How do I declare a major or minor?
It is strongly recommended that you meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History to review the requirements of the major or minor, in order to confirm which of those you have already fulfilled and to discuss a logical sequence for completing those that remain.
How do I sign up for a directed study?
Contact the faculty member whom you want to study with. Directed studies cannot be used to substitute courses we already have. Rather, they are for students who want to study one area in depth that we would not have enough students to fill a classroom. For example: history offers a number of courses that include World War II, but if you want to study the role of women in the workforce in WWII in Detroit, that would be a directed study.
You and the professor must negotiate the terms of the directed study, how often to meet, what books to read, and what work will be required for the grade. The professor then needs to communicate with Academic Advisor, Gayle McCreedy, either via email or through signing an add form, that you have permission to take the directed study. Once received, the proper overrides will be processed so that you can register.
How can I get into an internship?
The History Department has negotiated with several local institutions to provide historical internships for our students.
- Contact Professor Elizabeth Dorn Lublin about the possibility of doing a museum internship.
- Contact the institution that you are most interested in to negotiate the terms of your internship. Generally, an internship requires 8 hours of work per week, but may be longer hours for a shorter period of the term, depending on what you negotiate.
What do I need to know about applying for graduation?
Don't get caught off guard with any unfulfilled requirements in the middle of the term that you thought was your last.
- Contact University Advising to make certain that all of your general education and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences group requirements fulfilled
- Contact your Department of History advisor to review your history credits
- Submit your application for graduation by the deadline (the college will not certify you for graduation in the current semester beyond the deadline)
How do I get into graduate school?
The most important thing to consider about applying for graduate school (beyond what you want to do when you get out of that degree) is that it is competitive about admissions. Here are some tips:
- Grades matter. Do not expect to get into a good graduate school with a 2.25 GPA. If you think that you want to pursue a graduate degree, make certain to keep your GPA up. If that means taking fewer courses for a longer period of time, it's worth it
- Don't be a stranger. Every school will expect you to provide academic letters of recommendation. These are academic letters – not letters from your supervisor at work or letters from your friends and neighbors. The purpose of academic letters is to have a professor that you have already worked with evaluate your suitability for graduate studies. That means while you are in your undergraduate program, you should get to know your professors so that they can adequately evaluate your work
- Save your term papers. Every school will expect you to provide a sample of your writing. Choose a paper that you did well on. If your professor wrote on your paper, make certain to provide a non-marked version to your future school. You might also consider rewriting sections that your professor criticized.
- Think about your career goals. How are you planning to use your history degree? Are you going out for an advanced degree so that you can get a tenure-track professorship? Are you planning to stay local and possibly considering community colleges? Thinking about teaching high school students? (That would likely require a degree with a college of education)
- Think about your future department. At the undergraduate level, it is not so critical that your studies are focused. At Wayne State, we want you to develop a broad background in history so that you are well versed in several different areas. As a graduate student – especially when you go on to the doctorate – it is critical to bring your studies into focus. Next, choose a school that has more than one historian working in that area, so that you can hear more than one point of view of the relevant scholarship
- Think about your personal statement as your professional introduction. Remember that graduate admissions is competitive – you will want to present yourself as a serious candidate for the degree. Talk about your career goals and how this degree will further those goals. Discuss the area of history that you want to study and what subtopic inside of that broad area drives your curiosity. Save the chatty talk about when you fell in love with the study of history, or who your was your most influential instructor, for later. Right now, you are one of a pack of applicants, and you need to shine as a future scholar