The Department of History at St. Edward’s embraces the people and places of the past and examines the complex interplay of culture, ideas and everyday life.
Through the study of the people, events, and ideas of the past, students will gain an understanding of issues that face society today—in the United States and globally. By learning about the past, students will learn how to better understand people whose lives, cultures, and beliefs are different from their own. These skills and understanding will help students to be successful in a wide range of careers. These are not only the attributes of the accomplished historian, but are characteristics that are widely valued by employers and graduate schools.
Students in the History department are challenged to pursue research projects throughout their degree program. Students are required to produce research papers in particular subjects and will have multiple opportunities to produce work worthy of presentation.
As students progress through their coursework, they are trained in historical methods where they learn how historians think, argue, research and write. They learn how to design a research project, frame a key question of inquiry, locate primary and secondary sources, read them critically, reach an evidence-based interpretation, and present their work. They also discover how historians draw on other disciplines such as statistics, psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology and political science.
Austin has a large number of archives and other sources of historical materials for students to use. This provides firsthand experience with archival materials.
Students may present at conferences such as the World History Association of Texas, Phi Alpha Theta (history honor society) and St. Edward's Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression. Current students have the opportunity to apply for the McNair Fellowship. Our graduates have also been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
Students within the Department of History are encouraged to participate in an internship to gain experience in the field.
The Hilltop Historians facilitate fellowship among students with an interest in any aspect of history. Through bi-monthly events, the club promotes historical awareness and preservation through academic meetings and movie nights.
Phi Alpha Theta is a professional society that promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. The organization brings together students, teachers and writers of history for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by their members.
The History Department sponsors an annual conference in the Spring for the World History Association of Texas and Phi Alpha Theta. The conferences offer opportunities for scholars from Texas and around the nation to share their research as well as to share their expertise in the teaching of World History. The conference includes opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to present their research and welcomes secondary educators. Continuing Education Credits are available for educators who attend.