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History, Sociology, Geography and Legal Studies

While the Department of History, Sociology, Geography and Legal Studies is made up of faculty from a variety of disciplines, they work together closely to ensure students receive excellent training in preparation for a variety of future careers. In all of these disciplines, faculty provide students hands-on training.

History faculty have worked closely with students on original research projects in the local Tampa area that have resulted in new historical findings; other students have traveled abroad with faculty to interview the survivors of historical events. As one of four nationally-accredited programs in applied sociology, sociology faculty collaborate with students on real-world research projects tied to their areas of interest that have resulted in publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. Likewise, faculty in geography and legal studies work directly with students, helping them learn geographic information systems and excel in moot court competitions. The aim of the department is to provide students with cutting-edge training that will be beneficial as students graduate and move on to graduate school or careers.

Majors 

Bachelor of Arts in History – The history major prepares students to use knowledge of the past, of human diversity and complexity, of contingency and of continuity, in order to consider the limits and possibilities of human choices in the modern world. The program prepares students for the choices and responsibilities they will encounter as participants in a free polity and as actors in a global society, while also developing competencies in reading, writing, research, argumentation and analysis useful in diverse professional fields. The program includes opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning through coursework in museum curation and public history and through internships at museums and archives, expositions of student research and travel courses. History majors choose one of three concentrations:

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology – Sociology is the study of social life and the effects of society on the individual. The sociology degree focuses on applying the insights from scientifically studying social life to the real world, with a particular interest in addressing inequalities stemming from race, class, gender, sexuality, religion and human rights. Sociology provides an excellent training for a variety of careers, from social work to data collection and analysis.    

Minors

Minor in Law and Justice – Provides students with an opportunity to complete a course of study in substantive law at the undergraduate level. The interdisciplinary minor offers courses in business, criminal, constitutional, comparative and international law. 

Minor in Sociology – Students learn how to evaluate social conditions and design ways to solve social problems.

Minor in History – Students learn how to evaluate evidence of change and continuity in politics, culture and society.

Minor in Women's Studies – The minor in women's studies is an interdisciplinary course of study that incorporates a broad range of liberal arts activities – reading, writing, thinking and discussion – in order to teach a fuller understanding of the lives of women and their historical and cultural impact.

Minor in Asian Studies – The minor in Asian studies focuses on the history, culture and politics of East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The minor involves courses from multiple departments in the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education. 

Pre-Law

Pre-Law Professional Program – The University has not established a specialized pre-law major, but encourages prospective law students to pursue a course of study that includes a wide variety of liberal arts classes. A variety of majors in all four colleges are appropriate for pre-law students, including the history major, the history major with a concentration in American history and law, and the sociology major. Students should also consider the law, justice and advocacy minor.

Certificate Programs

European Studies – A multi-disciplinary certificate program with the goals of providing a fundamental understanding of European culture, history, economics and politics, and ensuring a basic competence in a European language in addition to English. 

Geography Courses

The department also offers several classes in geography. Geography is a multi-disciplinary field that studies the spatial patterns and dynamics of people, things and processes on the surface of the earth – including economic activity, natural resources, populations and political boundaries, settlements, cities and cultures. Coursework in geography prepares students well for a variety of careers in nonprofits, business and government in an increasingly global world. Spatial thinking and analysis is increasingly in demand in fields such as city planning, environmental conservation, economic development, public health and epidemiology. The department offers courses in world regional geography, cultural geography, economic geography, physical geography and natural resource utilization, as well as in map-making and spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS skills are highly marketable and can be applied to coursework and projects in many disciplines.