Carolyn Vacca, Chair

Frederick H. Dotolo, Lawrence Fouraker, Oliver Griffin,* Stephen Valone

*On leave, Spring 2017

History is the record of civilization. In its broadest sense, history should be the chronicle of men and women, their failures and accomplishments, from the beginning of written times to the present. More than the memorization of facts and details, a study of history introduces students to those larger forces of change that have given form and substance to the modern world. It is an effort to provide the student with a perspective on the present by imposing some order on the chaos of the past.

To this end, the department of history offers a curriculum which explores the issues and events which gave rise to the world’s major civilizations. The approach emphasizes the conflicting interpretations and ideas that scholars have used to reconstruct the past. The aim is to encourage clarity in expression, precision in writing, and a critical, thoughtful analysis of ideas.

Many students have found the study of history to be an excellent foundation for a life of intellectual growth and professional development; it has also proved to be a sound basis for advanced work in teaching, law school, government service, graduate studies, the military, and other career goals. Students seeking certification in either inclusive childhood education or inclusive adolescence education in the field of social studies often major in history. Students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their advisors in planning a program of study that will lead to completion of certification requirements. All students who wish to discuss a major or minor in history are encouraged to consult with the department chair or appropriate departmental advisor.


The history department encourages students to pursue internships related to the field of history. In addition to the College-wide guidelines, the history department has established the following requirements:

  • The student must be a junior or senior history major or minor.
  • The student must have at least a cumulative 3.00 grade point average.
  • The student’s written application to the internship director (Dr. Vacca) should be three to five pages in length.

The Honors Major

History majors who maintain a grade point average over 3.50 may apply to become honors majors. The honors major must complete the requirements for the major plus an additional course, HIST 498 Honors in History, an independent study research project resulting in an essay which must be presented to the department and defended successfully. The prerequisite for HIST 498 is one 300- or 400-level history class from a concentration area pertinent to the research project. Hence, the honors major requires a minimum of 36 hours in history. See Honors in the Major.

The Washington Experience: Fisher Semester in Washington

History majors may avail themselves of The Washington Experience, a semester in Washington, D.C. See The Washington Experience section for more details.


For More Information

Carolyn Vacca
Department Chair
(585) 385-8244

(585) 385-8064