History & Social Sciences Department

The Mission of the MICDS History & Social Sciences Department is to graduate students who are inquisitive and empathetic about the world and its peoples and use their knowledge of history and the social sciences to become engaged global citizens. Students develop essential skills to think critically, work collaboratively, research effectively, write persuasively, recognize connections across time and space, and strive to understand the world today to make a better future.

Independent Studies

Design your own Independent Study.

Upper School students who wish to enrich their studies beyond the currently offered departmental courses are welcome to propose their own Independent Study. In order to do so, students select a faculty member to work with and then submit an application for Independent Study and a detailed project prospectus. Once approved by the Academic Leadership Committee, students work with that faculty member throughout the semester or year and develop their own reading lists, discussion topics, assessments, and more.


Department-related Extracurriculars

In the Upper School, students have opportunities to participate in the following department-related extracurricular activities:

Mock Trial

In Mock Trial, team members prepare, present, and argue a court case as attorneys and witnesses. Teams prepare their case throughout the season by collaborating with each other, faculty coaches, and the team's attorney coach. The mock trials are structured like real courtroom trials and follow the same rules and procedures, so students learn first-hand how the legal system works and what role judges, lawyers, juries, and witnesses play in the court system. This increased understanding helps students develop a deeper appreciation for our justice system and the administration of justice. The competition also helps students develop and improve their public speaking and critical thinking skills.


The Debate Team is a competitive team that offers various debate formats. It teaches critical thinking and research skills, gives students a sense of confidence and empowerment, teaches students to think on their feet, improves communication skills, promotes leadership skills, and improves students’ knowledge of current events. Students will compete in four to five tournaments per year and in preparation will spend time researching and preparing for competitions.

Model UN

According to the United Nations Association, “Model UN is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and its other multilateral bodies where students perform an ambassador role while debating topics such as gender equality, climate action, global health, and more.” Model UN at MICDS focuses on practicing active citizenship through diplomacy, cooperation, and solving real-world issues. The Model UN team at MICDS attends at least one Model UN session each semester, and in preparation spends Activity periods honing their research, writing, and debate skills as they deepen students’ understanding of Model UN nations and global issues.

Normandy Academy Fellows

Pete Wilson '51 Fellows for Normandy Academy

The National World War II Museum’s Normandy Academy is a 12-day immersive summer learning experience in New Orleans, LA and Normandy, France that challenges students to learn from the choices made before and during the historic D-Day landings. Through the generosity of Mr. Edward T. Baur ’64, two students will be selected each year as the Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows for Normandy Academy, and receive full scholarships (including flights, tuition, meals, etc…) to participate in the Academy. For more information, visit Normandy Academy’s website and see more below!

Summer Opportunities

Non-MICDS Summer Opportunities

Looking for something History-related to do over the summer? Check out the non-MICDS opportunities below:

summer reading

Summer Reading