Campus Life

UWF establishes Early American Studies graduate program

The University of West Florida Department of History recently developed a graduate program offering a comprehensive look at Early American studies, with a special emphasis on the American Southeast and the Caribbean.

“Since Pensacola was always a bitterly contested epicenter of international rivalry and a prominent juncture of American, European, Indian and African cultures, this program focuses most heavily on all aspects of the American Southeast and the Caribbean,” said Dr. Steve Belko, associate professor and director of the Early American Studies graduate program at UWF. “Few other institutions of higher learning can offer our expertise.”

The program was developed by Belko and Dr. Amy Mitchell-Cook, associate professor and chair of the Department of History. The University began admitting students into the program this fall, but the official launch is scheduled for Fall 2014.

As the program’s main focus, students are required to take core coursework in American history from European contact to the eve of civil war. Students are able to develop their knowledge of early American life and society in more comprehensive ways through coursework and research in various other disciplines, such as anthropology and archaeology, literature and fine arts, government and political science, and philosophy and religion.

“The Early American Studies program is a synthesis of faculty strengths and interests, and it utilizes key resources from several departments,” Mitchell-Cook said. “This will provide a unique opportunity for students to examine America’s past through a variety of perspectives not often available in a traditional course of study.”

The program provides graduate students with the necessary skills and education to enter a doctoral program in several fields or to pursue careers in museums, historical societies, local governments, state and national parks, education outreach programs or higher education and trade publications.

For additional information about the Early American Studies graduate program at UWF, visit