Understanding cultures and events takes much more than reciting and remembering a set of dates and names. To go along with the dozens of courses we offer covering centuries of people, places, and issues, we have a number of opportunities for you to live and breathe history — to be truly engaged in your learning.
History majors are encouraged to enhance their experience and gain academic credit through internships at government offices, historical societies, and museums, among many other opportunities. For more information, please see the Career Education Center's website.
The History Club is an organization of PC students whose aim is to encourage an appreciation for the study of history. It promotes various intellectual and social activities for all students, particularly those who are enrolled in history courses. Among its activities are trivia nights, gravesite restorations, and even some ancient beer making events [21 plus, of course].
The Alpha-Epsilon-Xi Chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society in history recognizes academic excellence and achievement. Each year invitations for membership are sent to history and history/education majors who meet the rigorous criteria of this society. These criteria include a minimum of 12 credit hours in history, academic rank in the top 35 percent of one’s class, and minimum cumulative averages of 3.1 in history courses and 3.0 overall. All courses must have been taken at PC or in the Providence-in-Europe program. The faculty advisor is Dr. Constance M. Rousseau, professor of history.
The Department of History and Classics is also proud to support independent student research through our History Honors Thesis program (see sidebar). Writing a thesis gives students the opportunity to develop an individual scholarly project within their own area of interest and in close consultation with a faculty advisor. The end product is an original, deeply researched, and energetically written piece of scholarship that has the potential to become a publishable work. More and more students are choosing this option, as they have found it challenging, intellectually stimulating, and personally rewarding. For more information, read our informational brochure or check out our thesis writing guidelines.
We confer several honors and awards upon our outstanding majors. These include an award to the scholar with the highest quality point average in the history concentration; the Cornelius P. Forster, O.P., Award for excellence in European history; and the Daniel F. Reilly, O.P., Award for overall scholarly achievement. In addition, the Pell Medal is given for proficiency in American history.
The Rev. Cornelius P. Forster, O.P. Making History Series showcases the amazing, original research of our faculty and best students. During the fall semester, faculty offer monthly presentations on their recent, cutting-edge research in the field, while the spring semester, student work is highlighted at a major research conference. It is supported by a generous endowment from the Gladys Brooks Foundation.
Increasingly, our students are writing well-researched, engaging senior honors thesis papers. Annually, they present their work at the Rev. Cornelius P. Forster, O.P. Undergraduate History Conference, held in the spring in conjunction with the Phi Alpha Theta induction and generously supported by the Gladys Brooks Foundation.