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Students exploring Budapest.

European History

From the Black Death to the Renaissance, from the printing press to the Reformation — European history has shaped the course of global events for centuries.

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Program Focus Options
Study abroad at McDaniel Europe

The European History minor is part of McDaniel's History department, where knowledgeable faculty can help you explore the context, culture, and wide-ranging influence of European culture and events. And if you choose to study abroad at McDaniel Europe in Budapest, or one of the many other study abroad locations available, this rich history comes even more brilliantly to life.

Future Career Paths

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

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

Skills You'll Learn

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

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

Distinctive Courses

HIS 1134 - Understanding Europe I

Offered exclusively on the Budapest campus, this interdisciplinary course offers a comparative study of Europe’s history, culture, heritage, political and economic development. Attention is focused on the 20th century: the two World Wars, the division of Europe after 1945, integration in the West, Soviet-type political and economic systems in East-Central Europe; the disintegration of the Communist Bloc and the Soviet Union; new tension and crises; renewed hopes for a unified Europe; European institutions and organizations; Europe’s role in world affairs.

HIS 2214 - Early Modern Europe

An examination of the transformation of Western Europe from the 14th through the 16th centuries. Topics include the 14th-century crash, humanism and the Renaissance in Italy, the rise of the Atlantic economies, and reformation movements.

HIS 2219 - 19th-Century Europe: Age of Anxiety

This is a survey of nineteenth-century European history, a period sometimes characterized as the age of “isms” for the numerous movements and ideologies it spawned.  As the Enlightenment and revolutionary era gave way to Romanticism, liberalism, and nationalism, the Industrial Revolution, with its breakthroughs in technology and accompanying social dislocation, helped pave the way for Victorianism, socialism, feminism, and the “new nationalism” often characterized by xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

Senior Capstone

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

European 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.

Jillian Bjerke

Jillian Bjerke, Ph.D. Faculty Spotlight

Jillian Bjerke wants all of her students to discover their passion for History, just as she unexpectedly did while pursuing a master’s degree in Physics. Knowing it’s never too late to learn, Bjerke pivoted to pursue a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in History. With classes like Medieval Women and Ancient World to Early Modern Europe, Bjerke shows her students that history is everywhere we look, and it never goes out of date.

Grace Hounsou in Budapest at McDaniel Europe.

Senior lands prestigious Gilman Scholarship to study at McDaniel Europe in Budapest

McDaniel’s most recent Gilman Scholarship honoree, senior Grace Hounsou, arrived in the U.S. from her native Benin in West Africa only six short years ago at the age of 16. Since then, she’s graduated from high school while serving as sole guardian of her two younger siblings, become financially independent, earned her U.S. citizenship and worked her way to and through college.

Model European Union 2021

McDaniel College students participate in Model European Union Simulation

For the 20th year, McDaniel College students participated in the Model European Union Simulation. A delegation of 12 students represented both Ireland and the Netherlands and were accompanied to the conference in Washington, D.C., by Christianna N. Leahy, chair of the Political Science and International Studies department at McDaniel.