Active Learning Opportunities


academics history
The talents honed in the study of history are in demand more than ever for careers in every area. Whether you picture yourself investigating the past, sharing it with others, or applying the intellectual strengths of a historian to law, business, or another competitive field, the History program at Quincy University will prepare you for success.

History faculty members require and foster high levels of academic achievement through challenging coursework and instructional approaches that sharpen individual performance. They will encourage you to reach your personal best and to discover the excitement of authentic historical research and its impact on our lives. The History program sponsors a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta international honor society to recognize academic excellence and promote historical research.

If you're considering a law career, History's focus on research, analysis, and communication will make it an appealing choice. Many History majors choose to participate in the Pre-Law program, which integrates complementary coursework and internship experiences. If you're attracted to teaching, Quincy's Social Science Certification program offers unparalleled learning opportunities.

The History program offers a bachelor of arts degree and a minor, and you can choose a particular emphasis in American or European history.

International Study
Your study of history is particularly suitable for international study, and Quincy collaborates with many overseas schools to provide semester-long academic experiences. Shorter programs such as the Assisi Experience and the London Experience offer academic credit for learning that includes firsthand exploration.

Contact Us

For more information about the History program, feel free to contact:

Dr. Wendy Beller
Chair of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences
217-228-5432 ext. 3030
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


100 Level:  Survey Courses

HIS 101     World History I: Ancient to Early Modern
Credit Hours: 3
Ancient empires of East and West. Cultural, economic, and political developments in all major portions of the world through the 16th century. [S2 912N]

HIS 102     World History II: Modern to Contemporary
Credit Hours: 3
The world, East and West, and its cultural, social, and political developments from the 17th century to the present. (HIS 101 World History I is not a prerequisite for HIS 102 World History II.) [S2 913N]

HIS 111     United States History I: to 1877
Credit Hours: 3
The age of exploration and discovery, colonial civilizations, and the emergence of a new nation. The expansion of national territory and sectionalism through the Civil War and Reconstruction. [S2 900]

HIS 112     United States History II: Since 1877
Credit Hours: 3
The U.S. as an emergent world power and the major political, economic, and social forces in the domestic experience to the present. [S2 901]

200 Level:  General Interest Courses

HIS 208  The History of Women in the United States
Credit Hours: 3
This course explores the contributions that women have made in American history from the 1600s to the present. The course will analyze the role that women of different ethnicity, race, and religion played in shaping the United States and how the legal and social status of women has changed over the centuries.

HIS 220  History of American Popular Culture
Credit Hours: 3
This course explores the popular culture of the United States from the colonial period through the present. Popular Culture is an important reflection of the larger social, political and economic changes occurring in our nation.

HIS 225  African American History
Credit Hours: 3
This course will provide the student with a comprehensive survey of the role that African-Americans have played in shaping America as we know it today. Starting in Africa, moving through the arrival of the slave ships in the early 1600s, the Colonial period, the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, and into the last half of the twentieth century, African-American history will chronicle the sweep of events that have brought African-Americans and their struggle for social and economic equality to the forefront of American life. (formerly HIS 353)

HIS 230  The United States in the 20th Century
Credit Hours: 3
This course explores changes in the United States taking a topical approach to the major issues and problems faced during the 20th century. The course will focus on how the United States emerged as a world power and will examine American state and society in the 20th century.

HIS 235  Roman Archeology On-Site
Credit Hours: 3

This is an introductory course exploring the archeological sites and ancient monuments of Rome. The course will begin with the evidence for the earliest settlement in Rome and continue through the development of the Republic, the empire and the transition to early Christian Rome. The course will focus on placing the archeological and architectural evidence in its topographical context. Taught in Rome.

HIS 270-9  Special Topics
Credit Hours: 3
Special topics in history depending upon demand and staff.

300 Level:  Period, Area, and Issue Courses

HIS 310      Ancient Greece and Rome
Credit Hours: 3
This class will survey the ancient European cultures of Greece and Rome. It will focus upon the social, economic, literary and artistic themes that shaped the two cultures and also upon the legacy they left to Western civilization.

HIS 311     Modern Britain 1689-Present
Credit Hours: 3
This course covers the period of the Glorious Revolution, the evolution of Britain as a world economic and political power in the 18th and 19th Centuries and the decline of Britain as a global power in the 20th Century.

HIS 312     Modern Germany 1871-Present
Credit Hours: 3
Creation of the Second Reich, Weimar, the rise and fall of Hitler and Nazi Germany, divided Germany in the Cold War and its reunification. The course will also focus on the role of Germany in world politics throughout this era.

HIS 313    French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
Credit Hours: 3
Explores the origins and course of the French Revolution, the effects of the Napoleonic era and the impacts of this period on European history.

HIS 315     Modern Russia
Credit Hours: 3
This course covers the creation of Imperial Russia under Peter the Great to its collapse, the rise and fall of Soviet Russia, and the post Soviet era.

HIS 316    Modern European History Colloquium (1848 to present)
Credit Hours: 3
Selected themes from Modern European history including ideologies (liberalism, nationalism, socialism, fascism), wars (causes and consequences of imperial conflicts, and World Wars I and II), intellectual movements (in sociology, psychology, science, and philosophy), and the evolution of industrial capitalism and industrial society.

HIS 320    Modern Ireland
Credit Hours: 3
This course surveys modern Irish history from 1700 to the present. It will focus on the development of Irish nationalism as a response to British imperialism, as well as the resistance to nationalism among different groups.  Important themes include colonialism, famine, revolution, emigration, and continuing sectarian tensions.

HIS 322     Women and Gender in History
Credit Hours: 3
This course deals thematically with the roles, significance and evolving perceptions of women (and gender) in the West from the ancient, medieval and modern eras. A second emphasis will investigate the concept of women’s history within the field of history itself.

HIS 326     Hitler, Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust
Credit Hours: 3
This course explores one of the most horrific eras in the twentieth century, if not the entire history of humanity. Political, social, economic, cultural, and historical dimensions will be examined not only in Germany, but also in Europe, to understand the origins, actions and consequences of Hitler and Nazi Germany. This course will also attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible – the genocidal extermination of the Jews – through investigating the perpetrators, the bystanders, the victims, the survivors and the historians.

HIS 328 The Jews and the Holocaust in Poland
Credit Hours: 3
Poland and its Jewish population played a critical historical role in understanding the Holocaust. The course investigates three aspects of the long Jewish experience in Poland that was annihilated by the Nazis in the Second World War. First, it explores the rich vibrant and diverse pre-1939 history of Jewish religious, economic, political and intellectual/cultural life. Second, it analyzes Jewish life and death under Nazi occupation. Finally, the course investigates the process of continental mass murder (death camps) and resistance. Researching these three topics allows one to examine larger German, European, Western and global issues.

HIS 330 The Second World War
Credit Hours: 3
The Second World War was the largest most costly war in human lives, resources and finances in the 5,000-year history of human civilization. It raises such questions as: Why did it start scarcely 20 years after the First World War? Who or what was responsible for it? How was it fought and why was it fought the way it was? How did the war affect the home fronts (especially lives of women, children and families) as well as the mostly citizen soldiers on the battle fronts? How and why did the war end the way and when it did? What were the legacies of this war and were they all good? Are we still living in the shadow of the world created by the Second World War, and, if so, how?

HIS 336     Modern China and Japan
Credit Hours: 3
This course focuses on the emergence of China and Japan in the 19th Century and their development as global powers in the 20th Century. [S2 908N]

HIS 343     Latin America
Credit Hours: 3
Examines selected themes from Latin American history from pre-Columbian societies to the present, including the great American empires, the Spanish conquest, colonial politics and society, independence, the formation of modern states, and contemporary history. [S2 910N]

HIS 350    World Geography
Credit Hours: 3
This course fulfills the requirements for history students working toward a social studies education certificate. It will familiarize students with the pivotal social, political and economic events in the history of Illinois from prehistory down to the present day. This course will also allow students to develop an  understanding of the character of various regions throughout the world as influenced by environmental, historical, and cultural forces. Emphasis will be given to thinking geographically in the study of man/land relationships and place formation.

HIS 355    History of Ideas in America
Credit Hours: 3
Designed to introduce students to the major contours in intellectual history from the time of the Puritans to the present. In this class, the students should develop a clear understanding of how ideas have shaped the course of American history.

HIS 356     U.S. Foreign Relations
Credit Hours: 3
Examines central themes, events, and personalities in U.S. relations with the world, including economics, racism, strategic interests, nationalism, and politics.

HIS 358     Religion in American History
Credit Hours: 3
What has been the role of religion in America? Taking a thematic and chronological approach, this course seeks to answer this question by exploring the way religion has shaped the people, cultures, and institutions in America from its pre-Columbian roots to the 21st century.

HIS 359     Immigration to the United States
Credit Hours: 3
This course surveys American immigration history with a special focus on ethnic and race relations. It emphasizes several critical issues such as ethnic and racial contact and conflict, language maintenance, immigration law, the “laws” of immigration, multiculturalism, nativism, and religion.

HIS 360     Revolution and Nation Making
Credit Hours: 3
Follows the path of American colonial society as it matured prior to the break with Britain. It will trace the causes of the American revolution and the effect of war on society including the social, economic and political changes it brought about. Finally, it will focus upon the creation of the Constitution and the Early Republic through the War of 1812.

HIS 361     Colonial America
Credit Hours: 3
This course follows the age of exploration, discovery, and colonization, with an emphasis on the development of culture, economy and politics of the English colonies of North America. It will then focus upon international rivalry on the continent and the tensions leading to the Revolution.

HIS 362     Antebellum America
Credit Hours: 3
Explores the period of American history from the Era of Good Feelings through the Mexican American War. Issues covered include nationalism, sectionalism, Jacksonian democracy, Manifest Destiny, slavery, Native Americans, reform movements and party politics.

HIS 364     Civil War and Reconstruction
Credit Hours: 3
The Civil War is the keystone in American history. This course will trace the causes of the war, its military history, and its social, political, and economic impact upon the nation during Reconstruction.

HIS 366     The U.S. in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Credit Hours: 3
The United States from the end of Reconstruction to the end of the Progressive Era, with discussion of the issues surrounding segregation, immigration, industrialization, foreign policy, the Spanish-American War, the rise of Progressivism, and World War I.

HIS 368     Contemporary America
Credit Hours: 3
The United States from the early days of the Cold War to the present, with consideration of 1950s culture, Kennedy, the civil rights movement, the Great Society, Vietnam, the counterculture, Watergate, the rise of the American right, and contemporary issues.

HIS 369     The Great Depression and World War II
Credit Hours: 3
The United States from 1920 to 1945, with reference to the consumer culture, interwar foreign policy, the Great Crash, Franklin Roosevelt, the New Deal, the road to war, and World War II.

HIS 370-9     Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics in history depending upon demand and staff.

HIS 398    Historiography
Credit Hours: 3
An introduction to the historian’s craft, with special reference to methodologies, interpretations, values, evidence, and conclusions found in historical writings.

400 Level:  Methods, Internships and Seminars

HIS 400     Methods of Teaching History and Social Studies
Credit Hours: 3
Designed to acquaint the prospective teacher of history and social studies with the techniques, materials, resources, and problems of teaching at the secondary level. This course, intended for students in the teacher certification program, ordinarily does not apply to the history major. Prerequisite: acceptance into the teacher education program.

HIS 470-9  Special Topics
Credit Hours: 1-3
Special topics in history depending upon demand and staff.

HIS 481     Public History Internship
Credit Hours: 3
Provides an opportunity for on-the-job experience in community agencies in such fields as cultural resource management, archival work, historical preservation and interpretation. Students must be history majors with junior standing and have the approval of the agency and history faculty.

HIS 497    Seminar in History I
Credit Hours: 3
Capstone course with an in-depth study of historiography, historical method, and historical criticism.

HIS 498    Seminar in History II
Credit Hours: 3
Capstone course with an emphasis on a synthesis of historical skills as demonstrated through original primary research and presentation of findings.

Program Requirements

Advanced Placement Opportunity:

Acceptable scores in CLEP (American History and Western Civilization tests) or CEEB examinations will merit advanced placement and credit.

Program Requirements for History Major:

  • Completion of the Bonaventure Program and requirements for undergraduate degrees.
  • The informational technology requirement will be met by majors taking HIS 398 Historiography and HIS 497/HIS 498, the senior seminars.
  • Required surveys: HIS 101-102 and HIS 111-112; any one of these survey courses may count for general education requirements.
  • Required courses: HIS 398, 497, 498, and 24 additional semester hours of courses in history (200 level or above) with at least nine hours in American history, and nine hours in European/
  • Global history; the remaining 6 hours may be chosen from American history and/or European/global history; one internship may count in this area.
  • A grade of “C” or better is required in all history courses to count toward the major or minor.
  • Students must complete HIS 101, 102, 111, 112 and 398 before enrolling in Senior Seminar, HIS 497.
  • Students must complete HIS 497 with a grade of “C” or better before enrolling in HIS 498.
  • At least one year of a single foreign language is highly recommended, but not required for history majors.

Teacher Licensure Program:

  • History majors requesting licensure as secondary education teachers are required to take HIS 400 and to meet the requirements for licensure.

Requirements for a Pre-Law Concentration:

  • Required courses (21 semester hours): BUS 215; POL 200, 260, 363, 364, 480; CRJ 101. Note that many of the above courses can also fulfill the University’s general education requirements or history program requirements.

Nine semester hours of elective courses chosen from the following: BUS 316; HIS 311, 360; POL 384, 385, 421.

Requirements for a Minor:

  • HIS 101 or 102 (3 hours); HIS 111 or 112 (3 hours); history electives - 12 hours at the 200-400 level. It is recommended that students balance their courses between American and European/Global
  • history courses. Total: 18 hours. Peer teaching credit may not count toward the requirements for the minor in history.
  • A grade of “C” or better is required in all history courses to count toward the minor.
  • Must also meet minimum University requirements for a minor.

Special Opportunities:

Membership in the international honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, is available to students recommended by the department for meritorious scholarship in history. HIS 481, Public History Internship, provides an opportunity for on-the-job experience in community agencies and museums.

Career Options

Graduate and professional degree programs welcome Quincy History majors. Our graduates have completed study at Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, St. Louis University, and the University of Edinburgh. History graduates currently hold such positions as:
  • College professor
  • Historian, National Park Service
  • Attorney
  • Museum curator
  • Stockbroker
  • High school teacher
  • Middle school teacher
  • Historian, Abraham Lincoln Home

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