American History at the University of Maryland is a diverse and exciting field of study. It has an award-winning faculty with wide-ranging research interests and a commitment to both undergraduate and graduate teaching. Our curriculum serves many different communities, from students wishing a single introductory course, to undergraduate majors seeking seminar work and a chance to do guided research and writing, to M.A. and Ph.D. students desiring advanced study and preparation for professions in historical inquiry. Many of our doctoral graduates have gone on to careers in university teaching, government service, and business. American History is also a particularly significant component of the joint History and Library Science M. A. program, and many of our graduates now occupy positions in libraries and archives across the country.
While students may explore any era of American history and virtually any issue, the Department has traditionally been strong in cultural, political, and legal history. It has established noteworthy concentrations in the study of slavery, African-American History, Diaspora Studies, Labor, Women, Gender and Sexuality, Early America, and the History of Business and Technology. Scholars in our department have pioneered in the emerging transnational study of the Early Modern Atlantic World as well as twentieth-century labor relations and cultural exchange.
Our location at the doorway of the nation’s capital provides students with unparalleled opportunities to conduct primary research on the American past. The National Archives, adjacent to the Maryland campus, the Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. provide artifacts, written documents and visual materials through which to analyze major issues in American history. The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Agriculture and various units within the National Park Service offer additional libraries, artifactual and manuscript collections to our students. The George Meany Archives, American Film Institute and innumerable local institutions, both public and private, make the University of Maryland an ideal place to exercise a passion for understanding America’s heritage.