves a tricky case. Our faculty is dedicated to helping students discover the complexity of the human story as it has developed across a diverse cultural and physical landscape over time.
The skills you develop in studying history are skills that promise professional success in the information age. The thoroughness of your research, the sophistication of your analysis and the clarity of your expression are what we assess, in much the same way that your employer will down the road. Of course, many of our graduates want to teach history, but the range of options beyond teaching is unlimited. The training you receive in history courses makes you an ideal candidate for many jobs that require problem solving and articulate oral and written communication. Some of our graduates have gone on to leading history graduate programs, including University of Virginia, Rutgers and New York University, as well some of the top law schools in the country. Other students have gone on to successful careers with the FBI, museums, archives, government agencies and other rewarding positions.
Our history courses encompass all ages and cultures, offering the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in history. Beginning with the World Civilizations survey course, we encourage our students to think in a global context. We promote active learning through research; our students don’t just read about history in a textbook, they make their own history by using actual historical documents, many housed on our campus in the Edward H. Nabb Research Center. Here, students have the unique opportunity to read and analyze documents ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries. We also encourage our majors to acquire knowledge and develop skills through internships, travel, and individualized coursework. Some of our interns have worked in Washington, D.C., for example, at the Smithsonian Institution and at the Department of the Interior. We promote many travel courses, including trips to England, Germany, France, Russia, China, Ecuador and Italy.
The History Department also administers the anthropology track in the interdisciplinary studies major, whose strengths in archaeology complement the History Department’s mission to uncover the global past. Anthropology offers a broad cross-cultural perspective that provides deep insight into the human condition, whether the culture under consideration belongs to today’s ever-more interconnected societies or to the prehistoric past. Many of the same research and analytical skills utilized by historians, coupled with training in field and laboratory methods that collect ethnographic or archaeological data, allow students to conduct their own research. In addition to its historical archives, SU’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center houses an archaeology laboratory, where students can gain hands-on experience with both prehistoric and historic artifact collections. Anthropology students at Salisbury University have helped document the rich traditions of local communities and have traveled abroad to excavate Iron Age sites in Africa and live in Andean villages. Some of our anthropology alumni have gone on to graduate programs in historical archaeology, historic preservation, anthropology, national security and forensics. For those pursuing a master’s degree that touches on such fields, anthropology courses can be taken for graduate credit. The History Department also houses minors in American studies and gender studies. With a diverse offering of courses, majors and minors, students are certain to find an area of interest in the History Department.
The University’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center collects and preserves archival material, artifacts and books—including family history, maps and microfilm pertaining to the Delmarva Peninsula. Delmarva includes the Eastern Shore of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and was a gateway from the Chesapeake Bay region in the earliest days to the bounty and promise of America. At the Nabb Center, students find firsthand accounts from a long list of famous and not-so-famous people, including the earliest explorers, Civil War soldiers and average Americans. The mission of the Nabb Research Center is to cultivate and sustain the advancement of scholarly research through collecting, preserving, disseminating and providing access to records and artifacts which illustrate the rich historical and cultural heritage of the greater Delmarva region. History majors work with the faculty and staff of the Nabb Center to produce original research; essentially, the Nabb Center is a laboratory for historians. Life-long Learning Students have the opportunity to develop skills normally reserved for graduate schools at other universities. With our emphasis on undergraduate research, learning by doing and one-on-one instruction, history students at Salisbury University are sure to have a rigorous and engaging educational experience that will foster a love of life-long learning while leading to a rewarding career.