Jan 29, 2023  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of History

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Kyle F. Zelner, Ph.D, Chair
118 College Drive, Box 5047
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
fax 601.266.4334

Abra, Bristol, Casey, Chambers, Doleac, Farrell, Follett, Gomez del Moral, Grivno, Haley, Kyriakoudes, LaPierre, Luckhardt, Morgan, Nuwer, Ross, Stur, Swope, Tuuri, Tyler, Ural, Wiest, Zelner

The Department of History offers programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. For the master’s and doctoral degrees, please consult the Graduate Bulletin.


The study of history is intended to promote a responsible and informed citizenship, a heightened understanding of the human experience, and an appreciation of the achievements and variety of humankind. It also promotes career training. Indeed, the study of history is perhaps as valuable for the skills it helps to develop as for the information it imparts. History is an exacting discipline that fosters intellectual curiosity, analytical thought, research skills, ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data, clarity of expression, and disciplined work habits — qualities that are central to careers in academic, professional, public, business, and service areas.

Career Opportunities

Departmental surveys of graduates indicate that history majors have built careers in a variety of professional areas. A large number are teachers at high schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities. Many are lawyers. A considerable number are stockbrokers, bankers, military officers, public servants, directors of libraries, archivists, and even medical doctors. History majors can enter all these professions because their academic discipline fosters the writing, thinking, research, and analytical skills that make them marketable in a variety of professions.

Requirements for a Major in History

Students seeking a degree in history are required to complete 36 hours of history courses, including HIS 101 , HIS 102 , HIS 201 , HIS 202 HIS 300  and HIS 400 . A minimum grade of C is required in each history course. Of the 18 remaining hours required for the major, no more than 12 hours of upper-division course work can be selected from any one of the three following course areas: (1) United States history, (2) European history or (3) other (Latin American, East Asia, Africa and other non-United States, non-European courses). Students who have satisfied the 36-hour major requirement are encouraged to take additional advanced courses in history in any area they prefer. History students who plan to pursue graduate study are highly encouraged to take a minor or double major in a liberal arts/social science discipline such as anthropology, English, religion or political science.

HIS 300  should be completed in the first semester of the junior year.

History majors with exceptional academic records may be awarded degrees with honors or highest honors. See the “General Information ” section of this Bulletin for full requirements.

Social Studies Licensure

Students wishing to obtain a class-A teaching license in social studies are required to complete 24 hours of specified social science courses (12 of these also apply toward the college general core) and 18 hours of education courses. A minimum grade of C is required in all general education, major, and teacher education courses. Students with an ACT score of 21 (SAT equivalent is 860) with no subscore below 18 upon entering college will be exempted from the PRAXIS I. The specialty area (social studies) and Principles of Teaching and Learning sections of the PRAXIS should be taken no later than the semester before student teaching.

Study Abroad

The department values international study and offers a variety of stimulating and academically challenging summer credit abroad courses in several foreign countries (HIS 495 , HIS 496 , HIS 497 HIS 498  and HIS 499 ). Students are encouraged to enroll in these programs and may apply up to 12 hours of credit toward major requirements (but no more than six hours of credit in any area of course concentration).

To facilitate study abroad, the department annually awards a scholarship to a deserving student for any Southern Miss summer abroad history course. Eligibility and application details are available through the Department of History; applications are accepted by the chair no later than the second week of the spring semester.

International Studies Program

Brian LaPierre, Ph.D., Director
118 College Drive, Box 5047
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

The College of Arts and Letters, in association with the Center for International Education, offers a multidisciplinary major leading to the Bachelor of Arts in international studies. The program aims to provide students with the background necessary for careers with an international dimension in government, commerce, the media, international organizations, research, and teaching. It is also designed to prepare interested students for further studies in graduate or professional school.

Program Description

The International Studies program requires a total of 45 credit hours to satisfy the requirements for a major. The hours are allocated as follows:

  1. A 15-credit-hour core consisting of GHY 331 - Cultural Systems in the Environment  or GHY 341 - Geography and World Political Affairs , HIS 424 - The World in the 20th Century  or HIS 473 - U.S. Foreign Relations PS 331 - World Politics , HIS 300 - Research Seminar , and IS 491 - Senior Seminar in International Studies  
  2. Twelve credit hours of courses in a geographical area of the student’s choice (Africa, Asia, Europe or Latin America) approved by the program director or by the relevant international studies area director
  3. Twenty-one credit hours of general courses related to international affairs; these courses will be selected by the director of the program in collaboration with the student and will be based on the student’s particular interests; at least six credit hours should be completed, as part of a study-abroad program directed by the Center for International Education; with the program director’s approval, exemptions to the study-abroad requirement may be allowed for foreign students and in other special cases.

International Studies Program: Comparative Americas

Within the International Studies program, there is an alternative concentration in the comparative Americas that requires 45 credit hours to satisfy the requirements for a major. Admission to the program requires a 3.0 GPA, and students must maintain that average during both their junior and senior years to graduate. Students also are required to undertake a research project on the comparative Americas, to be defended before a committee comprised of three full-time faculty members from Southern Miss. The hours are allocated as follows:

  1. A 12-credit-hour core consisting of GHY 331 - Cultural Systems in the Environment  or GHY 341 - Geography and World Political Affairs , HIS 413 - The United States and Latin America , PS 331 - World Politics , and IS 491 - Senior Seminar in International Studies  
  2. Fifteen credit hours in the history of the comparative Americas: HIS 300  (which must be completed by junior year); two courses in Latin American history (HIS 310  and at least one upper-division course); and two courses in U.S. history, one of which must be a 400-level course
  3. Twelve corresponding credit hours from other disciplines in the social sciences, fine arts or humanities. For example, students who take a course in Spanish literature must take a course in American literature. Students whose research projects are devoted to the African experience in the Americas may take up to six credit hours from the African Studies program, while students whose projects focus on the military must take at least six credit hours in military history.
  4. Six hours of outside study. Three hours must be devoted to community service in the Gulf South or with the Latin American component of the Oral History Project. The remaining three hours may be satisfied through an internship or through one of the Latin American courses offered by the Center for International Education.

Upon selecting the international studies major, students should schedule an advising appointment with the program director as soon as possible to draft a program of study. Failure to do so may cause a delay in graduation.


    Bachelor of ArtsNon-degree

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