The certificate in Civil War Era Studies is designed for students who desire a deeper understanding of the antebellum period, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the complexities of the conflict’s commemorative landscape and modern methods of interpreting Civil War sites.
Students who successfully complete the Certificate in Civil War Era Studies will be able to:
- Explain the causes, events, decisions, personalities, remembrance and legacy of the Civil War Era.
- Conduct original research and apply historical methods.
- Articulate the various interpretive challenges in Civil War era history.
- Appropriately use modern methods, approaches and techniques necessary to convey a balanced perspective of the Civil War era.
Unique Opportunities for Students
Students enrolled in Shenandoah University’s History program, either as history majors, minors, and/or in the Certificate in Civil War Era Studies have access to an array of unique and varied opportunities including conducting original research to support educational and interpretive efforts at Cool Spring, chances to interact with some of the world’s most distinguished Civil War era scholars, collaborate on various projects with our director, or apply for the prestigious Dr. David and Mrs. Melanie Miles McCormick Civil War Institute Summer Fellowship which supports summer research as part of the College of Arts and Sciences Summer Scholars program.
McCormick Civil War Institute
The McCormick Civil War Institute (MCWI) at Shenandoah University produces the university’s first academic, peer-reviewed journal; offers a wide variety of community conferences and lectures related to the war, and, provides students with practical, hands-on learning experiences related to the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley, which the war affected incessantly. Charged with historical interpretation efforts at Shenandoah University’s River Campus at Cool Spring Battlefield, students working with the MCWI can have an almost lab-like experience in the study of history, as they lead tours, create and expand exhibits and conduct research.
Learn in Winchester & the Cool Spring Battlefield
Winchester, Virginia, home of Shenandoah University, changed hands over 70 times from 1861-1865. It was the most contested town in the Confederacy. Winchester is such a historically rich area and we use of those resources to help our students not only learn about history, but to experience it and feel more connected to it through the power of place.
Shenandoah University is the only university that owns a Civil War Battlefield that is in very early stages of interpretation.
Come enjoy 195 acres of preservation land along the Shenandoah River for use as an outdoor classroom and recreational space for the university community and general public. This historic property was integral to the July 18, 1864, Battle of Cool Spring. It also serves as a living laboratory for history and the environmental studies programs.
—Professor of History Warren Hofstra, Ph.D.
Shenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute (MCWI)
The McCormick Civil War Institute (MCWI) strives to promote a nuanced understanding and appreciation of the causes for, conduct of, and resulting outcomes of the American Civil War through education, engagement, empowerment, and encouragement. MCWI conducts, collaborates on, and supports educational venues; engages a broad array of partners, supporters, and audiences in a journey of understanding and appreciation; empowers individuals and organizations to promote understanding and appreciation; and encourages the development, resourcing, and conduct of programs and events that advance this vision.
Courses Required for the Certificate in Civil War Era Studies
HIST 103 (US History I) 3 credits
HIST 305 (Civil War & Reconstruction) 3 credits
HIST 308 (Civil War in Memory & Popular Culture) 3 credits
HIST 309 (Interpreting Civil War Historic Sites) 3 credits
Shenandoah University works on rolling admissions and accepts applications throughout the year. Applications are reviewed individually and holistically.
Submit your application, review required admission materials, and find our admissions standards.