Do you have an interest in history and the way it influences today’s culture?  Would you like to pursue graduate study?  Are you thinking about a possible career in journalism, law, museum work, library science, or even business?  Then consider enrolling in the Nichols History program. Through the program, you will be able to: 

  • Take courses in world and American history
  • Develop your critical thinking skills
  • Learn the process of doing historical research and writing
  • Have the chance to participate in public programs both on- and off-campus
  • Be able to listen to significant speakers
  • Experience the benefits of individual instruction from professors with extensive teaching experience. 

Our professors have experience teaching a wide variety of courses in social, political, economic, and military history.  We are also working to develop new courses that will attract our students’ interest, help them develop useful skills that will help them in a variety of career paths, and foster a greater appreciation of the different cultures that exist in our country and our world.

Leading the Way

Frank Oliva ’11 Wahconah Regional High School, History Teacher

Excellence in Teaching award recipient:  Nichols history professors are very passionate about teaching and the subject. They provide students with the opportunity to master the subject through lectures and discussions as well as assigning research papers, debates, and other forms of presentations. The professors are willing and able to meet with students one-on-one, which benefited me when I needed guidance.

Elizabeth (Draper) LaMonica ’12 Lynnfield High School, Social Studies Teacher

I learned so much from being a student in in the history program at Nichols.  I completed the program with an understanding of both the breadth and depth of history, which has served me very well as a history teacher. The professors were excellent, and as a result of the small class sizes, I got a lot of personal attention.  To this day I still use what I learned at Nichols in my classroom. I could not recommend this program more highly.

Courses & Requirements

History majors must complete 120 credit hours (approximately 40 courses), including courses from the foundation curricula, focused electives, and these required specialization courses:

Required Courses

HIST 201 United States History to 1865

This course examines the evolution of the American colonies, the Revolution, forces leading to the Constitution, the Federalist era, the Jacksonian era, and the causes of the Civil War.

HIST 202 United States History since 1865

Beginning with Reconstruction, this course follows the evolution of economic, political, and social development through reform eras, wars, and global emergence.

PSCI 204 Introduction to Political Sci

An examination of methods and concepts in the study of political science with special emphasis on American government and politics. Designed to offer an understanding of our own political system and how it works.

HIST 207 World Civilizations I

This course considers the evolution of civilization from pre-historic beginnings to the 15th century through developmental stages including the rise of agriculture, the evolution of major civilizations, and the establishment of commercial and cultural ties.

HIST 208 World Civilizations II

This course focuses on the five centuries after 1450 as technology and military and political organizations resulted in the creation of international trade systems and power alliances, leading to the decline in western imperialism and reemergence of major Asiatic civilizations.

HIST 359 U.S. History Since 1945

This course will survey key topics in American history since 1945. Topics include the Cold War, hot wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, the Cuban Missile Crisis, civil rights, feminism, the environmental movement, and politics and culture.

HIST 369 World History Since 1945

This course will survey key topics in world history since the peace settlements in Europe and the Far East at the end of World War II. Topics examined will include the political and economic structures of the peace of 1945, the role of the new United Nations, the causes of the Cold War, the Korean War, the end of European empires in Asia and Africa, crises over Cuba and Vietnam in the 1960s, the fall of the Iron Curtain, the emergence of the European Union, as well as tensions and war in the Middle East over oil, Israel, Iran and Iraq, and international terrorism.

HIST 480 Seminar in History

This course will examine the history of historical writing, the use and evaluation of historical sources, why interpretations differ, and how historians are influenced by forces other than the facts. A research paper is required for this course.


HIST 315 Constitution & Amer Tradition

This course will examine selected topics in American constitutional history from the founding period to the early 21st century. A significant component of this course is a detailed examination of the United States Constitution and the Massachusetts State Constitution, including their origins, interpretation, and evolution.

HIST 322 Women in American Society

This course considers the role that women have played in American life from the colonial period to modern day. Special consideration will be given to such topics as the perceived role of women, their actual status and contributions in the Lowell mills, the Abolitionist movement, suffrage, and the 20th century civil rights movement.

HIST 339 History of Modern Europe

This course considers the evolution of modern Europe, including the social, political and economic developments of major European nations from the fall of Napoleon?s Empire in 1815 to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on the Industrial Revolution, European nationalism and imperialism, the causes and effects of the world wars and the Cold War, the fall of Communism, and the drive toward European Union.

HIST 340 Political & Historical Leaders

This course examines leadership, behavior, and style, and its potential for contributing to change in business, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. How leaders interact with the climate of the organization and its situational context, both political and environmental, will be examined through case studies of important figures in political, business, and social history.

HIST 352 American Economic History

This course traces the evolution of American economic life from its agricultural/rural origins and economy through the industrial revolution, the rise of industrial capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Great Depression era and its aftermath, to the emergence of our modern, post-industrial urban society of today.

HIST 355 Civil War

This course examines the Civil War and the process of rebuilding the nation at the end of America’s bloodiest war. It will cover the causes for the war, the principle battles, the political and military personalities involved, the war’s consequences, and explore why the Union emerged victorious.

HIST 360 America and Vietnam

This course examines the U.S. experience in Vietnam from 1950 to 1975 and includes the conduct and controversies surrounding the war as well as the results for America and Southeast Asia.

HIST 470 Special Topics in History

This course is designed to present certain topics not covered in the usual program yet considered of value to the student of history.


  • Paul Lambert

    Paul Lambert
    Assistant Professor of History / History Program Chair

  • Erika Cornelius Smith

    Erika Cornelius Smith
    Assistant Professor of HIstory

  • Michael Neagle

    Michael Neagle
    Assistant Professor of History

  • Andrew Smith

    Andrew Smith
    Assistant Professor of Sport Management & History / Chair, Undergraduate Adult Education Program

  • Jesse Limanek

    Jesse Limanek
    Adjunct Professor

  • Emily Thomas

    Emily Thomas
    Adjunct Professor