Eastern Michigan University
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History Opportunities


Students studying History or a related field can earn course credit toward their degrees by completing an internship.  Internships allow students to gain hands-on experience in a museum, archives, or similar historical institution.  Many EMU History students have used internships to apply what they learned in the classroom and to prepare for employment after graduation.   In recent years, EMU History students have interned at the Yankee Air Museum, the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame, the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society, Applewood: The Charles Mott Estate, the Holocaust Memorial Center, the EMU Archives, and the Ypsilanti Historical Society.  Click here  to read about the experiences of some recent EMU History Interns.

Click here for more information on EMU History Internships.

Click here for an EMU History Internship Contract.


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 generosity of various donors, we have several scholarships  to support our majors and minors participating in study abroad programs.

Travel classes for 2017

HIST 329: Power, Place and Image in Florence and Rome / HIST 516: Medieval and Renaissance Florence & Rome

Over winter break, Ron Delph and his students travel to Italy, 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.

HIST 379/592: Operation Overlord: D-Day and Beyond

The Allied landings in Normandy in June 1944, codenamed Operation OVERLORD, marked the beginning of the final phase of the Second World War in Europe.  American, British, and Canadian troops conducted a massive amphibious landing on the beaches of Normandy in northwest France, followed by an intense battle with the Germans in the countryside behind the beaches.  Within three months, the Allies had liberated France and within eleven months had won the war.  This course visits the location where these momentous events occurred, as well as a number of museums and educational institutions that document the struggles to defeat Nazi tyranny and liberate conquered nations.  The travel portion of the course will spend four days in Bayeux, the first city liberated by the Allies on D-Day itself, as well as two days in Paris, the ultimate objective of Operation OVERLORD. A complete trip itinerary and information on the cost and academic requirements are available on this website.

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HIST 480/580: The American Revolution Travel Course

Professor John McCurdy leads students to Boston in April 2017 to learn about the creation of the United States. Boston is one of America's great cities and it witnessed many of the most important events in the nation's founding. The class visits Plymouth to see where the Pilgrims landed in 1620 as well as Plimouth Plantation to tour a reconstructed 1627 colonial village and Wampanoag Indian community. The course also walks the Boston Freedom Trail, seeing the sites of the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party, as well as Old North Church where the lanterns for Paul Revere were hung. Students also ascend the bell tower of a colonial-era church, traipse through graveyards, and witness the splendor of Quincy Market. The class also heads to the Adams National Historical Park where the second and sixth presidents lived, and the sites of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Race and gender also factor into the class as students explore Boston's Black Freedom Trail and examine the role of Abigail Adams in the American Revolution. The travel costs of the course include airfare to Boston, five nights of accommodations, admission to all the historical sites, and some meals. The students' hotel is located in the center of the city with easy access to the region's public transportation, and an MBTA (Boston subway) card is provided to each student as part of the travel costs. The course meets three times for discussion and lectures throughout Winter semester. Additional reading and writing is required of graduate students. For more information, contact Professor John McCurdy at  jmccurdy@emich.edu.

HIST 179/379/579: World War II and the Holocaust

In May, Professor Kauffman will teach a 10-day course on World War II and the Holocaust in Poland. The class will begin in Krakow, where students will be able to visit the beautifully preserved medieval old town as well as the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and Oskar Schindler's factory. The group will then travel to Warsaw, where sights will include the award-winning Jewish museum, the site of the former Jewish ghetto, and the Warsaw Uprising museum. The last few days will be spent in Gdansk, where students will take a boat out to the peninsula where the first shots of World War II were fired. In Gdansk, course participants will also have the chance to explore the city and meet informally with Polish students from the university there. A complete trip itinerary and information on the cost and academic requirements are available on this website.

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