Program Overview

The Department of History and Geography offers seven courses of study: the history major and minor, the art history major and minor, the geography minor, the geographic information systems (GIS) minor, and a new minor in museum studies and public history.


Courses in the history major and minor center on exploration of various economic, social, political, military and religious forces that have transformed the face of the world. Students combine analytical thinking and writing with a detailed grasp of the many influences that have brought about historical change. History is a discipline that explores the dynamics of change from humanistic and social scientific perspectives.

Art History

Courses in the art history major and minor examine visual and material culture, the built environment, and practices of patronage, collecting, and display from the world’s histories. Students engage in critical reading, discussion, research, analysis, and problem-solving to consider power, identity, and cultural exchange across time and in a global context. Rather than memorize lists of artists, artworks, and historical dates, you will study what these artworks mean, the contexts in which their artists produced them and how those issues relate to the way history has been constructed.


Geography explores how location affects societies, economics, politics, culture and ecosystems. How does location affect societies, economics, politics, culture and ecosystems? How do we analyze, describe and construct boundaries, both natural and human, which we then impose on the physical and intellectual worlds we live in? The study of geography is much more than maps. It includes study of both the natural world and the varied patterns of human life on both the macro and micro scales.


This minor is designed to provide students with basic knowledge and skills in GIS, remote sensing, cartography, database management and computer technology, and to explore application of these skills in courses selected from a wide variety of disciplines. Students are given hands-on experience with state of the art computer programs and software, giving them skills which are very much in demand in the market place.

Museum Studies & Public History

The Museum Studies and Public History minor allows students to explore the breadth of our department in a clear and focused way while also meeting Elon’s mission of developing engaged citizens. The minor will offer an introduction to careers in Museum Studies and Public History as well as encourage deeper thinking about expanded audiences and a more engaged public.