Eastern Michigan University
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History Opportunities


Internships allow students to gain history-related work experience while earning credit toward their degrees. In recent years, our students have interned at the Arab-American Museum, Fort Wayne, Toledo Metroparks, the Michigan Historical Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Motown Museum, the Yankee Air Museum, the Ypsilanti Firehouse Museum, and the historical museums of Canton, Detroit, Plymouth, South Lyon, and Westland. Interested students should contact Professor John McCurdy.


The History Section has a large and active contingent of undergraduate students pursuing both University Honors and Departmental Honors. To graduate with University Honors, a student must complete 24 hours of coursework in honors classes. At least 18 of these hours must be in General Education courses and at least 3 in the student's major or minor. Every semester History faculty teach honors courses that can be used to help satisfy the requirements for University Holly Tyler InternshipHonors.  To graduate with Departmental Honors in History, a student must take 9 hours of honors coursework in History and then complete the senior thesis (3 credit hours), for a total of 12 hours of departmental honors work in History.

Every year anywhere from two to five of our honors students write an honors thesis and graduate from EMU with Departmental Honors in History.  Many of these students also complete the requirements for University Honors.  In each of the past four years, one of our history majors writing the thesis has won the prestigious Undergraduate Symposium Award. Several years ago, one of our students was the keynote speaker at the Honors graduation ceremony.  In addition, numerous honors students have been awarded undergraduate research awards to work with History faculty on various scholarly and academic projects. Students who pursue honors work in History discover the academic challenges to be very rewarding, as they take small honors classes and, while writing the thesis, enter into a tutorial relationship with their thesis advisor.

For more information, please contact History Honors Advisor Dr. Ron Delph or the Honors College.

Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

The History Section is home to the Alpha Beta Mu Chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta. Founded at the University of Arkansas in 1921, Phi Alpha Theta is a national history honor society with more than 870 chapters and 350,000 members nationwide. It sponsors lectures, scholarships, and publications as part of its mission of promoting historical scholarship. Phi Alpha Theta is open to undergraduate and graduate students with 12 credit hours in History with a 3.1 GPA and a 3.0 overall GPA. Membership is not limited to History Majors.  Members of Phi Alpha Theta are entitled to an honor cord to be worn at graduation, recognition at an annual awards ceremony, a one-year subscription to The Historian, access to numerous scholarships and awards, and opportunities to present research at local, regional, and national conferences.  For more information about joining Phi Alpha Theta, contact Professor John McCurdy (at jmccurdy@emich.edu).

Travel Classes

EMU History faculty regularly offer classes that incorporate off-campus travel.

Thanks to the recent generosity of various donor, we have several new scholarships to support our majors and minors participating in various study abroad programs.

Travel classes for 2014

Over winter break, Ron Delph tours Italy with the students enrolled in HIST 329: Power, Place and Image in Florence and Rome and HIST 516: Medieval and Renaissance Florence & Rome. Students travel to Italy over winter break, where they stay in the beautiful cities of Florence and Rome while studying the society and culture of Medieval and Renaissance Italy. Course work investigates the dynamics of social and political power, and the relationships between men and women, both inside and outside families. The class spends time studying tangible manifestations of power as expressed in monuments, palaces, city walls and churches. They also use the art of Medieval and Renaissance Florence and Rome to gain an understanding of the mentality and values of the period, and to explore the religious beliefs and practices of the time. In Rome students stay in a small hotel, while in Florence accommodations are in a family-run pensione. A complete trip itinerary and information on the cost and academic requirements are available on this website.

Between April 29 and May 6, Steven Ramold will travel to the southern United States with members of the class HIST 385/592: Civil War and Reconstruction. Leaving the classroom behind, Civil War and Reconstruction takes students to important Civil War sites, and allows students to understand the events of the war by walking the ground upon which the events occurred. Besides several battlefields, the Tour also visits Arlington Cemetery, Ford's Theater, and several Civil War related museums. The Tour also visits the Library of Congress, where students have the chance to view original letters and diaries written by Civil War participants. For more information, email Dr. Ramold or see this website.

Professor John McCurdy's HIST 379/592 Pilgrims & travelPatriots: Colonial & Revolutionary America is an intensive one-week exploration of United States history from approximately 1600 to 1800. Offered to both undergraduate and graduate students, the course, the class travels to New York and Massachusetts to visit some of the most important sites in early American history. Beginning at Ganondagan, a Seneca town near Victor, New York, the course explores contact between Native Americans and European colonists. At Plymouth, Massachusetts, the students study early colonization when they visit reconstructions of the Mayflower and Plimouth Plantation. In Danvers and Salem, Massachusetts, the class listens for the lost voices of the 1692 witch craze; before moving on to Boston to trace the steps of Patriots who protested taxation without representation and tossed tea into the harbor. The course visits the battlefields at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, where the Revolutionary War began, and concludes at Saratoga National Park, where the war swung decisively in favor of a new, independent United States. Offered June 21–28. For more information, please email Professor John McCurdy or see this website.

Previously-taught classes that we plan to offer again in the future

HIST 379 'Road Trip: Sports and American Memory' is a travel course that examines how the memory of sports is often at odds with reality, and how sports influences the culture that views and enjoys these activities. Sports, especially professional ones, are often a dichotomy. It is entertainment, but it is also 'real.' It is a business, but it is also a form of recreation. It is played by normal people, but some superlative players gain the status of celebrity, idol, or even hero. Because of the financial potential of professional sports and the elevated status of its popular players, the organizers of sports in America are keen to preserve the memory of their respective games in a positive light. The best examples of that preserved memory are in the various Halls of Fame that sporting institutions have established since the 1930s, places where an idealized memory of the great players, and by extension the sport itself, is on public display. The course visits the Hall of Fame of several sports to see what values are promoted at the facility, how those values are promoted, and how the preserved ideal compares to the realities of the sport in practice. The trip visits the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH; the Little League Hall of Fame in Williamsport, PA; the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY; the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA; the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY; and the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, ON. Please note: because we are crossing an international border, you must have a passport to participate in this travel course. For further information, please contact Prof. Steven Ramold at sramold@emich.edu or stop by his office at 701N Pray-Harrold, or see this website..

Visit France on the weeklong travel course HIST 379/592: Operation Overlord: D-Day and Beyond with Professor Steven Ramold exploring the planning, execution and consequence of Operation Overlord, the famed D-Day landing of June 6, 1944. You'll explore sites in Paris relating to D-Day including the Liberation Museum and the Army Museum. While in Paris, see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Garden, then travel to the coast of France for a tour of the actual landing beaches in Normandy. This course offers you the opportunity to walk the ground of one of history's most momentous events, sites often depicted in television and film, to see how this tide-turning experience unfolded. For more information, email Dr. Ramold.

The History & Philosophy Department is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 701 Pray Harrold, 734.487.1018