The Pre-Law Handbook: The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools states that most law schools do not recommend “pre-law” majors because they believe that “courses designated ‘pre-law’ tend to be a less effective means of preparing for law school.” For this reason, Asbury University does not have a pre-law major. The Guide also specifically states that law schools enroll students with exceptional analytical reasoning and writing skills. History is ideally suited to this purpose, and in fact is one of the most common majors taken by those intending to study for the law upon graduation. Students interested in applying to law school and receiving the best possible undergraduate preparation should consult the law school advisor, Mr Greg Swanson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, an Asbury graduate and formerly a practicing attorney.
All of the history professors at Asbury University hold a Ph.D in that subject. Faculty degrees are from places like the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Notre Dame. Moreover, the University’s history professors are seasoned scholars and published authors who are active in professional societies and involved in Christian missions and evangelism.
One of the most popular off-campus activities for History majors at Asbury is the Washington Federal Seminar, which offers three credit hours. The Seminar is offered in conjunction with other Christian colleges, and consists of a week in Washington, D.C., interacting with senators and congressmen, touring important political arenas—including the White House and the Capitol—and studying the role of evangelical Christians in elected, appointed and career federal government positions. The period in Washington is preceded by weeks of intensive classroom preparation, which is arranged so as to avoid conflict with the students’ other classes. The Seminar is offered annually in Spring semester.
In addition, directed studies and internships enable history students to participate in special academic-oriented programs, including administrative and legislative internships in Kentucky and the Consortium American Studies Center in Washington. The Christian College Consortium Semester at Oxford University is a choice opportunity open to our students. Asbury also offers a growing number of overseas cultural and studies programs for which history academic credit may be earned. A complete list of these is found on the University website.
The Phi Alpha Theta history honors society is involved in assisting local history efforts and in promoting intellectual discourse on current events. Asbury history majors take an active role in Asbury’s new Leadership Program, both in the classroom and in activities on and off campus. History students have been among the most active in campus leadership and politics over the years, regularly serving, for instance, as Student Body President.
One advantage of the history major is that it is designed to allow students to take a wide range of electives, or to find a supportive academic minor, while still finishing the entire program without requiring addtional time to graduate.