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History Major

Social Sciences and History Department

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.


Course Work

History majors must complete 36 credits (12 classes) 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.



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.


The History Major in Context

In recent years, History has been one of the fastest growing majors at the College of Florham, reflecting our exciting curriculum and our outstanding teachers. The average class size for majors in the department ranges from 15 to 25.



Dr. Gary Darden
Department Chair
Tel: 973-443-8727

Department of Social Sciences and History
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Ave - M-MS3-02
Madison, NJ 07940

Fairleigh Dickinson University Mansion
Office Location
Room 31 (3rd floor)

Abagail Eckert
Administrative Assistant
Tel: 973-443-8721
Fax: 973-443-8799