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.

Offered as both a major and a minor, our 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, period of history, or a single way to interpret it, giving way to a wide range of ideas and approaches.

Our curriculum invites you to conduct research, analyze historical documents, and attend a wide array of seminars covering the full range of historical periods from ancient to modern, including all regions of the globe and a variety of thematic approaches. Working collaboratively in small classes, along with an exciting faculty, you will hone the skills and outlook needed to succeed as a thoughtful and engaged global citizen.


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

  • One introductory course (HIST 1100-1199 or CLST 1115 or CLST 1116)
  • A minimum of nine upper-division history courses (intermediate: HIST 2200-2299 or advanced: HIST 3300-3399)
  • At least four upper-division courses must be designated advanced (HIST 3300-3399)
  • 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

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

  • One introductory course (HIST 1100-1199 or CLST 1115 or CLST 1116)
  • Four other upper-division courses (intermediate: HIST 2200-2299 or advanced: HIST 3300-3399)
  • At least one upper-division course must be designated advanced (HIST 3300-3399)
  • At least 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.

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. Pierre Orelus in the Department of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation, School of Education and Human Development, for additional information. See catalog entry for Program in Education.

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

HIST 1100 Origins of the Modern World Since 1500
HIST 1102 China, Japan and Europe
HIST 1103 Europe, Russia, and the World, 1300-1918
HIST 1104 War and Conflict in Western History, 1490-1989
HIST 1105 Utopian Ideas and Practice Since 1500
HIST 1106 Imperialism and Colonialism in World History, 1500-Present
HIST 1112 Germany Between Dictatorship and Democracy
HIST 1146 Women's History as U.S. History
HIST 2201 History of Western Science
HIST 2202 Health and Healing in America 1650-1980: History of Western Medicine
HIST 2203 European Society in the Middle Ages
HIST 2205 Anti-Semitism: Medieval to Modern
HIST 2210 The Third Reich
HIST 2212 Modern Germany: From Reich to Republic
HIST 2213 In the Wake of Destruction: Europe Since World War II
HIST 2214 Modern Jewish History: 1750 to Present
HIST 2215 Ireland from the Middle Ages to the Present
HIST 2216 Rise of the British Empire
HIST 2217 Britain and its Empire Since 1800
HIST 2220 Ancient African Civilizations
HIST 2221 LST 2221: The Hellenistic World, 336-30 BC
HIST 2222 LST 2222: The Roman Revolution
HIST 2223 LST 2223: The Roman World in Late Antiquity, 284-642 AD
HIST 2224 The Byzantine World
HIST 2230 Early Modern France: Passion, Politics, and the Making of National Identity
HIST 2237 The American Prophetic Tradition
HIST 2238 Nineteenth-century United States
HIST 2239 Twentieth-century United States
HIST 2240 The Personal is Political: Women's Activism in the 1960s
HIST 2242 Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in U.S. History
HIST 2243 American Constitutional and Legal History I, 1776 to 1900
HIST 2244 American Constitutional and Legal History II, 1900 to Present
HIST 2245 Feminism in the United States
HIST 2246 Women and Gender in U.S. History
HIST 2247 Family and Sexuality in U.S. History
HIST 2248 Writing the Self: Autobiography in Early America
HIST 2250 America Enters the World: United States Foreign Relations, 1763 to 1900
HIST 2251 The American Century: The United States and the World since 1900
HIST 2253 Early America to 1800
HIST 2256 Introduction to Public History
HIST 2257 Who Built America? Working People in American History
HIST 2262 African-American History, 1619 to 1865
HIST 2263 Inventing Themselves: African-American Women in U.S. History
HIST 2264 African-American History, 1865 to Present
HIST 2265 The History of the Indian Subcontinent: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Democracy, c. 1857-today
HIST 2266 Gandhi in the Modern World
HIST 2270 History of Global Humanitarian Action
HIST 2271 Introduction to Russian History, Culture and Civilization
HIST 2272 Russia, 700-1700: History and Myth
HIST 2273 History and Culture of Central and Eastern Europe since 1945
HIST 2274 L 260: Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Global Crises
HIST 2275 Russia's Road to Revolution, 1689 to 1917
HIST 2276 St. Petersburg in Russian History
HIST 2278 A Cultural History of China's Relations with the United States
HIST 2279 China from Classical Time to the 1800s
HIST 2280 The West and the Middle East
HIST 2281 Portrait of the Arabs
HIST 2284 20th-Century Russia
HIST 2285 Modern China: 1800 to Present
HIST 2286 The Rise of Modern Japan: 1800 to Present
HIST 2288 Colonial Latin America, 1492 to 1800
HIST 2289 Modern Latin America, 1800 to Present
HIST 2297 Power, Politics, History: US-Latin American Relations from the 1800s to the Present
HIST 2298 Historical Geography
HIST 3302 History and Memory: Coming to Terms with Traumatic Pasts
HIST 3303 What If? Alternate History and the Historical Imagination
HIST 3304 The Holocaust in History and Memory
HIST 3313 Godless: Atheism and Skeptical Thought in the West
HIST 3315 Ireland Since the Famine
HIST 3323 England: Reformation to Revolution
HIST 3324 LST 3324: Ancient Greece, Rome and Africa
HIST 3325 LST 3325: Athenian Democracy and Empire
HIST 3331 The American Revolution and the New Nation
HIST 3335 Civil War and Reconstruction
HIST 3337 Race, Violence and Punishment in the United States 1865-1976
HIST 3346 Saints, Sinners, and Sisters: Women and Religion in American History
HIST 3349 The 1930's in America
HIST 3356 History of the Cold War
HIST 3366 Gender, Culture, and Representation: Women in China and Japan 1600 to Present
HIST 3367 East Asia in 20th-Century American Wars
HIST 3368 Ideas in Action: Decolonization in World History
HIST 3371 Arab-Israeli Conflict
HIST 3372 Terrorism in History
HIST 3373 History of North Africa
HIST 3383 From Chocolate to Cocaine: The History of Food & Commodities in Latin America, 1500 to Present
HIST 3385 Comparative Russian Revolutions
HIST 3391 The Meanings of History
HIST 3395 History Internship
HIST 3397 Special Topics in History
HIST 3399 Independent Study
CLST 1115 Greek Civilization *
CLST 1116 Roman Civilization *

* Fulfills the core requirement in history.

Stag Spotlight

Elizabeth Morena headshot

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.

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Life After Fairfield

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Life After Fairfield

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

  • Business Management
  • Consumer Advocacy
  • Digital Research/Analysis
  • Diplomacy/Foreign Service
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Law Enforcement
  • Museum Support
  • Political Activism
  • Public Relations
  • Social Work

History students also qualify for social-studies certification as secondary school teachers.

Recent graduates have found jobs as:

  • Associate Executive Director for a Health Foundation
  • University Coordinator of Regional Support Activities
  • Project Engineer
  • Museum Collection Specialist
  • Marketing Campaign Manager
  • Digital Agency Chief Operating Officer
  • Elected City Alderman
  • Attorney Intern for Municipal Children’s Services Agency
  • Museum Assistant Archeologist
  • New York City Opera Assistant Manager

Those seeking higher education have been admitted to PhD and JD programs at the following academic institutions:

  • Boston College
  • Columbia University
  • Hofstra University
  • New York University
  • St. John’s Universities
  • Syracuse University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Yale University

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

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fairfield is dedicated to diversity and inclusion; to radical hospitality in service of racial, social, and economic justice.

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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

Norwalk Historical Society

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.


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‌‌The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and accomplished internationally-recognized 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.

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History Department News

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History Department News

From topical round-table discussions and lectures to celebratory events and faculty achievements, check-out the latest news and events from the Department of History.

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Faculty Publications

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Faculty Publications

The distinguished faculty members in Fairfield University's History Department come from varied academic backgrounds and possess diverse and interdisciplinary research interests. To learn more about their individual areas of expertise, explore the depth and breadth of our faculty’s most recent publications.

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