Why study History at MC?

Why are things the way they are? Could they be different? What would that take? What can we reasonably expect in decades to come? These are just some of the questions you’ll tackle in the history major at MC. You’ll encounter the seemingly endless diversity of human experience, as lived through thousands of years from the ancient world to the 21st century. You’ll explore individuality and social organization, politics and religion, war and peace, art and economy, stability and revolution, the rise and fall of republics and empires, and much more. And you’ll do all of this on a campus that is, itself, historic. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, the Maryville College Historic District includes 13 historic structures, many of which are more than 125 years old. MC will celebrate its Bicentennial in 2019.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

On Campus Opportunities

In an exciting partnership with the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, MC history students are conducting an oral history project to collect the stories of women who attended Camp Margaret Townsend (formerly located where Tremont is today) as Girl Scouts between 1925 and 1959. Publication of these entertaining stories and scout memories is planned for 2019 – in time for MC’s 200th anniversary and Tremont’s 50th. Phi Alpha Theta is a national honor society in history, and the College’s Alpha-Mu-Psi chapter welcomes new inductees every April. Students who qualify for participation are eligible for scholarships and may present papers at conferences. The History Society is open to any student with an interest in history. Together, these groups host a history fair and plan events such as the year-end historical water gun battle “reenactment.”

Meet a current student

Photo of Brylie MaysBrylie Mays ’21
Hometown: Crossville, Tenn.

Brylie decided to major in history after enrolling in the “Age of World War” class, an introduction to world history from the outbreak of the First World War to the Great Depression and aftermath of the Second World War. “History is engaging and presents multiple opportunities,” she said. “It gives one critical thinking skills and communication skills that can be applied to all aspects of life.” Upon graduation, Brylie hopes to pursue business opportunities and get involved with local historical societies. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society and is also on the Maryville College Equestrian Team.

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduates

Photo of Mariah FranklinMariah Franklin ’18

Currently: Pursing M.A. at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

Mariah studied in Bologna, Italy, for her first year in the M.A. program and is currently doing political research in D.C. for her second-year studies, concentrating on international economics and European and Eurasian studies.
“The professors I had at Maryville College were amazing,” she said. “They challenged me to do thorough, responsible research, and their passion for teaching and for engaging with the more pastoral sides of their jobs was inspiring. Maryville’s liberal arts curriculum has also been a great help – making connections between seemingly disparate at MC really encourages, and it’s definitely one that has continued to be very useful to me in professional and academic settings.”

Melissa KiewietMelissa Kiewiet '14

Currently: Development and Community Engagement Fellow at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in New York, N.Y.

After graduation, Melissa went on to obtain her master’s degree in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in New York. During and after graduate school, she worked for several arts-related nonprofits, including the Glimmerglass Opera Festival and the Museum of the City of New York. At the Dyckman Museum (the last standing farmhouse in Manhattan), she fundraises and coordinates public programs and communications.
“Maryville College really prepared me for both my graduate studies and my career. My graduate program was an intensive full-time program, and I was surprised at how easily I was able to keep up with the rigorous curriculum and demanding schedule,” she said. “It was Maryville’s workload and supportive faculty and staff that gave me the foundation for all my successes.”

Ashleigh OattsAshleigh Oatts ’07

Currently: Education Coordinator at the T.R.R. Cobb House (Watson-Brown Foundation) in Athens, Ga.

Completing a major-related internship while at Maryville led Ashleigh to purse a master’s degree in Public History. During and after graduate school, she had opportunities to work with historical societies and at large museums (including the Tennessee State Museum). She currently plans hands-on field trip activities and advises a group of high school students who provide grants for historic preservation needs in Northeast Georgia. “Maryville College prepared me for graduate school expectations. I was the only student in my program who had already completed a thesis and comprehensive exams, which made graduate school seem less daunting,” she said. “I continue to use research skills that I learned at MC while working on new exhibits.” 

Graduate School Placements

Appalachian State University
Cooperstown Graduate Program
Dalhousie University
East Tennessee State University
Howard University
James Madison University
Middle Tennessee State University
Tennessee Technological University
University of Edinburgh, Scotland
University of Miami of Ohio
University of Missouri at Kansas City
University Of Tennessee
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vanderbilt University