Administration Building 235B
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield CT 06825
Many people "love" history because it offers them a chance to step outside their immediate surroundings and find enjoyment in a different time and space. Historians also enjoy history, yet they add a distinctive critical thinking and writing dimension to their study. Taking elective or required courses leading toward a major and minor in history or, for non-majors, simply taking elective courses, allows students to greatly improve their ability to understand our multicultural and global world, improve their research skills, critically analyze documents, and solve problems requiring a breadth of knowledge. A major in history is an excellent preparation for careers in teaching, research, law, government service, management, and a variety of graduate programs.
Our faculty oversee a 36-credit major within which some 90 students are currently enrolled, and they administer a number of ancillary programs in area studies, service learning, and study abroad as well as a chapter of the national history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta. In addition, the department encourages and offers support for internships and independent study projects that offer students opportunities to refine their research and writing skills while pursuing specialized learning objectives, and numerous study abroad opportunities to enhance their global perspectives. The Department of History is an affiliate member of The American School for Classical Studies at Athens.
The Department of History offers students the opportunity to major or minor in history, as well as several multi-disciplinary minors (European Studies, Global Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Irish Studies, Catholic Studies).
To complete the major, students must take courses in all five areas, as well as a course in Historical Methods and Criticism (HI 301) in the Fall of their Junior year, followed in the Spring by IL 302 and Hi 397, then their Senior year Fall write a Senior Thesis (HI 398). Students can seek greater involvement through membership in Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honors society, through the SHU History Club, the Celtic Club, and through the many distinctive departmental programs.
History is the systematic, critical study of the past. It seeks to understand and explain the course of human development, that we may better comprehend the path that has led to the present, with the understanding that the present itself is inextricably linked to the past and future. Historians gather, evaluate, and organize evidence, creating a coherent explanatory narrative. The craft of history develops a variety of abilities, including research, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the clear presentation of ideas. These skills have general application to many fields of endeavor. In addition, the breadth of knowledge imparted by a major in history creates a cosmopolitan perspective much sought after in today's interconnected world.