History & Social Science

The history and social science department at Northfield Mount Hermon will help you really see the world.

The courses, which cover everything from the New Deal to Confucianism, Amazon warriors to macroeconomics, help you analyze historical events and individuals' roles within them. You'll look at the nature of change, both historical and cultural, and what it means for us today.

The history and social science department offers a wide variety of courses. Some of them help make the financial page make sense, many of them seemingly look backward and forward at the same time, and a few of them consider your very psyche. All of them are engaging and unique. Many of our classes integrate literary, religious, and artistic perspectives into the curriculum. This helps you find context for what we study; context that can make an irrational political act comprehensible or a foreign philosophy understandable. It can also increase your appreciation of religions and the arts, which have their own histories.

In addition to having an incredible faculty, we often bring in a wide variety of guest speakers on various topics. Sometimes we bring in visiting groups of international students to discuss ideas and share experiences. We also offer study abroad opportunities. You might travel to Turkey and discuss politics with locals in a coffee shop or go to Brazil and see firsthand the effects of both slavery and capitalization. Or maybe you'll join Model U.N. and travel and debate in Hong Kong or St. Petersburg.

As you become a better critical thinker, you'll learn to express your ideas about history and society in written form. As you write research papers, you'll discover where to find data and where to get answers. You'll become a sleuth, a theorist, and an interpreter; in other words, a historian.

For more information and to see course descriptions, see the history and social science section of the online Curriculum Guide.

Gretel Schatz

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.

Faculty Profiles

This past summer, I increased my awareness of my identity by reconnecting with my native country, Ethiopia.


“I don’t think I would be anywhere near the person I am today if it wasn’t for NMH. It’s enlightened me about so many different things, and I’ve met people from everywhere you can imagine.”


In my old school, I never saw myself as someone who could be a Division I player one day. Now I can.


"One of my biggest influences has been my math teacher. He built this love of math in me—specifically, the idea that math can be used to interpret the world." 


"The fact that everything is here at my fingertips has really helped me grow."


"Almost all of our classes are conversation-based, which means that you're totally engaged in classroom discussion."


"I enjoy helping my friends, and it's given me a new respect for teachers. I may even go into teaching myself one day."


"In VOTES, I learned how to prepare and present—skills I drew on in Washington."


 "This year, I'm field hockey captain. I enjoy giving advice and support."


“I like that you can start completely new things. You can reinvent yourself.”


Dance has taken this creative learner on an artistic journey. 

Xiaoxian (Lily)

 “My teachers told me to use my own voice, and they pushed me to think about what I really believed in.”


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."


“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”


“The learning you can do in a study-abroad program can outweigh anything else you can do even at a school like this.” 


“NMH encouraged me to explore new things, try everything, and see what’s best for me.”


“You’ll always find a place here as long as you just be yourself.”


“There is a community here that cares about you.”

Student Profiles