Studying History at NMU
History students at NMU have a variety of unique and engaging opportunities within the department. At Northern, history students do not just find advisors, they find mentors. Many of our students work closely with faculty on research projects ranging detailed investigations of shipwrecks on Lake Superior to the collapse of Weimar Germany, to debates over Aristotelianism in Thirteenth Century France. All history students do archival research while at NMU, often leading to presentations at programs like “Evening at the Archives” or publications in Upper Country.
History courses use diverse and engaging pedagogies, including Reacting to the Past – a game-based approach to learning which capitalizes on dramatic moments in history to refine students’ analytical and argumentative abilities. Our students may puzzle out the process of transitioning South Africa from Apartheid to a multi-racial democracy (pictured at right), debate how a medieval village should respond to the coming of the Plague, or solve a secession crises in Confucian China.
The History Teaching Assistants program provides an extraordinary opportunity to our students to develop professionally. Teaching Assistants aid professors in larger classes, often helping run the Reacting to the Past units and conducting workshops and study-sessions for students, gaining valuable experience especially for those who wish to enter the teaching profession. What is more, unlike many larger universities where such an opportunity would be available only to graduate students, at NMU we offer these posts to outstanding Juniors and Seniors.
Speaking of unique opportunities, the department offers the only academic program in Citizenship Studies in the state of Michigan.Of course, being a student is more than just going to class. At NMU, our students are active Phi Alpha Theta and the History Club. The faculty hosts regular social events and even our Advising Night is known for its enjoyable conviviality in addition to accomplishing the serious business of student advising.