History Programs

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Program Overview

The Department of History at Fairfield University is dedicated to teaching its students to understand today’s world through the study of the past. We examine and record the daily lives, conflicts, cultures, relationships, work, beliefs and morals of people throughout time.

The program introduces students to the broad spectrum of history. Here, students build their skills of reading, writing, and analyzing historical materials. We do not emphasize a particular region of the world or period of history, or a single way to interpret it, giving way to a wide range of ideas and approaches.

Our curriculum requires you to conduct research, analyze historical documents, and attend a wide array of seminars covering both modern and ancient history. Working collaboratively in small classes, along with an exciting faculty, you will hone the skills and outlook needed to succeed as a global citizen and future professional.



History Major

For a 30-credit major in history students complete the following:

  • HI 10 Origins of the Modern World Since 1500 (formerly HI 30 Europe and the World in Transition)
  • A minimum of nine upper-division history courses (200 level and above)
  • Four upper-division courses must be designated advanced (300 level)
  • Two upper-division courses must be in European history; two must be in U.S. history; and two must be in non-Western history (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East)
  • At least one upper-division course must focus on a period prior to 1750
  • At least one upper-division course must focus primarily on a period after 1750


History Minor

For an 15-credit minor in history, students complete the following:

  • HI 10: Europe and the World in Transition
  • Four other upper-division courses
  • One upper-division course must be designated advanced (300-level)
  • One upper-division course must be in European history, one must be in U.S. history, and one must be in non-Western history (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East)

To ensure a well-planned and coordinated program, students are required to work closely with their history faculty advisor.


Educational Studies Minor

History majors and minors who elect a minor in Educational Studies and who have been admitted to the 5-year Integrated Bachelors-Masters Degree and Teacher Certification Program will fulfill the State of Connecticut content requirements for certification in Social Studies through their coursework for the History major or minor, plus 18 credits in other social sciences. Please consult with Dr. Cecelia Bucki in the Department of History and Dr. Patricia Calderwood in the Department of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation, GSEAP, for additional information. See catalog entry for Program in Education.


Learning Outcomes for a History Major

The student majoring in History will be able to do the following:

  1. The Idea of History
    • analyze history as a complex process in which economic, geographical, political, social, cultural, intellectual, religious, and technological forces, among others, interact dynamically over time, often producing change.
    • contribute to contemporary social dialogue by using this analysis.
  2. Research Skills
    • identify, select, read, and critically analyze primary and secondary sources as he/she  crafts historical arguments.
    • demonstrate a complete range of research skills, including the use of library reference tools and databases, periodical literature, specialized and general archival materials.
    • use proper historical citation and reference methods.
    • compose productive research questions.
    • synthesize and interpret rather than merely summarize the literature under consideration.
  3. Writing Skills
    • write effective narrative that critically explores the past and the dynamics of change over time.
    • express, in clear and grammatically-correct prose, comprehensive analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of primary and secondary materials.
  4. Depth of Knowledge and Critical Thinking
    • demonstrate a deep and extensive understanding of the history of several specific nations, regions, or peoples: an understanding that encompasses all of the forces and patterns that created them.
    • demonstrate an understanding of the basic historiography (including theory and methodology) of those specific nations, regions, and peoples.
    • evaluate conflicting interpretations in primary and secondary  sources, taking into consideration authors’ perspectives (nationality, gender, social class, culture, religious orientation, etc.), the period in which the work was written, the intended audience, and the purpose and circumstances of its production.

Course Offerings

See History course descriptions from our catalog for more information

  • HI 100: Origins of the Modern World Since 1500 (formerly HI 30 Europe and the World in Transition)
  • HI 102: China, Japan and Europe
  • HI 103: Europe, Russia, and the World, 1300-1918
  • HI 104: War and Conflict in Western History, 1490-1989
  • HI 105: Utopian Ideas and Practice Since 1500
  • HI 106: Imperialism and Colonialism in World History, 1500-Present
  • HI 112: Germany Between Dictatorship and Democracy
  • HI 146: Women's History as U.S. History 
  • HI 201: History of Western Science
  • HI 202: Health and Healing in America 1650-1980: History of Western Medicine
  • HI 203: European Society in the Middle Ages
  • HI 205: Anti-Semitism: Medieval to Modern
  • HI 210: The Third Reich
  • HI 212: Modern Germany: From Reich to Republic
  • HI 213: In the Wake of Destruction: Europe Since World War II
  • HI 214: Modern Jewish History: 1750 to Present
  • HI 215: Ireland from the Middle Ages to the Present
  • HI 216: Rise of the British Empire
  • HI 217: Britain and its Empire Since 1800
  • HI 220: Ancient African Civilizations
  • HI 221/CL 221: The Hellenistic World, 336-30 BC
  • HI 222/CL 222: The Roman Revolution
  • HI 223/CL 223: The Roman World in Late Antiquity, 284-642 AD
  • HI 224: Byzantine World
  • HI 230: Early Modern France: Passion, Politics, and the Making of National Identity
  • HI 237: The American Prophetic Tradition
  • HI 238: Nineteenth-century United States
  • HI 239: Twentieth-century United States
  • HI 240: The Personal is Political: Women's Activism in the 1960s
  • HI 242: Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in U.S. History
  • HI 243: American Constitutional and Legal History I, 1776 to 1900
  • HI 244: American Constitutional and Legal History II, 1900 to Present
  • HI 245: Feminism in the United States
  • HI 246: Women and Gender in U.S. History
  • HI 247: Family and Sexuality in U.S. History
  • HI 248: Autobiography in Early America: Writing the Self
  • HI 250: America Enters the World: United States Foreign Relations, 1763 to 1900
  • HI 251: The American Century: The United States and the World since 1900
  • HI 253: Early America to 1800
  • HI 256: Introduction to Public History
  • HI 257: Who Built America? Working People in American History
  • HI 262: African-American History, 1619 to 1865
  • HI 263: Inventing Themselves: African-American Women in U.S. History
  • HI 264: African-American History, 1865 to Present
  • HI 265: The History of the Indian Subcontinent: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Democracy, c. 1857-today
  • HI 270: History of Global Humanitarian Action
  • HI 271: Introduction to Russian History, Culture and Civilization
  • HI 272: Russia, 700-1700: History and Myth
  • HI 273: History and Culture of Central and Eastern Europe since 1945
  • HI 274/IL 260: Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Global Crises
  • HI 275: Russia's Road to Revolution, 1689 to 1917
  • HI 276: St. Petersburg in Russian History
  • HI 278: A Cultural History of China's Relations with the United States
  • HI 279: China from Classical Time to the 1800s
  • HI 280: The West and the Middle East
  • HI 281: Portrait of the Arab
  • HI 284: 20th-Century Russia
  • HI 285: Modern China: 1800 to Present
  • HI 286: The Rise of Modern Japan: 1800 to Present
  • HI 288: Colonial Latin America, 1492 to 1800
  • HI 289: Modern Latin America, 1800 to Present
  • HI 297: Power, Politics, History: US-Latin American Relations from the 1800's to the Present
  • HI 298: Historical Geography
  • HI 302: History and Memory: Coming to Terms with Traumatic Pasts
  • HI 303: What If? Alternate History and the Historical Imagination
  • HI 304: The Holocaust in History and Memory
  • HI 313: Godless: Atheism and Skeptical Thought in the West
  • HI 315: Ireland Since the Famine
  • HI 323: England: Reformation to Revolution
  • HI 324/CL 324: Ancient Greece, Rome and Africa
  • HI 325/CL 325: Athenian Democracy and Empire
  • HI 331: The American Revolution and the New Nation
  • HI 335: Civil War and Reconstruction
  • HI 337: Race, Violence and Punishment in the United States 1865-1976
  • HI 346: Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Women and Religion in American History
  • HI 349: The 1930's in America
  • HI 356: History of the Cold War
  • HI 366: Gender, Culture, and Representation: Women in China and Japan 1600 to Present
  • HI 367: East Asia in 20th-Century American Wars
  • HI 368: Ideas in Action: Decolonization in World History
  • HI 371: Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • HI 372: Terrorism in History
  • HI 373: History of North Africa (World Diversity Designation)
  • HI 383: Food, Consumption, and Commodities in Latin America, 1500 to the Present: From Chocolate to Cocaine
  • HI 385: Comparative Russian Revolutions
  • HI 391: The Meanings of History
  • HI 395: History Internship
  • HI 397: Special Topics in History
  • HI 399: Independent Study


‌‌The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the dedicated members of our History Department.


Qualified majors may complete an internship at a local historical site to gain real-world experience in archival work and public history research and writing, such as the:

  • Fairfield Historical Society
  • Barnum Museum
  • Bridgeport Public Library Historical Collections
  • Archives of the Historical Society of Greenwich

All of the above provide training in research and library work and the opportunity to write an original research paper. Other internships are available through the College of Arts & Sciences.

Life After Fairfield

A great range of career opportunities is open to history majors. Graduates have gone into many fields, including:

  • Law
  • Government
  • Business management
  • Finance
  • Journalism
  • Public relations
  • Social work


History students qualify for social-studies certification as secondary school teachers. Recent graduates have found jobs as:

  • Associate Executive Director of a health foundation
  • Coordinator of Regional Support Activities for a university
  • Project Engineer
  • Assistant Archeologist for a museum
  • Assistant to the Manager of the New York City Opera


Those seeking higher education have been admitted to the Ph.D. programs at:

  • University of Connecticut
  • New York University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • UCLA
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison


and the J.D. programs at:

  • Hofstra
  • Syracuse
  • St. John's Universities
  • Boston College
  • Yale


Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Elizabeth Morena

Class of '15

Get to Know Elizabeth

Major/minor: History with a minor in education
Extracurricular Activities: Honors Program. Capstone Project: The Conversion of the Frankish King, Clovis, in the 5th Century. History Club.

Why did you choose to major in history?
I majored history because I've always loved to hear stories about people, places, and events of the past. Throughout my studies at Fairfield, I have learned to love history even more. I've been exposed to many different historical perspectives, and I have had the chance to study many different types of history. Through the great program and engaging history professors here at Fairfield, I have learned to think critically about the world. I have also had the opportunity to be President of the History Club, a fantastic way to interact with other history students and professors. Hosting cultural events, movie nights, and traveling to historical museums with the support of the History Department has brought history to life and has enhanced my experience here at Fairfield University. Overall, my decision to become a history major has led me to meet great people, and has enriched my academic experience. In the future, I hope to pursue an M.Ed, with a focus in secondary education and history. My extensive background in history through Fairfield has prepared me very well for my goal of becoming a high school history teacher.


Elizabeth Morena (2015) will be attending Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, in its Teacher Education (grades 8-12 History) Fellowship. 

Kelly Zrenda (2014) is moving on to an MA program in secondary education at the University of Connecticut. She plans to teach history at the secondary school level. 

Emily Bower (2014) has been accepted to a nursing Masters program at Georgetown University. Her plan upon completion is to apply to their Ph.D. program in nursing. During the coming year, she will also be completing an application for a Fullbright fellowship to study healing and faith in Ireland.

Krissy Mullady '13  is the Business Development Coordinator for 21 Sports & Entertainment Marketing Group, Inc., in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Suleika Lopez (2013) has been accepted by Teach for America.  

Julia Morrow (2013) has been accepted into a Ph.D. program history at Penn State University. 

Colleen Reilly (2013) has been accepted into the New England School of Law in Boston Massachusetts.

Dan Risica (2013) will be starting Law School at Boston University.

Halimat Somotan (2012) has been accepted to a Ph.D. program in African History at Columbia University.

Marena Wisniewski (2012) recently interned at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City and will be starting an advanced degree program in historic preservation at Columbia University.

Laura Leigh Neville (2011) has been accepted to the Master’s program in European and Russian Studies at Yale University. 

Monique Gordon (2010) taught English in China for two years and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program at St. Johns in New York City.  

Geoffrey Staysniak (2010) participated in a Jesuit Service program and taught English in China for two years and recently has been accepted into the graduate school for library and information sciences at Simmons College in Boston.

Chris Staysniak (2010) recently interned at Commonweal Magazine and is currently enrolled in the graduate program in history at Boston College.

Meaghan Bradley (2010) is enrolled in a special medical school program at Harvard.

Sean Greaney is pursuing graduate studies in economics at University of Connecticut.

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