About the Program

All Ferrum College students, regardless of major, receive an education in World and US history, honing critical skills such as source analysis and the crafting of evidence-based analytical arguments. Our majors and minors participate in seminar courses, practicing historical inquiry and marking how social context (race, class, gender, religion) and time have shaped history writing in the past. Graduating seniors complete their training by presenting their own research project under the guidance of their mentors on the Ferrum faculty.

Public History Minor

The minor in Public History trains students to critically evaluate the public presentation of history and culture. It helps students develop skills that will allow them to go on to graduate study in a variety of fields as well as professional or a vocational work at cultural or historical sites. Coursework in a wide range of academic disciplines and hands-on experience enable an understanding of the pedagogical approaches used to examine memory and history and provide practical training in historic preservation, community documentation, museum work, and cultural program development.

Tim Daniels
Division Chair for Humanities and Performing Arts
Associate Professor of History
B.S. / B.A., Hampden-Sydney College

M.A., University of Alabama

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Ferrum College History Professor Nicole Greer Golda attends Civil War seminar at Yale in June 2019.
Nicole Greer Golda
Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor of History
B.A., Whittier College, California
M.A. and 
Ph.D., University of Michigan

Michael Hancock-Parmer
Assistant Professor of History
Assistant Director of Int’l Programs
B.A., Western Michigan University
Ph.D., Indiana University
Brian Suttell
Adjunct Lecturer of History
B.A., State University of New York at Fredonia
M.A., North Carolina State University
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Find Out More

Contact the Program Coordinator of History: history@ferrum.edu.

History curriculum may include:

  • History of Sports
  • African American History
  • History of Crime
  • Russian History
  • History of Epidemic Diseases
  • Museum Studies

For full listing of current classes, view the college catalog here.

  • Phi Alpha Theta (ΦΑΘ) – International Honor Society in History. Membership by invitation. Contact Dr. Nicole Greer Golda at ngreergolda@ferrum.edu.

Why Major in History?

A focus on how to think, not what to think

History is a liberal art, a liberating art. In some languages, it is called Historical Science and connects directly to its original form in Ancient Greek (ἱστορία, Istoriya), meaning investigation, research, interrogation, the search for knowledge and understanding. The point of studying history in college is not to memorize what professors tell you to think, but for you to develop the skills to comprehend the ingredients of history and articulate your own convincing, sophisticated interpretations of the past.

What can I do with a Degree in History?

Anything! History coursework trains students broadly in the humanities and social sciences, opening a variety of possible career paths. Traditionally, history is a popular choice for those going on to Law School. Other professional schools, including medical schools, consider history majors highly competitive and welcome additions to their incoming cohorts. Graduates holding degrees in history have also pursued careers in government, education, business, public health, journalism, and the military.

But my parents don’t think I can get a job!

History is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data,” Paul B. Sturtevant (Apr 1, 2017)

Yale History Major’s Comeback,” Elizabeth Elliott (May 11, 2017)

Students are leaving history for better prospects. But they’re wrong.” Benjamin Schmidt (August 23, 2018)

Why worthless humanities degrees may set you up for life,” Amanda Ruggeri (April 2, 2019)

Every moment of your time at Ferrum offers preparation and experience towards the creation of a capstone paper, a senior thesis showcasing a student’s ability to find and use sources and documents effectively. A senior thesis of thirty or more pages may be the nightmare fuel of timid freshmen, but by your senior year the faculty will have molded you into a historian capable of such a feat and more! As in other history departments around the country, in both major universities and cozier liberal arts environs, the topic of this thesis is up to the student. Your creativity and passion should guide you towards a topic, while your professors will instruct you in the acquisition of sources, appropriate methods, and the process of making and refining arguments based on the available evidence. Your whole experience at Ferrum guides you in this project, allowing engaged students to pull from their efforts in a sophomore English class, a junior Philosophy or Sociology seminar, a freshman survey of biology or an experiential (e-term) summer course in art, criminal justice, or anything else that piqued your interest.

Senior Seminar Theses & History Papers from Graduating Panthers

  • Cassandra Lee Barney, “A Study of Manifest Destiny and Its Influence on American History” (2005)
  • Jon B. Butler, “Return of the Vikings and Neo-Paganism: Why Now?” (2005)
  • Matthew Woods, “Runaway Slaves: Mindset of Negroes, 1861-1865” (2010)
  • Michele Walling, “The Creation and Disbanding of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League” (2005)
  • Molly M. Wilson, “Recipe for Perfection: Gender, Television, and Women’s Place in the Golden Age of Prosperity” (2005)
  • Matt Brantley, “Environmental Racism” (2006)
  • Rebekah Burnette, “Assimilation and Nativism in the Irish Immigration Experience in the mid 19th Century” (2006)
  • David Thompson, “The Farmington Mine Disaster of 1968” (2006)
  • Ryan Cornett, “Sid Clower: Crime and Consequences in Henry County, Virginia” (2006)
  • Sue Ellen Harrison, “Faith Healing at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: The Experiences of Dr. Lilian B. Yeomans” (2006)
  • Eryn Boudreaux, “The Stepping Stones to Napoleon Bonaparte’s Political Independence” (2006)
  • Hudson Dunn, “Love Me or Let Me Be Lonely: Major League Baseball After 9/11” (2006)
  • Josh Childers, “Aaron Burr & Alexander Hamilton: Political Rivals or Jealous Adversaries” (2009)