Humanities is the collective term for the study of the human condition—particularly aspects of human society and culture. It encompasses many distinct disciplines, including history, music, philosophy, and literature. In contrast to the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences, the humanities focus on research, using methods that take primarily critical or comparative approaches with a significant historical element.
Humanities-History provides students an opportunity to appreciate the story of humankind. Students explore patterns of human thought and successes in human invention, and develop an understanding of the evolution of humanity’s past and how it relates to the present. Students will study the major fields of history, the tools at the historian’s disposal, and the methodologies and interpretations necessary to fully implement the craft of history.
The humanities include history, ancient and modern languages, literature, human geography, anthropology, law, politics, religion, music, and art. As Humanities-History majors rather than just History, students are obliged to take a broader range of courses in the Humanities, encouraging an interdisciplinary focus.
The study of history provides students with a more nuanced understanding of the world, teaching tolerance and cultural literacy. Studying history offers an understanding of a wide range of topics from across the globe, from American to African, from military to economic, from ancient to modern.
Some of the topical areas where Florida Tech regularly offers courses:
The History faculty also have particular expertise in the history of science, which is a natural fit for the STEM focus of Florida Tech as a whole. Students will be encouraged to take courses that facilitate this cross-disciplinary approach.
In Humanities–History, students scrutinize (and debate) a wide variety of texts; learn about historical movements and periods; and study the critical approaches that have shaped the way we view the recording of history, world cultures, and our world.
As this degree is interdisciplinary across the humanities, we encourage a connection between history and the sciences more broadly, encouraging students to work in fields ranging from the history of science to political science to public history, which will provide students a range of future career opportunities beyond academia.
The required history courses include the American History and the History of Science sequences. Majors will also be required to take a range of electives with both a Western and world focus.
All Humanities majors are required to complete a capstone project, a two-semester research project in the senior year. This requires the student to work independently, preparing for a written thesis and oral presentation on a substantial topic, developing the qualities of intellectual autonomy and written and verbal communication skills that are indispensable in a wide range of workplaces.
A degree in Humanities–History is a superb foundation for graduate programs in multiple disciplines, both within the humanities and beyond.
Gordon Patterson has received six awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and received a Fulbright Travel Study Grant in 2004. He is the past chair of the social science section of the Florida Academy of Science, a former director of the Florida Historical Society, former director of the Florida Humanities Council, and past member of Board of Advisers to Florida Defenders of the Environment. Dr. Patterson specializes in environmental history and modern European intellectual history (German and Austrian), and has an interest in the history of science and technology and Florida history. His research activities focus vector control and the history of mosquito control.
Robert Taylor is currently a member of the board of directors of the Florida Humanities Council, president emeritus of the Florida Historical Society, and serves as a board official in the Selective Service System. His research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century America, the American South (particularly the American Civil War), Florida history, US military history, the history of the space age, and 20th-century Europe.
Jacob Ivey is a program organizer for the British Scholar Society and a member of the African Studies Association and the South African Historical Society. His research focuses on the manner in which Africans and Europeans were able to form their own systems of state control and defense during the period of European imperialism in southern Africa, notably what is today KwaZulu–Natal, and explores the role of colonial violence in the development of African agency within the British Empire and across the Atlantic world in the nineteenth century.
All our classes our fairly small—usually fewer than 25 students per class. Since there are comparatively few Humanities majors, professors get to know their students well, and there are many opportunities for one-on-one contact with faculty.
Potential internships of interest to Humanities–History majors include the Florida Historical Society in Cocoa and the Ruth Funk Textile Museum on campus.
Studying abroad not only broadens your worldview, but increases your marketability in today’s global marketplace, making your résumé more attractive to future employers and graduate schools. When you study abroad with a Florida Tech program, you can be sure that it is of high quality, safe, and helps you fulfill academic requirements needed for graduation.
The Oxford Study Abroad program is an excellent fit for Humanities–History majors. Imagine studying the American Revolutionary War from England’s perspective! Attend Shakespearean plays by the riverside in Oxford, London, and Stratford, and learn about Britain’s the post-WWI American expats who wrote and worked in Europe while sitting in a café or biking along the Thames.
The average college simply cannot beat Florida Tech’s location. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us). The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce provides a variety of internship and employment opportunities.
Florida Tech is located near the beautiful Indian River, with Atlantic Ocean beaches only a short drive away, as well as Central Florida attractions such Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. Florida Tech has a rich campus life that includes intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities. Florida Tech is the perfect choice for your Humanities–History degree.
Our program’s capstone senior thesis will provide invaluable research and writing skills for future graduate work. Students have produced multiple capstone projects on a wide range of historical topics. Past faculty-led student research projects include capstones on the history of Florida Tech Army ROTC, art stolen by the Nazis during World War II, society and the Tudor kitchen, and the history and evolution of EPCOT. An example of a current project is a capstone on the history of desegregation in Melbourne schools in the 1960s.
Humanities–History majors can participate in commemorative talks and debates at the Evans Library after-hours events. In addition, the Florida Historical Society hosts an annual conference that encourages young scholars to present their work, which could potentially be published in the Florida Historical Quarterly.
Grants are also available from the American Historical Association to travel to their annual conference to participate and present student work.
Many campus organizations are particularly well-suited to Humanities–History majors. Plans are currently being formulated to create a Florida Tech History Club on campus. You may also benefit from the Prelaw Society, for students who plan to pursue graduate law degrees.
What could my career look like with a degree in Humanities-History, B.A.?
The study of history encourages students to develop critical analysis skills crucial to analytical tasks in any career. The majority of History majors go on to have careers in education, training, libraries, business management, legal occupations, sales, and office/administrative support.
Former History majors include former US presidents, prime ministers, supreme court justices, authors, musicians, and actors.
As historian Peter Stearns put it, "Why study history? The answer is because we virtually must, to gain access to the laboratory of human experience.”
Many universities have found that their history graduates go on to become lawyers. History students often develop skills that are highly valuable in the legal world: lawyers need to devise arguments based on historical data, and must be able to analyze large amounts of information and find the flaws and patterns in it—exactly what history students do.
Other career paths include: