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History Department

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Investigating the History of our Region and Nation

The rich history of the Mid-Hudson River Valley provides students with many opportunities to approach the past as hands-on and creative researchers. The students pictured above visited the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Museum and Library as part of their History of the Hudson River Valley course. The class took field trips to six other sites in the region in order to get a firsthand look at the environmental, cultural, and industrial dimensions of the area.

The Hudson River Valley Institute (HRVI), housed on the College's campus, provides students, faculty, and community members with a focal point for explorations of the area and its heritage. Students pursuing History, English, Political Science, and other majors serve as interns every semester at the Institute's academic journal, The Hudson River Valley Review. The work of HRVI student interns receives generous support from the Bienstock Family Internship, which underwrites undergraduate research and writing at HRVI. 

Students at the College also enjoy many opportunities to explore history from national and international perspectives. For example, faculty in English and History have taught an Honors Program course on the Civil War that involves a weekend trip to Gettysburg. Courses coordinated by Marist International Programs, such as a recent class on the history and politics of Ireland and Northern Ireland allow students to engage in new ways with historical events beyond the United States. In addition, the First Year Seminar within the Marist Core provides entering students with the chance to take a fresh look at specific historical questions and controversies; recent courses include Not That Seventies Show: The 1970s in History and Culture; Conspiracy Theories in History; and JFK: From Famine to New Frontier. These courses are open to all first-year students and approach their subjects using interdisciplinary approaches.

Many students who major in History combine their studies with a minor or second major in another field, such as Environmental Studies, Communication, Business, Political Science, or Education. As is made clear in the profiles of recent graduates, studying history provides students with a rich undergraduate experience and enables the pursuit of a wide range of professional opportunities.