The Graduate Certificate in Maritime History is designed to provide history graduate students the opportunity to develop a special emphasis in maritime history as part of their graduate education. Students earn certification following the successful completion of twelve hours of maritime history.
The Graduate Certificate in Maritime History offers perspectives of the history of maritime developments throughout the centuries. It may be of interest to those who seek to develop expertise in maritime studies, maritime museums, or to enhance their career opportunities in maritime business or interdisciplinary studies of marine communities and environments. The department develops interdisciplinary coursework on historical and contemporary maritime and coastal environments and their many interdependencies: landscapes, seascapes and ports. Topics covered include oceanic and naval history, history of the use of marine resources, maritime environmental history, and other topics like the history of maritime trade and technology and the trans-atlantic slave trade. These courses explore the past and present of the world's waterways and the human and natural environments of maritime and marine locales, and offers students an introduction to maritime history and its global dynamic.
The Certificate is open to current MA candidates, students already possessing an MA in History, or other graduate students who seek to complete the certificate alone. Students already possessing an MA in History or graduate students who seek to pursue the certificate should contact the Graduate Program Director to be advised on admissions and applications procedures.
Current MA candidates should discuss adding the Certificate with the Graduate Program Director, and declare their intentions to pursue the Certificate using this form:
The Department of History at Old Dominion University is a member of the Consortium for Maritime Research, which includes the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography and the Center for Quantitative Fisheries Ecology in the College of Sciences, the College of Business and Public Administration, the College of Health Sciences and the College of Engineering. The Consortium fosters interdisciplinary cooperation at Old Dominion University in all areas of marine and maritime research.
The Maritime Certificate requires 12 hours of coursework composed of the following:
- HIST 600: Historical Theory and Practice- usually taken in first semester of enrollment
- HIST 668: Internships in History- internship must have a maritime focus
- Two elective courses
- HIST 611: The Military in America
- HIST 622: The Atlantic Slave Trade
- HIST 636: The British Empire
- HIST 641: Individual & Society in Ancient Greece
- HIST 647: Studies in Maritime History
- HIST 662: North Atlantic Resources
- HIST 696: Tutorial in Maritime History
- Other 600-level courses with a maritime history focus as approved by the Graduate Program Director.
Andrew Mills was born in Connecticut, although he considers Chesapeake, Virginia his hometown. He taught high school in Tokyo, Japan for a time after receiving his Master of Arts in Teaching, before returning to America to receive his Masters in East Asian Studies and eventually the Maritime Graduate Certificate here at Old Dominion University. He currently teaches world history, world religions, and VA/US government at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake. Andrew writes:
"I believe that world history is maritime history and that one cannot fully grasp the complexity of the past without first understanding humanity's reliance on or connection to maritime worlds."
Andrew's interest in Maritime history began when he first studied the 1954 Lucky Dragon no. 5 incident in Japanese maritime history and plans to write further on the subject from a maritime history perspective. He has even begun introducing topics from maritime history in his classes at Western Branch High School. He adds:
"When I teach my unit on ancient Afro-Eurasian civilizations, for example, I stress the significance maritime trade had on Egypt. Egyptians traded for Harappan lapis lazuli - a precious gem used in their intricate jewelry and ceremonial objects."
Andrew plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Japanese history.
Jordan Wolfe is originally from North Carolina, although she has lived in the Hampton Roads region for over six years now. She received her undergraduate degree from Christopher Newport University in 2019, before enrolling in Old Dominion University's M.A. of History program. After her first semester within the master's program, Jordan's advisor asked if she would like to supplement her studies with the Graduate Certificate in Maritime History. Receiving an "incredible opportunity" to intern at the Mariner's Museum & Park in Newport News, Jordan writes:
"I was able to contribute vital information on the history of Indigenous and American whaling societies, with a particular focus on narrative folklore, the material culture of whaling and fishing, and the contemporary environmental implications of overfishing."
Working at the museum, Jordan developed a "deep infatuation" with material culture, museum curation, and archives and archival studies. She goes on to say:
"Maritime history allowed me to view history through a more nuanced lens, with an emphasis on how a community's identity is shaped around a maritime culture. The Graduate Certificate in Maritime History has prepared me for my additional studies in material culture and public history, and I am greatly looking froward to what the future holds because of the amazing opportunities from the program."