For students interested in a more intensive experience, the History Department has designed the rigorous Program for Excellence in Historical Studies. The program provides an enhanced undergraduate research or internship experience to further your career goals. History majors participating in the program complete an extensive senior seminar thesis and present their research during Furman Engaged. If you have any questions about the Program, please contact Dr. Lane Harris.

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If you are a sophomore or junior and interested in enrolling in the program, complete our application form by November 15. Apply now.

Program Overview

Upon acceptance to the program, students will enroll in History 315: Interpreting the Past for the spring term. In most cases, the student will complete the Program for Excellence in Historical Studies by writing a more extensive senior seminar thesis and receiving due credit through the two-credit course, History 501: Independent Study.

Other individualized options to complete the program include assisting a faculty member on a research project, an extended internship in a historical organization, or the completion of a scholarly translation in concert with a faculty member. Any of these additional options may be undertaken with the approval of a faculty member and the department chair and enrollment in the two-credit History 501 course.

Download the History 501 Program for Excellence Independent Study Form.

Financial support for appropriate projects is available through the Summer Research & Internship Fellows Program as well as the History Department's Waco-Childers Fund. Participation in the Program for Excellence will enhance student eligibility for History Department scholarships.

Students working on any project in the program for excellence are required to present at Furman Engaged. Those with extended research papers are encouraged to submit their work to the Furman Humanities Review.

program Schedule

Class Requirements
Junior Fall Semester Aug-Oct: Application and selection to the program

Oct: Students enroll in HST-315

Oct/Nov: Department announces senior seminars

Junior Spring Semester HST315: Interpreting the Past
Summer No Requirements
Senior Fall or Spring Semester Senior Seminar: Student writes expanded thesis on seminar topic (35-40 pages, more drafts, higher quality)

Independent Study (2 credit): Credit for additional work on the extended project

Other Options: Student engages in project extending work from another HST course or summer research experience


Course Description

HST315: Interpreting the Past

This course examines the historian’s craft, or how historians think about and interpret the past. By reading historical works from a variety of times and places, this course will explore the various approaches, questions, topics, and forms of evidence used by historians in the practice of writing about history. In so doing, students will be engaged in the study of historiography, the development of the methodology and discipline of history over time. 4 credits.​​​​​

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