Department of History and Philosophy

Dr. Marvin Downing, Interim Chair
322E Andy Holt Humanities Building
(901) 881-7472
Fax (901) 881-7584

History Faculty

Alice-Catherine Carls, David Coffey, Marvin L. Downing, Donna Cooper Graves, Lonnie E. Maness, Daniel J. McDonough, J. Stanley Sieber

Philosophy Faculty

James F. Fieser, Norman S. Lillegard, F. Louis Mauldin, Henry H. Parker


The Department of History and Philosophy's mission is to provide a total educational experience by offering students opportunities to exercise leadership skills, enhance their understanding of human behavior, embrace tolerance and clarify their own values. The history and philosophy curricula lie at the heart of a liberal arts education by providing students with the political, social, cultural, interdisciplinary and international foundation necessary for responsible citizenship. Lower division course offerings provide students with the basic knowledge and critical thinking skills needed for success in life. Advanced courses provide quality training to students seeking to make their mark in a wide array of service professions such as teaching, public advocacy, public history, library science, law, journalism and civil service as well as community, religious, business, and international leadership. Faculty are committed to mentoring students and to advancing the disciplines of History and Philosophy through a full range of scholarly activities and service to the campus, community, and the profession.

Expected Outcomes

The history curricular mission at UT Martin places considerable emphasis upon the following skills, which are considered most necessary to prepare students for the tasks defined above:

  1. an understanding of the major events, personalities, social categories, and cultures which have shaped the United States and the world at large;
  2. an understanding of how current events are connected with, and proceed from, the events of the past;
  3. the research skills which not only provide the student with knowledge, but provide her/him with the ability to seek new knowledge and interpretations;
  4. the development of critical analysis and independent thought, allowing students to consider competing interpretation and through the use of reason, develop their own conclusions on society, past and present;
  5. communications skills, written and oral, which will allow students to communicate their ideas effectively to others.

The graduating Philosophy major is expected:

  1. to understand the subject matter of philosophy;
    1. the principal positions in the history of philosophy
    2. the theories about reality, values, and knowledge;
    3. the currents, problems, and categories in contemporary philosophy;
    4. the basic philosophical vocabulary and concepts;
    5. the future directions in philosophy, for example, ethics, philosophy of religion, multicultural thought, or contemporary philosophy.
  2. to have developed habits of disciplined, logical thinking;
    1. analytic and synoptic skills;
    2. the use of the traditions or the story of philosophy;
    3. the ability to discuss issues within a philosophical community;
    4. problem solving, writing, reading, and speaking skills;
    5. research skills;
    6. the ability to think within diverse perspectives and culture;
    7. an understanding of the relationships among philosophy, the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, as well as between theory and practice.
  3. to have established a basis for careers and advanced (graduate and professional) studies;
    1. a realistic understanding of employment opportunities;
    2. the preparation for professional and graduate education;
    3. a continuing interest in philosophical issues and the ability to engage in self-directed, life-long learning;
    4. the ability to serve and to lead in an enlightened way in matters of citizenship and the building of the human community.
  4. to have had the experience of dialoging with professional philosophers, with living voice with persons actively engaged in philosophy;
    1. who hold the terminal degree in philosophy or related subjects;
    2. who actively engage the subject matter of philosophy;
    3. who are involved in their profession;
    4. who research and write in philosophy.


The department offers majors and minors in history, international studies, and philosophy. It is also responsible for minors in African-American Studies and Religious Studies. The department's majors offer students a wide range of career opportunities that come with a liberal arts education. The majors particularly prepare students for further education at the graduate level where they can specialize in a variety of sub-fields. Too, they are excellent for students interested in attending law school or seeking government employment upon graduation. Additional information on career opportunities and current careers of departmental alumni is available upon request.


The department offers the following scholarships:

The Lower Division History Scholarship--This $300 tuition or travel-study award goes to an outstanding sophomore who has completed three semesters of lower-division history.

The Upper Division History Scholarship--This $300 tuition or travel-study award goes to the outstanding upper-division history major.

The H.B. Smith Freshman History Student Scholarship--This $1,000 tuition scholarship goes to an outstanding high school senior from West Tennessee who plans to attend UT Martin as a freshman and major in history. Applicants are nominated by one of their school teachers or administrators based on scholastic ability and financial need. Recipients are chosen by a department committee.

The Wilma and Ernest Newby Scholarship--This substantial tuition award is made possible by Mr. Carl G. "Butch" Newby in honor of his parents, Wilma and Ernest Newby. It is granted to a junior or senior social science major. Possible military connection or career plans, financial ability and scholarship are main factors in the selection process. Recipients are chosen by a department committee.

The Patrick R. Taylor Scholarship--This $100 award goes to the history, political science, or international studies major with the best upper-division paper in European history.

The Langdon S. Unger Scholarship--This $100 award goes to the junior history major with the highest overall GPA and the highest history GPA based on the greatest number of history hours. In the case of a tie, department activities will be considered as well.

The Bateman-Wyant History Scholarship--This annual scholarship award is open to any history major maintaining a 3.0 average or better. Students will compete for the award by writing a research article based upon some aspect of U.S. history. The person judged by the history staff as having written the best paper will be awarded the scholarship. Winners will be allowed to compete for a second time. The amount of the award will be $250. Competition for the award and the deadline for submission of the completed article will be announced in the fall term of each school year. All articles submitted will have to comply with the style and length requirement set by the department.

Student Organizations


History Club--Open to any student interested in history, regardless of major or GPA. Members hear speakers on history-related topics and visit area historical sites.

Phi Alpha Theta--National history honor society. Open by invitation to students who have a minimum of 12 semester hours of history and a minimum GPA of 3.01, are in upper two-thirds of all remaining courses after history grades are removed, and are in the upper 35% of their respective class.


Philosophy Forum--(membership open to all) provides an opportunity for philosophical discussion, and seeks to promote interest in philosophical studies, to provide an opportunity for the publication of works in philosophy, to encourage friendship among persons of philosophical temperament, and to promote the ideals in philosophical education.


History Club Award--A cash award of $150 made to a History Club member selected for outstanding leadership in the club.

Tennessee Historical Commission Award--Cash and book award to graduating senior selected by the department as the outstanding history student.

Department History Award--A cash award of $100 made by the department to the outstanding senior history major.

Cooperative Education Programs

The five-year Cooperative Education Programs for majors in history, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, offer the student an opportunity to gain valuable professional experience as part of an academic program. In addition, the student acquires a source of income to help finance college expenses. For more information, see the Office of Counseling and Career Services.

Internships and Travel-Study Opportunities

The department offers, through several credit courses in history, opportunities for students to apply their knowledge to practical work, travel or research experiences in their field of study. These courses have special prerequisites which must be met and can only be taken with departmental approval. Some internships or research experiences may offer pay or stipends. Students enrolling in travel study may be eligible for a departmental stipend to pay part of the expenses. The amount of academic credit offered in a course will vary.


History (2910-BA, 2910BS)

B.A. or B.S. Curriculum. History 121-122 (or History 121H-122H) and History 201-202 are prerequisites to the major which totals 24 hours, consisting of History 301, History 499, and 21 additional hours of upper-division (300-400) courses divided between two areas of study: a) American History and b) European or Asian History. At least nine hours must be taken in each area. At least three European history hours must come from History 340, 341, 342, or 343. The combined total of coursework applied to the major from the following categories of special courses may not exceed nine hours and no more than six hours may be applied from any single category: Special Topics, Travel-Study, Internships, Independent Study and Undergraduate Research courses. All requirements for the B.A. or B.S. degree must be met, including completion of a minor or second major. A minimum score of 414 on the ACAT History Major Field Examination is required to complete the major.

International Studies (2960)

B.A. Curriculum. This is a multidisciplinary major for students interested in acquiring personal enrichment and a broadly based international perspective for eventual careers in government, foreign service, international organizations or foundations, international business, foreign area studies, international law, or journalism. The major consists of a minimum of 42 hours. The general education requirements for the B.A. degree must be met. The student must complete the following requirements for the major (core, area concentration, and travel-study) and the required minor.

A. Core Courses (18 hours from selected courses) *denotes required courses

Agricultural Economics 335

International Agricultural Trade

Economics 321

International Economics

Geography 461

Economic Geography

Geography 462

Political Geography

History 200*

Introduction to International Studies

History 485*

The Changing World Order (capstone course)

Political Science 321 or 322

International Relations

Religious Studies 301

Major Religions of the World

Sociology 433

Population Processes and Problems

B. Area Concentration (18-21 hours)

Students will select a concentration with a distinguishable business, cultural, geographical, historical or global interest. Students must consult with their advisor to plan their program of study.

Anthropology 201, 306, or 434
Economics 322 or 333
Geography 381, or 461 or 462
History 322, 343, 415, 447, 448, or 482
Philosophy 430 or 440
Political Science 341 or 401
Religious Studies 201, 306, or 313
Sociology 304 or 495

C. Travel-Study (6 hours minimum-12 hours maximum)

Majors must participate in a travel-study program in a foreign country so that the student may draw upon unique cultural and intellectual resources in the host country(ies) which will extend subject matter competence and develop language proficiency. A sensitivity to other cultures, together with a new perspective on the American culture, will contribute to the development of particular career interests.

Although students may participate in any approved study abroad program, we strongly recommend that students take advantage of the many foreign-study opportunities available at UT Martin which involve a summer, one semester, or a year. There are travel-study programs developed each year by the departments of Geology, Geography and Physics (Geography 441 and 442); Modern Foreign Language (French/German/Spanish 360 and 370); and History and Philosophy (History 468); and Management, Marketing and Political Science (Political Science 467). The Office of International Programs coordinates student exchanges with Hirosaki University. Also, the Office of International Programs is involved in the Cooperative Center for Study in Britain.

D. Foreign Language Minor (12 upper-division hours)

Students must minor in French, German or Spanish. International students and resident aliens for whom it is determined that English is a second language may minor in English. A minor consists of at least 12 hours numbered 300 or above, plus any prerequisite courses. Students may wish to receive a certificate of proficiency which requires 15 hours. It is highly recommended that students take an additional year of a second foreign language.

Philosophy Major (2940)

B.A. Curriculum. A major consists of 30 hours to include: Philosophy 160, 210, 314, and 315, and eighteen (18) additional hours of upper-division philosophy courses. Majors must also assemble a portfolio, under the supervision of a philosophy faculty member. The portfolio should include one paper on the history of philosophy, one on ethics, and a third paper on an elected area or topic. Papers must indicate an ability to anticipate objections to a position or thesis, and demonstrate other features of the capacity for philosophical argument, as well as a familiarity with relevant literature, and they must be properly formatted. Normally each paper should be ca. 3000 words. Other indications of philosophical competence may be included in the portfolio, such as evidence of outstanding performance on essay exams. Majors must also take a senior exit exam. The philosophy elective courses are to be selected in terms of the student's educational and career goals and with the approval of an advisor in philosophy. Philosophy 110-120 are prerequisites to the major and may be used to meet general education requirements for the B.A.

Philosophy Major and Religious Studies Concentration

Through their curricular and extracurricular programs, the Philosophy and Religious Studies faculty introduce the student to a wide variety of influential philosophical and religious concerns and styles of inquiry in both Western and non-Western thought. Students are assisted in thinking critically and creatively about human existence, meaning, and the nature of reality, and can acquire increased capacity for logical analysis, appreciation of values, deepened self-knowledge, and an understanding and enjoyment of diverse ideas and systems.

The habits of mind developed through studies in philosophy or religion have ready applications in many different fields. They are of special value for those preparing for careers in law, public and governmental service, ministry, psychology, education, and writing. Persons educated in philosophy have been employed as technical consultants by computer firms, as consultants in business ethics by corporations, and as experts on biomedical ethics by hospitals and medical schools. A large variety of employment is available within the religious communities for those with expertise in religious studies and philosophy.

In addition, persons educated in philosophy and religious studies are well prepared for graduate training in philosophy and religion and for other types of graduate and professional studies. Impressive statistical data indicate that students with undergraduate majors in philosophy or their equivalents score higher in both the verbal and quantitative parts of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and in Law School (LSAT), Business School (GMAT), and Medical School Admissions tests than do students with other undergraduate majors (Economist; Medical School Admission Requirements; American Philosophical Association Proceedings).

Studies in philosophy and religion are also essential for seminary education in many cases. A Pre-Theological Advising Program is available for those persons who wish to pursue religious vocations and advanced seminary and theological education.  


African-American Studies. The minor consists of the following courses: Philosophy 130, Philosophy 440 and 12 hours selected from Sociology 304, Political Science 479, Social Work 220, English 345, History 434, and History 435.

History. History 121-122 (or History 121H-122H) or History 201-202 are prerequisites to the minor which consists of 12 hours of upper-division history. The combined total of coursework applied to the minor from the following categories of special courses may not exceed six hours and no more than three hours may be applied from any single category: Special Topics, Travel-Study, Internships, Independent Study and Undergraduate Research courses.

International Studies. The minor consists of 18 hours of upper-division courses. Students are required to take History 485 plus one course from five of the following: Agriculture 295; Economics 321, 322, 333; Geography 381; French 311, 321, 381, 382; German 321, 381, 382; History 343, 432, 448, 482; Political Science 321, 322, 341; Religious Studies 301; Spanish 321, 322, 381, 382, 385, 386.

Philosophy. The minor consists of the following courses: Philosophy 110-120 and an additional 12 hours of philosophy, at least nine hours of which must be courses numbered 300 or above.

Religious Studies. The minor consists of the following courses: Religious Studies 201 and 15 hours of upper-division religious studies courses.  

Pre-Theological Program

The Pre-Theological Program is a recommended cluster of disciplines which provides a foundation for future theological studies and professions. The program does not represent theological studies, but it does serve as a foundation for such studies. The Association of Theological Schools (the accrediting agency for Schools of Theology) recommends that a pre-theology student develop some in-depth understanding of human selfhood and existence, modern social institutions and problems, culture and religion, science and technology, the processes of understanding, the content and interpretation of Scripture, the history of the religious tradition, constructive theological methodology and interpretation, and language. The Pre-Theological Program develops such understanding by coordinating four Areas of Studies: 1) Value Studies - Philosophy, Religious Studies, English, and Art; 2) Contemporary Life Studies - Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Anthropology, Geography, and Political Science; 3) Historical Studies - History; and 4) Language and Communication Studies - Speech, English, Journalism, Broadcasting, Theatre, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The Pre-Theology Program has four requirements: 1) the fulfillment of the basic requirements for a B.A. or B.S., 2) the fulfillment of the general education requirements for a major which is to be selected from the disciplines listed in the four Areas of Study, 3) the fulfillment of the requirements for a minor which is to be selected from the four Areas of Study, and 4) the completion of a minimum of 18 hours of approved electives of which 12 must be upper-division. All four areas of study must be represented in the selection of a major, a minor, and electives. A minimum of six elective hours is required in each Area of Study not covered by the major and the minor. A list of approved electives is available from the advisor. The major, the minor, and the electives will be specified on the basis of the recommendations by the Association of Theological Schools and the academic and professional needs of the student as determined by consultation with an advisor in the Department of History and Philosophy.

Courses Offered by Department of History and Philosophy

Description of Courses