Welcome to the UMD Department of History. The study of history is vital to a liberal arts education because it provides a holistic approach to knowledge; it broadens students' understanding of commonality and diversity, development of cultures, and drama of human experience. History touches on the whole range of the human heritage. While focusing on the past, it also helps students understand the present and provides a strong foundation for the future. It prepares students for careers that demand analytical and communication skills, critical thinking, and cultural breadth. These careers include law, business, journalism, teaching, government, and the ministry. This program introduces students to major world cultures and provides experiences in the critical use of historical literature and other source materials. It offers concentrations in five geographical areas (Africa, East Asia, Europe, the Middle East and United States) and three chronological periodizations (Ancient, Pre-Modern, and Modern).