1. How do I declare a major or minor?
  2. Who will my advisor be?
  3. Does this course count towards my requirements?
  4. How do I sign up for a directed study?
  5. How can I get into an internship?
  6. Where can I get funding?
  7. Is there anything I need to know about applying for graduation?
  8. How do I get into graduate school?

 1.  How do I declare a major or minor?

To declare or change your major, go to https://cardinal.wayne.edu/wsuchgmjr/  It is strongly recommended that you meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History to go over the requirements of the major or minor, to confirm which of those you have already fulfilled, and to discuss a logical sequence for completing those that remain.

2.  Who will my advisor be?

Advising is shared by the Undergraduate Advisor Gayle McCreedy ab3697@wayne.edu, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies Prof. Elizabeth Dorn Lublin aj8580@wayne.edu

 3.  Does this course count towards my requirements?

If you are a history major, you have probably already noticed that the online self-evaluation tool does not work for your history courses.  That is why we have devised a handy online tool just for our majors, so that you can get a sense of what you need to take.  Remember: You should still make an appointment with Prof. Hans Hummer periodically to make sure that where you think you are is the same as where she thinks you are (considering that she is the one who will certify your major work for your degree)!  You can find the self-evaluation on our site.

4.  How do I sign up for a directed study?

Go to the faculty member whom you want to study with, and talk to them about doing a directed study.  Directed studies cannot be used to substitute courses we already have.  Rather, they are for students who want to study one area in depth that we would not have enough students to fill a classroom.  (Example: History offers a number of courses that include World War II, but if you want to study the role of women in the workforce in WWII in Detroit, that would be a directed study.)  You and the professor negotiate the terms of the directed study, how often to meet, what books to read, and what work will be required for the grade.  The professor then needs to communicate with Gayle McCreedy, either via email or through signing an add form, that you have permission to take the directed study.  Gayle will put the proper overrides into the computer so that you can register.

5.  How can I get into an internship?

The History Department has negotiated with several local institutions to provide historical internships for our students.  Your first step is to talk with Prof. Elizabeth Dorn Lublin about the possibility of doing a museum internship.  Then you will speak with the institution that you are most interested in and negotiate the terms of your internship.  Generally, an internship requires 8 hours of work per week, but may be longer hours for a shorter period of the term, depending on what you negotiate.  Once you think you have it nailed down, talk with Prof. Lublin again, and she will communicate to Gayle McCreedy that you have permission to take the internship.  Gayle will then put the proper overrides into the computer so that you can register.

6.  Where can I get funding?

The primary source of undergraduate funding is through Student Financial Aid, http://finaid.wayne.edu/.

Having said that, there are a zillion agencies that have support for undergraduate students as part of their outreach programs.  Think creatively.  There are scholarships based on being a student returning to school, scholarships for being part of a particular ethnic group, scholarships for your area of study.  There are undergraduate in-residence scholarships for juniors and seniors who want to study at a particular library.  These are tough economic times, so you will have to spend the time seeking out the sources if you don't want to amass a lot of undergraduate debt.

[Gayle McCreedy tells a story about a student she worked with in Illinois who applied for and got a complete 4-year scholarship from a Chicago meat-packing firm, whose only responsibility (beyond passing his courses) was to write a nice letter to the board once a year updating them on his progress and thanking them again for their support.]

7.   Is there anything I need to know about applying for graduation?

The main thing about graduating is that you do not want to be surprised by any unfulfilled requirements in the middle of the term you thought was your last.  Before you get that far, you need to go to University Advising one last time to make certain you have all of your General Education and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences group requirements fulfilled.  Then go to Prof. Hans Hummer and have her go over your History credits one more time.

Beyond that, apply for graduation on Pipeline by the time of the deadline.  The College will not certify you for graduation unless you meet that deadline, so pay attention.

 8.  How do I get into graduate school?

Funny you should ask.  The History Department is sponsoring a program in early September on just this topic.  Check the department calendar for more information.

The most important thing to consider about applying for graduate school (beyond what you want to do when you get out of that degree) is that graduate school is competitive about admissions. 

  • Grades matter. Do not expect to get into a good graduate school with a 2.25 GPA.  If you think you want to pursue a graduate degree, make certain that you keep your GPA up.  If that means taking fewer courses for a longer period of time, do it.
  • Don't be a stranger. Every school will expect you to provide academic letters of recommendation.  (These are academic letters - not letters from your supervisor at work or letters from your friends and neighbors.)  The purpose of academic letters is to have a professor that you have already worked with evaluate your suitability for graduate studies.  That means while you are in your undergraduate program, you will need to get known by your professors, so that they can adequately evaluate your work. 
  • Save your term papers.  Every school will expect you to provide a sample of your writing.  Pick a paper that you did well on.  If you professor wrote on your paper, make certain to provide a clean copy to your future school.  (You might also consider rewriting sections that your professor criticized.)
  • Think about your career goals.  How are you planning to use your history degree?  Are you going out for an advanced degree so that you can get a tenure-track professorship?  Are you planning to stay local, so maybe you are considering community colleges?  Thinking about teaching high school students - that probably requires a degree with a college of education.
  • Think about your future department.  At the undergraduate level, it is not so critical that your studies are focused.  At Wayne State, we want you to develop a broad background in history so that you are well versed in several different areas.  When you are a graduate student - especially when you go on to the doctorate - it is critical to bring your studies into focus.  Then choose a school that has more than one historian working in that area, so that you can hear more than one point of view of the relevant scholarship.
  • Think about your personal statement as your professional introduction.  Remember that graduate admissions is competitive, so you want to present yourself as a serious candidate for the degree.  Talk about your career goals and how this degree will further those goals.  Talk about the area of history you want to study, and what subtopic inside of that broad area drives your curiosity.  Save the chatty talk about when you fell in love with the study of history, or who your was your most influential instructor, for later.  Right now, you are one of a pack of applicants, and you need to shine as a future scholar.
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