The University of Alabama in Huntsville offers the opportunities of a public research university with a teaching atmosphere like a small private liberal arts college. The department and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences maintain a commitment to balance research and teaching, and provide resources for both.

The Department

As a department, we are close but independent. We take pride in making consensus the basis of departmental decisions. Within the department, we work as a team on common expectations for survey classes and for majors. We also value colleagues' varied strengths and respect academic freedom. We support our fellows' research, providing advice and editing help. For several occasions a year, we enjoy departmental get-togethers, but we have no expectations that we must always socialize with one another. Our spirit is friendly and hard-working!

Teaching at UAH

We reside in Roberts Hall, with offices and classrooms on the top floor. All classrooms are equipped for multi-media. The department has a book-lined seminar room for small classes. Offices are spacious and have floor-to-ceiling windows. The library is nearby, and has a large collection of online databases. The Humanities Center funds Library Enhancement Grants. One of our faculty members has received over $68,000 of library grants.  Before arriving on campus, several recent hires have applied for and received library grants.

UAH offers an excellent teaching environment. We have a three-three teaching load. Usually each semester a professor teaches two sections of a 100-level world history survey and one upper-level or graduate class in their specialty. In survey classes, enrollments are limited to 40 students, with essay exams and writing assignments required. Beginning in 2019, we will also teach a section of world history for the Jemison College Academy, which allows local high school students to enroll in classes for college credit. Our upper-level classes usually consist of a dozen to two dozen students. Each professor has a repertoire of a half-dozen upper-level and graduate courses. We have a Masters program and graduate courses normally have eight to ten students. Additionally, we have a public history track to our history major, and a graduate certificate in Comparative Cultures and Conflicts. We welcome proposals for new courses.

The history department is also closely linked to many of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences’ interdisciplinary minor programs. Each term, several of our courses are cross-listed with these minors,including Ancient and Medieval Studies, Latin American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Public History. Faculty members have taken student groups abroad through the Global Studies program. Faculty also participate in the University’s Honors College, including by teaching Honors classes.

Faculty also have access to many resources to bring distinguished scholars to campus to give public lectures, visit classes, and meet with students, including the Distinguished Speaker Series, the Humanities Center, and interdisciplinary programs such as the Women’s and Gender Studies program. The Society for Ancient and Medieval Studies brings a guest scholar to campus every spring as part of Classics Week. As a department, we usually bring two to three guest historians to campus each academic year. We also enjoy a close relationship with the North Alabama chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, which brings three scholars to campus each semester.

Research and Faculty Development

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is classified as a Very High Research Activity institution.  UAH and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences vigorously encourage research and faculty development.  Financial support for research includes grants for new faculty, Humanities Center research grants for faculty of all levels, and College and Humanities Center funds for conferences. The University has a liberal sabbatical program. The college provides generous start-up funds for new faculty to purchase equipment. An informal college gathering helps faculty grow; RELACS offers a setting for research presentations.  In addition, several faculty in the College have recently created the Humanities Writers’ Workshop, an interdisciplinary, collaborative writing group that creates a space for sharing and discussing work-in-progress by UAH faculty. The university provides training for course management software and online instruction.


Huntsville and the surrounding region are pleasant and prosperous. The city nestles between the wooded mesas of the Cumberland Plateau and the winding waters of the Tennessee River in North Alabama. Winters are short and mild and snowfall rare. Residents debate whether spring or fall is more wonderful. Summers are hot.  Average daily high temperatures are 72 degrees F.  

Throughout its history Huntsville has recreated itself several times. It has changed from state capital to cotton village to textile town to "Rocket City" boomtown to its current form as a high-tech city. The metropolitan area has a growing population now over 417,000.

Huntsville's economy centers on aerospace and defense, information technology, research, and advanced manufacturing. In 2005, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology was established in Huntsville, adding to this heady high-tech mix. On the outskirts of the city are two high-tech federal facilities, the Army's Redstone Arsenal, including a new FBI digital forensics lab, and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Nearby is Cummings Research Park which is the second largest in the country. Huntsville is also Northern Alabama's retail and medical hub.

Huntsville's population is diverse but is largely well-educated, professional and middle-class. Incomes are high and the cost of living is relatively low. Several of its public schools rank among the best in the state and the South.

Cultural attractions include a professional symphony orchestra, several theatre and arts organizations, arts festivals, an amazing arts colony located in an old textile mill, professional sports teams, as well as libraries, museums, and hobbyist groups. Numerous parks dot the city, including downtown’s Big Spring Park, the Huntsville Botanical Garden, and Dog Spot park; above it are the hiking trails of Monte Sano State Park. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is the most popular tourist destination in Alabama. Downtown, in addition to restaurants and museums, has a convention center that includes an arena, concert hall, and playhouse. The area has two world-class golf courses as well as a civic tennis facility with clay courts. Active clubs exist for cycling, spelunking, running, soccer, baseball, and swimming. UAH has a Fitness Center that is free for faculty.  Huntsville has many good restaurants and microbreweries.  

The Huntsville airport has short lines and direct flights to Chicago, Newark, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas, and other cities. From Huntsville, travelers enjoy a variety of car excursions. Day trips are easy to Nashville, Chattanooga, and Birmingham. Weekend getaways to nearby cities include Atlanta and Memphis. The Smoky Mountains and beaches of the Gulf Coast are six hours away, and driving to New Orleans takes 8 hours.

Huntsville has also been recognized in the national media as a great place to live and work:

2018 Best Places To Live: Huntsville Made US News Rankings

Huntsville Patch, April 2018

Huntsville is one of top metros to "Power the U.S. Economy"

Bloomberg Business, September 2015


Read story online ( »    Read story online »

Huntsville named one of the nation's best towns for college students

American Institute for Economic Research, Oct. 2014


Read story online ( »


Huntsville is one of the Top 30 fastest growing major metros in the country

U.S. Census, March 2014


Read story online ( »

Huntsville named one of the Best Places to Live, October 2013

Read story online ( »

Madison County ranked No. 7 in the country of a great place to live and find a job

CNN, August 2013


Read story online ( »


Huntsville named one of the country’s Top 10 Cities for Raising Families

Kiplinger's Magazine, August 2010


Read story online »


Huntsville named one of the nation’s most affordable cities

CNN/Money, July 2010


Forbes names Huntsville one of the nation’s Top 10 Places for Business and Careers

Forbes, April 2010