Historical Studies (HIST)

Department of History

SCOTT, MICHELLE, Graduate Program Director
MERINGOLO, DENISE, Public History Track Director

BOEHLING, REBECCA L., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; German and modern European history, European women's history, history of the holocaust
BROWN, KATHRYN, Ph.D., University of Washington; Russia and Eastern Europe, ethnicity and nationalism
CASPER, SCOTT E., Ph.D. Yale University, Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences; 19th Century America, Cultural
GRUBB, JAMES S., Ph.D., University of Chicago; Renaissance and Reformation
JEFFRIES, JOHN W., Ph.D., Yale Universitiy; 20th-century United States, American political and policy history
VAPORIS, CONSTANTINE N., Ph.D., Princeton University; Japan, East Asia, women and gender in East Asia

Associate Professors
BOUTON, TERRY, Ph.D., Duke University; United States early republic, American Revolution
FROIDE, AMY, Ph.D., Duke University; Early modern Britain, early modern Europe, European women's history
KARS, MARJOLEINE, Ph.D., Duke University; Early America, U.S. women's history, gender, religion
MCDONOUGH, SUSAN A., Ph.D., Yale University; Medieval social history; medieval Jewish-Christian relations, gender and sexuality
MERINGOLO, DENISE D, Ph.D., George Washington University; Public history and material culture, 20th-century women's political history and feminist theory, critical race theory, U.S. social and cultural history, 1860 to the present
MUSGROVE, GEORGE DEREK , Ph.D., NYU; U. S. history, post-1945 U. S. politics, black power, black electoral politics
RITSCHEL, DANIEL, D.Phil., Oxford University; Great Britain, economic and social policy, historiography
RUBIN, ANNE SARAH, Ph.D., University of Virginia; Civil War, the U.S. South, 19th-century America
SCOTT, MICHELLE R., Ph.D., Cornell University; 20th century America, African American history, civil rights, gender and women’s history, music culture
TATAREWICZ, JOSEPH N., Ph.D., Indiana University; Public history, history and philosophy of science/technology

Assistant Professors
CHAPIN, CHRISTY FORD, Ph.D., University of Virginia; U.S. political, economic, and business history
OYEN, MEREDITH, Ph.D., Georgetown University; U.S. history and U.S. diplomatic history, history of East Asian-American relations, transnational migration

Shady Grove Faculty
NOLAN, ANDREW, Ph.D. University of Illinois; US 20th century, cultural and intellectual history; Constitutional
BLAIR, MELISSA, Ph. D. University of Delaware; Public History, Architectural History, Maryland

Degree Offered

M.A. (thesis).
In addition to a wide range of subject/area specialties, the M.A. includes the option of a track in public history (see below). The Policy Sciences Ph.D. program offers a concentration in policy history; for further information, contact the history department or the policy sciences department. The history department is also affiliated with the Language, Literacy, and Culture Doctoral Program. Please see the LLC Ph.D. Program for further information.

Program Description

The M.A. in Historical Studies is designed to accommodate a variety of interests or career paths including students who are considering a formal academic career in history; those engaged in teaching at the K-12 level, individuals who desire to deepen their knowledge of history, or those seeking credentials in public history for work in museums, archives, libraries, public history sites, government agencies, or historical research in institutions outside academia. The M.A. in Historical Studies is characterized by a core emphasis on academic training in historiography and current conceptual tools and techniques for collecting, organizing, and interpreting historical evidence. The scheduling of courses in the program is arranged to meet the needs of full-time students as well as part-time evening students.

Qualified undergraduate students may apply for the Accelerated B.A./M.A. program that permits advanced undergraduate students to take courses at the graduate level while earning the B.A. After earning the B.A. degree, graduates may apply to the M.A. program and if accepted, apply the credits earned in the Accelerated program toward the masters. For further information, contact the Department of History.

Program Admissions

The admission requirements and procedures correspond to the requirements set forth by UMBC. All original application documents must be sent directly to the Graduate School, not to the graduate program. Applications must include three letters of recommendation that provide information about your potential as a scholar and the ability to engage in the academic work of history at the graduate level. Candidates with questions or concerns regarding such letters are invited to consult with the Graduate Program Director, well before the application deadline.

The admissions deadline is February 15, for admission the following fall

Financial Assistance

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available in the Department of History. Information about other financial assistance is available from the Office of Financial Aid. Be sure to check online for application deadlines and instructions. *Please Note: All applicants wishing to be considered for departmental funding (includes teaching assistants, research assistants, and any departmental funding not issued directly by the federal government) for the upcoming academic year must submit a letter, separate from the graduate school application materials, indicating interest and qualifications to the Graduate Program Director by the same deadline of February 15.

Program Degree Requirements

The specific degree requirements are as follows: A minimum of 30 graduate credits is required. All students must take HIST 701, The Study of History and HIST 702, The Practice of History. They normally will take at least three courses from the group numbered 710-729 and up to three courses from the group numbered 601-698. Finally, they must take six credits of either HIST 799, Master's Thesis Research. HIST 798: Special Topics in Historical Studies, with the permission of the graduate program director, may be substituted for some courses in the 601-698 series and 710-729 series. HIST 790, Internship/Practicum in Historical Studies, with the permission of the graduate program director, also may be substituted for some part of the normal series of courses. Every attempt is made to individualize the student's total degree program to meet particular interests and career goals.

Subject/Area Specialties

United States history (all periods and several sub-areas, including politics and public policy, social history, diplomatic history, economic/business history, urban history, environmental history, women's and gender history, civil rights and African American history); ancient history; medieval and Byzantine history; the Renaissance; modern European history (with particular emphasis on Britain, Eastern Europe, France, Germany and Russia); European intellectual history; European women's history; the history of technology, science and the health-related professions; institutional and public policy history; and Asian history, with particular emphasis on the history of China and Japan.

Public History Track

Public history is a form of public service. Public historians help create historical understanding by sharing authority and inquiry with a variety of partners, including audiences, museum professionals, preservationists, business leaders and others. They work as historians in museums, archives, historical societies, preservation organizations, government agencies, private corporations and media outlets (such as PBS and the History Channel). The Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region has rich opportunities for internships and employment. The UMBC Department of History has long prepared students for work in the public sector, and its graduates have a successful track record in finding employment in the field. The public history track prepares students for careers in this sphere in three ways. First, the track broadens students’ by understanding of historical scholarship, professionalism, and ethics. Second, the track provides opportunities for students to build a professional portfolio of research and interpretive products. Third, the track trains students to recognize historical methods as valuable tools for problem solving and community building. In addition to the core requirements for the M.A. degree (see above), the required courses for the track are HIST 705: Introduction to Public History, HIST 790: Internship (usually with one of the many historical institutions in the area). Students are also encouraged to take HIST 711: Practices in Public History and/or HIST 736: Introduction to Oral History as one of their elective courses.

Facilities and Special Resources

The Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery contains a collection of about 500,000 volumes. The history collection is particularly strong in U.S. history (including state and local history), British history and modern European history. A reference and bibliographical collection of about 25,000 volumes, together with a wealth of online bibliographical and data services, provides comprehensive aid for historical research. Graduate students also have access to a rapid delivery system of materials from the massive collective resources of all the libraries in the University System of Maryland. The library and archival resources of the Baltimore-Washington area, which include the Library of Congress and the National Archives at College Park, are the largest in the world.


HIST 529
Writing American History [3]

Taught periodically. The purpose of HIST 529 is to provide professional development for practicing teachers of American history in elementary and secondary schools. The focus of the teachers' work will be on the development and writing of research project,, the complex process and conventions of historical writing, and the fundamentals of the historical method for source notation, quotation, paraphrasing, and avoidance of plagiarism.

HIST 601
History of the Old South [3]

Study of the old South from Colonial times to 1860.

HIST 602
History of the New South [3]

Study of the former Confederate states from the Civil War to the present, with special emphasis upon race relations, constitutional interpretation and social and political transformations.

HIST 603
The American Colonies [3]

A history of the American colonies from their founding to 1774, comparing the social and economic development of the West Indies, New England, mainland South and middle colonies. Topics include patterns of settlement, racial and ethnic interaction, labor, religion, family and sex roles, and cultural achievements.

HIST 605
Comparative Slavery: Africa and the New World [3]

A historical analysis of slavery as an institution, comparing various types of servitude in Africa and the Americas. Examples also will be drawn from European, Middle Eastern and Asian systems of servitude. Traditional anthropological and socioeconomic approaches are complemented by recent studies using quantitative methods.

HIST 607
The Founding of the American Nation, 1774-1815 [3]

The origins of American democratic institutions will be analyzed in their historical contexts. Such topics as the American Revolution and Confederation period, the age of Federalism, Jeffersonian America and the War of 1812 will be surveyed.

HIST 619
The Jacksonian Era [3]

An analysis of the rise of democracy, capitalism and sectionalism in the United States from the War of 1812 to the Mexican War.

HIST 620
Introduction to Assistive Technology and Accessibility Research [3]

This is a graduate level course that will serve as an introduction to the field of assistive technology.  Assistive Technologies empower many individuals to achieve things that they might not have been able to otherwise. This class will serve as an introduction to the design, development and evaluation of a range of assistive technologies. Students will interact with the material through reading relevant literature, participating in group discussions, creating relevant presentations, working on an individual project, and listening to guest speakers. Students will apply their knowledge in a research project where they will design, implement, and/or evaluate an assistive technology.

HIST 621
The American Civil War [3]

A history of the Civil War, including an analysis of the sectional conflict, the events of the war and the period of Reconstruction.

HIST 629
History of Baltimore [3]

An examination of the growth of Baltimore from the 18th century to the present. Major themes are the evolution of urban government and politics, the development of the urban economy from a commercial port to an industrial center and then to the postindustrial era, the growth of the urban physical plant and its expansion into the metropolitan region in the 20th century and the changing relationships of Baltimore's socio-economic groups.

HIST 635
20th-Century American Foreign Policy [3]

A history of America's relations with other countries since 1919.

HIST 641
Origins of Modern America, 1877-1920 [3]

An analysis of political, economic, social and intellectual changes from the 1870s through the Wilson administration.

HIST 642
The United States, 1917-1945 [3]

An analysis of political, economic, social and cultural history of the United States from 1917 to 1945.

HIST 643
The United States Since 1945 [3]

An analysis of political, economic, social and cultural history of the United States from the 1940s to the present.

HIST 645
History of Science to 1700 [3]

The story of the birth of science. Topics include science in traditional cultures, Babylonian astronomy, the advances of the ancient Greeks, medieval European science, the Copernican revolution, conflicts between science and religion, and the Scientific Revolution.

HIST 646
History of Science Since 1700 [3]

A survey of the history of Western science since the 17th century.

HIST 647
History of Civil Rights Since the Civil War [3]

A history of civil rights from the first Reconstruction through the second. Topics to be covered include the Civil War amendments and supportive legislation; the rise and demise of Jim Crow; policy evolution toward race, ethnicity and gender; the civil rights movement since World War II and recent conflict between group and individual rights.

HIST 650
Social History of American Medicine [3]

The history of American health care, hospitals and ambulatory care facilities; the role of government; public health programs and social issues such as smoking and abortion. Note: Also listed as SOCY 657.

HIST 653
Ancient Greece [3]

Greece from the earliest times to the death of Alexander. Topics include the Aegean Bronze Age, Greek colonization and the tyrants, Sparta, Athens, the Persian Wars, the Classical Age, the Peloponnesian War, the rise of Macedonia and Alexander the Great and his impact.

HIST 655
The Roman Republic [3]

Ancient Rome from the earliest times to 31 B.C. Topics include Roman imperialism in Italy and the Mediterranean, the conflict of the orders, the Punic Wars and the collapse of the republic.

HIST 656
The Roman Empire [3]

Ancient Rome from Augustus to the disintegration of the empire in the West. Topics include the Pax Romana, the military monarchy and anarchy, the reorganization of the empire by Diocletian and Constantine, the rise of Christianity and the final collapse of the empire.

HIST 657
Byzantine Civilization [3]

Historical survey of the Byzantine state, with particular attention to the art, institutions and ideals that shaped its long history.

HIST 658
Japan to 1800 [3]

The history of Japan from the origins of the Japanese people through the height of Tokugawa rule. Areas of focus will include an examination through archaeological sources of Japan's beginnings, the transition of Japanese society from courtier to warrior rule during the 11th through 14th centuries and the process of political unification of the 16th century.

HIST 659
Japan Since 1800 [3]

Beginning with Japan's early modern past and its forced emergence from isolation, this course will explore Japan's rise as a modern state, its plunge into militarism and war and its subsequent rapid emergence as one of the world's leading nations.

HIST 662
Medieval Europe [3]

Survey of the history of medieval Europe between 1000 and 1300, with emphasis on the intellectual renaissance, the rise of representative government, the development of the feudal monarchies, the medieval papacy and the growth of towns and commerce.

HIST 663
Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages

An examination of how members of these three monotheistic faiths viewed and interacted with each other in medieval Europe.

HIST 665
The Renaissance [3]

A history of Europe from 1300 to 1500, with emphasis on the economy, institutions and culture of the Italian city-state; the movement toward capitalism and the national state; the erosion of the medieval synthesis and the growth of religious heterodoxy.

HIST 666
The Reformation [3]

The economic and political conditions, the popular movements and the theological controversies that led to the overthrow of the Catholic Church's monopoly of religious loyalties, thereby turning Europeans against one another on a national-religious basis. Attention will focus on the lives and ideas of the leading reformers.

HIST 668
The Age of Enlightenment [3]

A study of the major works of the Enlightenment in Western Europe. The literature and philosophy of the Enlightenment will be examined within the political and social history of the 18th century. Readings include Hume, Kant, Rousseau and Voltaire.

HIST 670
Tudor and Stuart England [3]

An examination of the history of Tudor and Stuart England, with a focus on the social, political and religious consequences of the rise of the Tudor state in the 16th century, the causes of the civil war in the next century and the nature of the Restoration settlement. Particular attention will be paid to the rich historiographical debate regarding the 17th-century conflict.

HIST 671
Industrial Britain [3]

An examination of the impact of the Industrial Revolution on British society, with particular reference to the themes of social and economic change, the rise of social classes and class consciousness, early feminism and gender relations and the rise of modern political ideologies.

HIST 672
Victorian Britain [3]

An examination of the main political, social and economic trends in Victorian Britain, with particular reference to the themes of parliamentary reform and the genesis of modern party politics, the Irish problems and new imperialism, the discovery of poverty, the revival of socialism and the struggle for women's suffrage.

HIST 673
20th-Century Britain: The Age of Decline [3]

An examination of the causes and consequences of Britain's descent from its position as the world's pre-eminent economic and imperial power in the 19th century to its present-day status as the Sick Woman of Europe. Particular attention will be paid to the contemporary debates around the various dimensions of this decline, the succession of counter-strategies adopted or canvassed to halt or reverse the process, the impact of the two world wars and the evolution of domestic social and economic policy.

HIST 677
History of China to 1644 [3]

Chinese history from ancient times to the middle of the 17th century, with special attention to the development of society, thought, economy and political institutions.

HIST 678
History of China, 1644-1912 [3]

Chinese history from the beginning of the Ching dynasty to the founding of the republic in 1912. A study of the disintegration of traditional China and the intrusion of the West. Special emphasis will be placed on the re-evaluation of the nature of Western imperialism in China, the rise of Chinese nationalism and communist Chinese interpretations of China's encounter with the West.

HIST 679
History of China, 1912-1949 [3]

Chinese history from the beginning of the republic to the founding of the communist regime in 1949, the growth of modern Chinese nationalism and anti-imperialism, the struggle for power between the nationalists and communists, the social and economic revolution, the war with Japan and the American failure in China.

HIST 680
Contemporary China, 1949 to the Present [3]

Chinese history from the founding of a communist regime in 1949 to the present: ideology and organization of the new regime, the role of the Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army, social changes and thought reform, arts and culture, the Cultural Revolution and the Gang of Four, the Four Modernizations and China's foreign policy.

HIST 681
History of Modern France, 1789-1989 [3]

A survey and an analysis of French society and political institutions from the era of the great revolution to its bicentennial anniversary, covering the impact of Napoleon and 19th-century conservatism, as well as the formation of republican regimes in the 20th century.

HIST 683
German History, 1789-1914 [3]

History of the German states from the French Revolution to national unification, the Bismarckian era and the Wilhelminian era until the outbreak of World War I. Emphasis is on the struggles between nationalism, conservatism, liberalism and social democracy in the new German empire. Includes a cultural, social and political approach.

HIST 684
German History Since 1914 [3]

Germany through the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, the Allied occupation and the founding and development of the two Germanys, as well as the newly united German state. Emphasis is on the development of economic and military strength, political and social upheaval, cultural responses to war and the role of Nazism in modern German history.

HIST 685
Russia to 1900 [3]

A history of Russia from its origins to the end of the reign of Nicholas I. Topics to be covered include Kievan Russia, the rise of Muscovy, the reforms of Peter the Great, the evolution of society under Peter's successors and the beginning of the revolutionary movement.

HIST 686
Soviet History on Trail [3]

The crisis of the old regime in the Russian empire, the revolutions of 1917 and the emergence of the Soviet Union, Stalinism and de-Stalinization, and the dissolution of the U.S.S.R.

HIST 687
Europe, 1815-1914 [3]

An examination of European history from the Congress of Vienna, which ended the Napoleonic Wars, until the eve of World War I. Emphasis will be placed on the impact of the Industrial Revolution on social classes, ideologies, nation and empire building, gender roles, cultural trends and international competition in the 20th century.

HIST 688
Europe, 1914 to the Present [3]

The history of Europe from the outbreak of World War I until the present. Emphasis on the origins and the social and political impact of the two world wars, the Russian Revolution, the rise of fascism in inter-war Europe and the decline and the division of Europe after 1945, as well as its developing unity.

HIST 691
European Intellectual History: the 19th Century [3]

Major currents in European intellectual history from Hegel to Nietzsche. Emphasis on the growth and decay of naturalistic humanism, the "religion of man" movement and the aspects of the European Romantic movement.

HIST 692
European Intellectual History: the 20th Century [3]

Major currents in European intellectual history from Freud to Sartre.

HIST 701
The Study of History [3]

Readings in representative texts, with particular attention to the principal methodologies, approaches and schools that have informed the study of history.

HIST 702
Readings in American Historiography [3]

Examines a broad range of issues and debates in American historical writing.

HIST 703
Readings in European Historiography [3]

Examines a broad range of issues and debates in European historical writing.

HIST 704
Readings in Asian Historiography [3]

Examines a broad range of issues and debates in Asian historical writing.

HIST 705
Introduction to Public History [3]

Provides an introduction to the professional and intellectual field of public history, with particular attention to the history of the field, the role and expectations of the public, and the process of collaborative, reflexive interpretation.

HIST 710
Seminar in Political History [3]

Topics will vary from semester to semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 711
Public History Practices [3]

Research centered course designed to create an opportunity for students to build a professional work portfolio, develop marketable skills, and broaden their network of professional contacts.
Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 712
Seminar in Economic History [3]

Topics will vary from semester to semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 713
Seminar in Social History [3]

Topics will vary from semester to semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 714
Seminar in Intellectual History [3]

Topics will vary from semester to semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 715
Seminar in Cultural History [3]

Topics will vary from semester to semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 716
Seminar in Historiography [3]

Topics will vary from semester to semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 717
Seminar in the History of Science [3]

Topics will vary from semester to semester. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 718
Seminar in Gender and Women's History [3]

This course will introduce students to the fields of women's and gender history, as well as their methodologies and theories. It will investigate the historical construction of gender, histories of femininity and/or masculinity and gender as a category of historical analysis. Any course in women's history will explore the contributions of women to the social, economic, political and intellectual spheres; their relative status in various time periods and cultures; and the obstacles women have faced in the past in terms of class, race, ethnicity, maritcal status, age and sexuality. Gender history courses will focus on how gender intersects with topics such as sexuality, empire or war, in any given time and place.

HIST 730

This course is concerned with a variety of topics pertaining to "empire" across the glove, such as imperialism, colonialism, national resistance movements, post-colonialism, trade, gender, race and ethnicity. Specific themes and geographic location will vary from semester to semester, depending on the instructor.

HIST 735
History and Memory

In the past few decades, historians have debated over the relation of memory to history. Historians have asked what they can learn by studying what is remembered, "mis-remembered" and silenced in historical narratives. How is memory (and history) constructed, transmitted, interpreted and altered over time? How do public and private understandings of history related to interpretations sanctioned by the state? This course will explore history and memory from a multidisciplinary perspective, incorporating works by anthropologists, literary critics and sociologists. Possible themes include the memory of the Holocaust, the American Revolution, slavery and race relations, the Civil War, the World Wars, the atomic bomb and the civil rights movement.

HIST 736
Intorduction to Oral History [3]

Oral history is a powerful yet complex methodology for creating unique historical primary sources available in no other way. While it seems deceptively easy as turning on a recording device and striking up a conversation, doing so effectively while ensuring that the results are useful and meet accepted professional standards is challenging. While some of the techniques and methodology can be learned from books, mentoring and apprenticeship are essential. Thus, the course will integrate the theory and the practice of oral history and video history.

HIST 740
Slavery in World History

Slavery has existed throughout human history in one form or another. In this course, we will explore human bondage and related coercive labor systems across time and space. The approach to the course will vary with the particular instructor and may range from an overview of slavery in the West, from antiquity to the present, to a comparative course reaching around the glove or to one focused on a particular time and place. Topics covered may include the way slavery functioned in any given society, slave trades, the experience of enslavement, slave resistance, the rise and abolition of the plantation complex in the Atlantic world and slavery in the modern world.

HIST 790
Internship in Historical Studies [3]

Supervised practical training in a professional environment.

HIST 798
Special Topics in Historical Studies [1-3]

Individual tutorial. Note: May be repeated for credit.

HIST 799
Master's Thesis Research [2-9]

Master's thesis research conducted under the direction of a faculty member. Note: Six credit hours are required for the M.A. degree.

HIST 801
Institutional and Policy History [3]

An analysis of the conceptual approaches developed by historians and other social scientists to understand the historical evolution of institutions and policymaking. The interaction between institutions and the larger society will be examined through readings in classic and contemporary works exemplifying the major bodies of theory, method and interpretation.