History is the study of the human past from a wide variety of methodological perspectives and is an ongoing process of learning and discovery. Investigating history requires students to search out, critically analyze and lucidly present information in order to make sense of complex situations. These are the skills that decision-making in government, law, business, journalism and other fields requires.

The major is designed to provide students with a nuanced understanding of the past in a wide variety of geographical and chronological settings, and to equip them with the tools and skills necessary to become effective critical thinkers, researchers and writers. History majors interested in a career in teaching may also be admitted to QUEST, the five-year accelerated preparation program for teaching certification.

Why Study History at FDU?

History students at Fairleigh Dickinson University:

  • learn in small classes emphasizing student participation (average class size is 20, with upper division classes averaging 12);
  • develop close working relationships with their teachers through independent studies, student-faculty research, activities outside of class, and individual mentoring and advising;
  • prepare for life after graduation through internships, coursework relevant to a range of fields, and by developing the critical reading, writing, and analytic skills strongly desired by employers;
  • go on to careers in government, law, teaching, research, writing and journalism, and archival and museum work, among many other fields;
  • study diverse subjects including such courses as Crime and Punishment in Southern Africa, The U.S. as a Global Power, The Indian Ocean, The History of Sexuality in the United States, and Medieval History in Film;
  • work with faculty who have been recognized by their students and peers as extraordinary teachers whose research spans the globe, including studies of missionaries in Africa, imperialism in the Philippines, the role of religion in reform movements, and medieval warfare.

Degree Plan

NOTE: All NOTE: All students are required to complete the General Education Requirements of their campus in fulfillment of their Bachelor degree requirements. students are required to complete the General Education Requirements of their campus in fulfillment of their Bachelor degree requirements.

History majors must complete 33-42 credits plus 3 cognate credits in the discipline including World History I and II, and Historical Methods. They must also study at least one historical area organized around the world’s great waterways. History students also complete a 4000-level seminar and take elective courses distributed between western and non-western history.

Major requirements (33-42 credits plus 3 cognate credits)

6 credits from the MAJOR may be applied toward General Education Requirements

Required History Courses (15 credits)

  • HIST1150 World History to 1500
  • HIST1151 World History from 1500
  • HIST3802 Historical Methods

Choose at least one of the following four courses

  • HIST2400 Indian Ocean
  • HIST2401 Pacific Worlds
  • HIST2402 Atlantic Worlds
  • HIST2403 Mediterranean Worlds

Choose at least one from the 4000 level seminar (Note: Prerequisite HIST 3802 Historical methods)

Major elective courses (18-27 credits)

Note: select three credits from each of the following areas (from 1-4). At least six credits of major electives must be at the 3000-level.

  • Africa & Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • United States

Cognate requirements (3 credits)

  • GEOG1102 Geography & World issues

6 credits from the MINOR may be applied toward General Education Requirements


Every semester we offer a three-credit internship in history. Students, together with their instructors, identify appropriate internship sites and opportunities, and earn regular course credit for work in public history. Students work at a historical site each week and conduct historical research. In short, they do history. Interns complete hands-on projects, supplementing their classroom experiences with pragmatic and intriguing learning environments.


Contact Information
Dr. Gary Darden

Course Descriptions

  • GEOG1102 Concepts basic to political geography. Elements of state, geographical characteristics: core, domain, boundaries, pressure points, location, climate, raw materials. Relation of political organization to people and culture. Nature and limitations of sovereignty. Spring

  • HIST1150 A survey of World history from the earliest civilizations to the age of increased global contacts. This course will cover a variety of themes like: the importance of agriculture, the rise of civilizations, birth of arts, and the spread of world religions.

  • HIST1151 A survey of the development of the modern world from about 1500 to the present. In particular this course will explore the challenges emanating from an increasingly interconnected world during this period.

  • HIST2400 This course examines the history of the peoples and communities that ring the Indian Ocean - from East Africa to Arabia, India, Indonesia and Australia. In particular this course will focus on forces that have linked these socities such as trade, religion, migration, imperial ambition, and independence.

  • HIST2401 This course broadly covers the history of the diverse cultures connected to the Pacific Ocean, to include the changing interaction between East Asis, the Pacific Islands, Australia and the Americas from the emergence of the early modern world in the 15th century through the era of globalization today.

  • HIST2402 This course explores the history of interaction between peoples located around the Atlantic Ocean. From Columbus through colonization, the slave trade, independence, and finally globalization, this course will explore a variety of themes (such as the origins of the blues) as rich and varied as the people who live in or around the Atlantic.

  • HIST2403 Covers themes, people and cultures of the Mediterranean basin from the ancient world up to approximately 1500. Consideres the Mediterranean as both a highway and a barrier to human interactions and the spread of ideas.

  • HIST3802 This course introduces history students to the skills essential to the historian: how to ask interpretive and methodological questio0ns, how to research primary & seconary sources; how to use and evaluate evidence. Students willl also deveplo an appreciation for historiographical interpretations & historical theory.