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American History

America is a young country, globally speaking, but our history is that of one of the most powerful, most influential nations in the history of civilization. From the Revolutionary War to the present, the story of how we got here begs for exploration, examination, and analysis.

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements

A minor in the history department, American History digs deep into the question of where the United States came from — and where it’s going next. Taking advantage of our location near the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C, you’ll have the chance to investigate our history up close and hands-on.

Future Career Paths

Students who study History are trained in a number of skills that employers value, including:

  • Writing
  • Close reading
  • Critical thinking
  • Editing
  • Public speaking

Historians are employed as researchers in business and government, as archivists and preservationists, and some work for themselves or in partnerships as consultants. Recent graduates have:

  • Joined business and brokerage firms
  • Enrolled in law and graduate studies
  • Begun military and government service

Distinctive Courses

HIS 2222 - Gender and Society in America, Past and Present

An examination of women’s experiences in American society with special emphasis on attitudes toward sex, the family, the workplace, and the political arena in order to explore the interaction between context and ideology in the process of social change.

HIS 2229 - U.S. History in the Cold War Era, 1945-1991

A survey of some of the main currents in United States history since the end of the Second World War. Topics include: the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the countercultural movement, and the Post-Cold War Era.

HIS 3328 - Seminar: African-American History

Readings and discussions of selected topics in African-American history drawing on primary and secondary sources, novels, and material culture. The specific topic the seminar will examine, such as slavery, racism, community and family, and black nationalism, will change each offering of the course. Students will engage in close reading of both primary and secondary source materials and write an original, in depth analysis on a topic of their choosing.

Senior Capstone

History major Michael Nims talks about his senior capstone on science fiction during the Cold War.

American History Program Requirements

Special Opportunities

Students outside of Budapest campus.

History In Action

The McDaniel History Club gives students the opportunity outside the classroom to share their interests and promote history studies through films, lectures, and other extracurricular activities. Annually, senior History majors give their best advice to juniors on how best to plan and carry out a successful capstone research project and everyone gets invited to the annual History Picnic.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Jasmin Chavez standing outside on campus.

Experiences in Law McDaniel junior selected for prestigious summer law program

Jasmin Chavez has been on a steady climb to her goal of becoming an immigration attorney since she arrived at McDaniel — and the summit came into even clearer focus with her early acceptance to the Summer for Undergraduates program at Florida State University College of Law.

McDaniel College History major Sera McClintock during her historical society internship

Internships & Experience Coaxing stories from everyday antiques is History major’s dream internship Applying Your Knowledge

At first glance, Sera McClintock saw nothing out of the ordinary about the antique child’s desk she had gently pulled from storage at the Chester County (Pa.) Historical Society. And then, the McDaniel junior opened the desk drawer — and discovered treasures more valuable than gold.