Why Study History?

    If you want to change the world, you need to understand how the world came to be—the people, moments, and movements that brought us to now. Studying history unlocks a skill set prized across a variety of careers—critical thinking, research, writing, and argumentation—and gives you the means to use the past to influence a more positive future.

    Why Study History at MMC?

    Two words: flexibility and focus. Marymount Manhattan’s History major is unlike those at most colleges, which have rigid requirements. At MMC we ask you to make history your own. Two core courses teach you how to “do” history; from there you choose from pre-defined “areas of inquiry” to customize your study. One History student might investigate gender in Medieval Europe, another may focus on film history and African American culture, and a third might specialize in urban or consumer history.

    Supported by core faculty in History and historical experts across the College, it is the history of stuff you care about.

    What You Will Learn

    Our core courses make you a historical detective—you’ll learn how to find and analyze evidence, persuasively write about and argue your findings, and in the process hone your critical thinking skills.

    Armed with research savvy, you’ll then customize your studies by choosing the areas of history you want to focus on. We offer 23 “areas of inquiry” to pick from—choose one or combine several, so your historical knowledge reflects your passions.

    Of course, your historical investigations will not be limited to the classroom—internships and independent studies offer you more opportunities to connect your research with the world, preparing for careers where historical knowledge helps make for societal change.

    Your studies will culminate with a “capstone” project—independent research mentored by a faculty member and designed to pull together all your coursework. While research papers are most common, students can think creatively with an eye towards next steps in career or graduate work. (One student-curated an online historical museum exhibit for their capstone, for instance.)

    Areas of Inquiry

    Students outside
    • African History
    • African American History
    • American History and Culture
    • Ancient History and Culture
    • Asian History and Culture
    • European History and Culture
    • Film History
    • Global History
    • Hispanic/Latin American History
    • History of Business and Advertising
    • History of Costume and Fashion
    • History and Culture of Dance
    • History and Culture of Music
    • History and Culture of New York City
    • History and Culture of Theatre
    • History of Gender and Sexuality
    • History of Race and Ethnicity
    • History of Religions
    • History of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
    • Legal History
    • Media History
    • Medieval History and Culture
    • Modern European Intellectual History

    Any other major or minor at the college! History’s flexible requirements allow you to pair historical research with other college majors/minors easily. You can combine History with a totally different pursuit, or use the major to dive deep—studying the history of your other field, be that theatre and dance, media, business, politics and law, or the sciences.

    Program Highlights

    Matthew Grote at internship

    History majors have interned at the Center for Migration Studies, Asia Society, New York Historical Society, Center for HIV/AIDS, the United Nations, NY State Unified Court System, congressional offices, and NYC councilors. 

    Lauren Brown's NYC Seminar: Parks and Recreation
    Many history courses provide learning by practice or by place. Walking tours of Greenwich Village, Coney Island, Central Park, or the World Trade Center site ask students to investigate the history around us. 
    Alanah Rafferty Alanah Rafferty
    Study abroad opportunities are not only possible but encouraged—faculty will work with you to find a program that supports your historical studies. 
    • The History major helped me tie together my cross-departmental interest to focus on Entertainment History. Classes in music, theatre, and cultural history provided that quintessential well-rounded liberal arts education. To be a well-educated member of society, understanding the past is crucial towards shaping the future—this is why I believe in a BA in History.

      Webb Bankemper ’21

      Class of 2021, Double major in History and Musical Theatre

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    Careers and Outcomes

    With training in critical thinking, research, and writing, History students are prepared for a wide variety of careers. While teaching, public history (museum curators, librarians, archivists), and political or legal paths are common, your path is solely defined by your interests.

    Recent graduates can be found working at the Bronx Defenders, GrowNYC, PRIDE Health Research Consortium, and the University of San Francisco, as well as teaching at a variety of educational institutions, and as program participants in Teach for America and AmeriCorps. Other graduates pursue advanced degrees—JDs, MAs, and PhDs in fields of their choosing.

    Catching up with Sarah Insalaco ’16 

    Since graduation, Sarah Insalaco has been preserving history as an AmeriCorps member, first in Duluth, Minnesota and then Clarksburg, West Virginia. With the mission “to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering,” AmeriCorps volunteers are selected and paid to serve across the nation in all sorts of community service projects.

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