Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018

History and Geography


Chair: Aran MacKinnon
Professors: Stephen Auerbach, Chuck Fahrer,  Aran MacKinnon, Doug Oetter, Craig S. Pascoe
Associate Professors: Mark Huddle, William Risch, Amy Sumpter
Assistant Professors:  Stephanie Opperman,  Samiparna Samanta, Jessica Wallace, James Welborn
Lecturers: Lauren Acker, David Scallet

Department Contact Information

Georgia College
History and Geography
Campus Box 47
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Chair: Dr. Aran MacKinnon
Office Coordinator: Amy Mimes, amy.mimes@gcsu.edu


History is the basis of a liberal arts education and important to the education of persons in all walks of life. Through its offerings in the core, its major, minor and Master's degrees in history and its major and minor in geography, the Department of History and Geography has as its mission to provide students with the following: a working knowledge of past and place; an understanding of the connections of past and present; intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning; an ability to conduct historical and geographical research, to examine and analyze material critically, and to communicate knowledge and ideas effectively; preparation for advanced study and professional careers in history or other occupation; and the capacity for lifelong learning and responsible participation as citizens of today's world. Faculty members in the department seek to serve as excellent teachers and as role models of lifelong scholarly pursuit and community service.

The central mission of geographic education in the Geography Program at Georgia College is to develop in our students a comprehension of the spatial patterns and processes that influence life on Earth. Our students are trained to recognize the interdependent physical, historical, and social causes of human and natural phenomena through the knowledge and application of spatial principles. Students are able to related geographic themes to human actions that affect our world. Through spatial analysis, our students apply their understanding of biophysical processes, human settlement patterns, and cultural expression to promote global interconnectedness, solve environmental problems, and create secure local economies. Our geographic education provides a broad-based liberal arts and sciences experience that requires students to acquire knowledge, synthesize information and cultivate critical thinking in a holistic, cross-disciplinary context.

Student Success

Earning a college degree is a significant milestone in one's life and requires dedication to one's studies and tremendous effort to succeed. In order to enable students to achieve this goal, the department of History and Geography is  dedicated to developing measures that help ensure student success in the department's programs. This process begins with the First-Year Academic Seminar (HIST 0001 or GEOG 0001), in which students are introduced to the faculty and students who make up the departmental community. A major in history or geography will receive an overview of the subject matter covered in the major, explore career possibilities, and develop techniques for getting the most out of college courses and activities. Students will also learn about departmental and University expectations, policies, and resources. In addition, we are committed to offering the courses necessary to ensure that students who follow the program of study will graduate in four years. Toward that end, a typical four-year program of study has been developed, which serves as a guide each term for scheduling courses. Required courses are specified, then sequencing of courses is recommended. Students are advised to enroll in an average of 30 semester hours each year.

The Department of History and Geography seeks to enhance student interests through three programs of study. The Bachelor of Arts in History is a traditional course of study designed for students interested in further professional training, especially in secondary education and graduate work in history. The department's Bachelor of Arts in Public History program prepares students to engage the public in such historically related contexts as archives, museums, and preservation settings. The Bachelor of Arts in Geography involves students in issues of environmental conservation, urban and regional planning, and global economic and cultural studies. Participation in the History Club, a strong geography minor, international study opportunities, and senior thesis allow the opportunity for students to further enhance your experience. The Department of History and Geography, through constant student involvement in service learning and extramural activities, strives to provide building-blocks for success.


A variety of internships offering practical experience in geography and history-related work are available through the department, including such opportunities as work at historical societies and preservation sites. For further details consult the department chair.

Student Organizations

The Department sponsors three organizations for undergraduate students. The History Club is open to all individuals interested in historical events and research. The local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honorary association, is open by invitation to students with exceptional records. The Geography Club is open to anyone interested in geographical issues. The Department also sponsors Epsilon Theta, an organization for graduate students in history.

Career Information

The study of history prepares one directly for many occupations and indirectly for many more. History majors often go into work related to history, such as teaching or administration at the secondary or college level or into work at historical societies, archives, museums, parks, or historical sites. Library work, government service, and many other areas not directly related to history are also open to history majors. History is an excellent background subject for those going into the law, the ministry, journalism and media work. Many business positions are open to history majors, especially those requiring breadth of knowledge, research and writing ability, and skill in organizing information.

Geography, with the strong foundation it provides in the physical systems of the planet as well as the structural study of human society over the centuries, opens up a number of career pathways. These careers include, among many: teaching, civil service, environmental protection, land management, energy conservation, urban and regional planning, mapping science, national security, geospatial technology, and international development.

Teacher Certification

Students who wish to pursue teacher certification with a concentration in History or Geography through Georgia College, which allows the student to receive both certification and master's degree in one extra year of study, should pursue a B.A. in History or Geography first.  In addition to history requirements, students are encouraged to take these education courses:  EDUC 2110, EDUC 2120, and EDUC 2130.   For more information on this program, inquire at the office of the Dean of the College of Education, 220 Kilpatrick Education Center, phone (478) 445-4546.