About the program
History is one of the three most popular majors at Roanoke College. Students who study history learn strong research, critical thinking and writing skills through extensive projects and one-on-one work with Roanoke professors.
Get an up-close look at the professors and students who define Roanoke's history major
Why study history at Roanoke?
- Work closely with an array of experts. Roanoke's History Department boasts as many tenured professors as some large state institutions. They teach everything from Latin American and African history to public and European history.
- Study public history. This program of study can lead to unique careers in history, from museum curators to work with non-profit organizations.
- Surround yourself with history. Salem's beginnings date back to 8,000 B.C., and the city, a Civil War stronghold, once was marketed as the "Switzerland of the South."
- Live out Roanoke's traditions. Roanoke's annual Founders Day fall event honors David Bittle, the college's founder and first president. The college community gathers at a campus bonfire, marches to Bittle's grave and celebrates with a party afterwards. Seniors look forward to the department's annual Christmas dinner, which includes a historical-themed meal made by Roanoke's famed Chef Bob.
Explore history firsthand
- Play in the dirt. Roanoke history students search for artifacts during archaeological digs and intern with Virginia's archeological office.
- Travel the world. Students go to Argentina, Germany, England and many other places through Roanoke's May term history classes and other study abroad opportunities.
- See other opportunities.
Be prepared for the future
- Ninety-one percent of those who participated in the alumni survey indicated receiving job offers or acceptance to graduate school within six months of graduation. History major graduates have worked at such places as the Library of Congress, Mt. Vernon, Inc., Smithsonian Institution and the State Library of Virginia. More information.
- History Major Requirements
- American History Minor Requirements
- European History Minor Requirements
- World History Minor Requirements
“I try really hard to bring my research into the class,” says Willingham. “We’re actually expected to do research and teach at Roanoke. I’m expected to back up what I teach with a degree of scholarly expertise.”