Program Requirements

B.A. in History

A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is required for all History (HIST) courses taken in residence that may be applied to the major. At least 17 of the required 33 HIST credits must be taken at St. John Fisher College.

Note: There are additional specific requirements for history majors who are also majoring in inclusive adolescence education. Please refer to these specific course requirements below.


Required History Courses - 15 credits

  • HIST 101D - P3 Europe and the World, 1500–1815 (3)
  • HIST 102D - P3 Europe and the World Since 1815 (3)
  • HIST 103D - P3 The United States to 1865 (3)
  • HIST 104D - P3 The United States Since 1865 (3)
  • Choose ONE:
    • HIST 291D - P3 Japan Since 1800 (3)
    • HIST 292D - P3 China Since 1800 (3)

Electives - 18 credits

See the general major and departmental concentrations below. At least two of the six elective courses must be at or above the 300 level.

Total: 33 credits

Major and Concentration Options

The General Major

Students must complete a minimum of 18 credits beyond the required 15 credits. The courses are selected from the five departmental concentrations, with at least one course from each of the following concentrations: North American studies, European studies, strategic, military, and diplomatic studies and Asian studies. At least two of the six elective courses must be at or above the 300 level.

Departmental Concentrations

Students may elect a departmental concentration in North American studies; European studies; strategic, military, and diplomatic studies; Asian studies; or public history studies. A student must complete at least three courses within the chosen concentration and at least one course in each of the other three concentrations. Public history studies however, has its own set of requirements which must be completed in addition to the requirements for the general history major.

North American Studies

Dr. Stephen Valone, Director

Offering basic, thematic, and topical courses, North American studies invites students to develop their analytical skills. Guiding its participants through the entire American historical experience, this program examines the significance of America’s successes and failures in both domestic and foreign policies. Consequently, it provides a solid foundation for graduate study or American government service.

North American Studies Course Offerings:

  • HIST 202 – P1 Women and Gender in the 19th Century (3)
  • HIST 203 – History of Sport (3)
  • HIST 205D – CC American Social History: The Family (3)
  • HIST 221 – P1 Women & the Arts (3)
  • HIST 237D – P1 The Female Body: A Problem to Grow Into (3)
  • HIST 258 – History of Canada (3)
  • HIST 272P – CC Martin and Malcolm (3)
  • HIST 281D – Native American and United States Relations (3)
  • HIST 294 – The Irish in New York (3)
  • HIST 296D – The History of Rochester (3)
  • HIST 298D – New York State History (3)
  • HIST 310D – The New Republic, 1783-1829 (3)
  • HIST 320 – The Crisis of the Union, 1829-1877 (3)
  • HIST 330C – Populist and Progressive Era, 1877-1918 (3)
  • HIST 340D – America Between the Wars, 1918-1941 (3)
  • HIST 351P – The United States Since 1945 (3)
  • HIST 390 – Public History: Historians and the Community (3)
  • HIST 395 – The Usable Past (3)
  • HIST 401 – Selected Topics in North American Studies (3)
  • HIST 430 – American Economic History (3)
  • HIST 441 – American Colonial History (3)
European Studies

Dr. Frederick H. Dotolo III, Director

A European Studies concentration emphasizes the homeland of Western civilization. Though European powers no longer dominate the world, the culture of Europe is still enormously influential. The purpose of this concentration is to make the student aware of the richness and variety of the European tradition and its influence on the rest of the world. Particular emphasis is given to the concept of Europe, which includes a community of nations related by common bonds extending to the borders of Asia.

European Studies Course Offerings:

  • HIST 208 – Ancient and Medieval Europe (3)
  • HIST 219 - Modern Middle East (3)
  • HIST 226 – P5 Contemporary Italy (3)
  • HIST 228 – Gaming European History (3)
  • HIST 246C – CC Modern Russia (3)
  • HIST 250C – P2 History of the Papacy (3)
  • HIST 252D – British Empire, 1550-1950 (3)
  • HIST 255 – Early Britain (3)
  • HIST 256 – CC Britain Since 1688 (3)
  • HIST 257 – P5 History of Ireland (3)
  • HIST 275D – Modern Germany: From Unification to Unification (3)
  • HIST 300 – The Modern World: Geography and Politics (3)
  • HIST 315 – Napoleon’s Europe, 1789-1815 (3)
  • HIST 375 – The Italian Renaissance (3)
  • HIST 385D – War and State: European Foundations (3)
  • HIST 402 – Selected Topics in European Studies (3)
Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies

Dr. Oliver Griffin, Director

Modern states have sought to protect their interests and project their policies through the instruments of foreign relations. Following the Napoleonic Wars, the basic conduct of international affairs became increasingly complex and centered rapidly around the essential security issues of survival and defense. The publication of Clausewitz’s Vom Kriege (On War) shortly thereafter was both evidence and stimulus to the militarization of greater Europe. The Franco-Prussian War of 1871 accelerated, and World War I firmly established the tenets of strategic doctrine as the basis of foreign relations throughout the Western world, including the United States. The most significant debates of 20th-century history, therefore, may be found in the alternating use of military or diplomatic means to achieve national strategic goals.

This concentration seeks to introduce students to the principal issues that have shaped the history of foreign relations and global affairs. It offers participants the opportunity to study the policies, strategies, wars, and ideologies that have produced the most profound conflict and compromise in human history. Designed for the general history major, it is especially useful for students interested in pursuing graduate or legal studies or careers in government, defense, or foreign service occupations.

Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies Course Offerings:

  • HIST 110C – P3 The American Revolution, 1763-1783 (3)
  • HIST 120 – The Civil War (3)
  • HIST 130D – P3 American Military History (3)
  • HIST 131C – P3 Ancient Warfare (3)
  • HIST 140C – War and American Society (3)
  • HIST 150 – World War I (3)
  • HIST 160C – World War II in Europe (3)
  • HIST 170D – World War II in the Pacific (3)
  • HIST 180P – P3 The Vietnam Conflicts (3)
  • HIST 244 – Women and War (3)
  • HIST 260D – American Diplomatic History (3)
  • HIST 403 – Selected Topics in Strategic, Military, and Diplomatic Studies (3)
  • HIST 445 – Diplomatic History of Modern Europe (3)
Asian Studies

Dr. Lawrence Fouraker, Director

We are living in what some predict will be the “Pacific Century,” when the countries of Asia exercise more power and influence than they have for hundreds of years. Yet many Americans have little accurate knowledge of the diverse countries and cultures of Asia, home to half of the world’s population. This concentration seeks to challenge myths and stereotypes about the people of Asia through surveys, comparative studies, and advanced topics courses.

Asian Studies Course Offerings:

  • HIST 116D - P2 Asian Religions (3)
  • HIST 177D – Military Traditions of Asia (3)
  • HIST 218 – P5 Iran: Past and Present (3)
  • HIST 229 – Caliphs, Khans, and Communists (3)
  • HIST 234 – China and New Global Economy (3)
  • HIST 287 – Cold War Asia (3)
  • HIST 291D – P3 Japan Since 1800 (3)
  • HIST 292D – P3 China Since 1800 (3)
  • HIST 301 – P1 Japanese History Through Film (3)
  • HIST 302 – P1 Chinese History Through Film (3)
  • HIST 303 – P1 Indian History Through Film (3)
  • HIST 404 – Topics in Asian Studies (3)
Public History Studies

Dr. Carolyn Vacca, Director

In addition to the four departmental concentrations listed above, a student may also choose a concentration in public history, which is history practically applied and made available to a public audience. Museum presentations or exhibits, television documentaries, and historic preservation initiatives are among the many forms of public history. Public historians are employed by a wide variety of institutions such as archives, historical houses or societies, museums, government institutions, consulting firms, history libraries, and websites. They work with both primary and secondary source materials, not only in their own research but also to improve the resources’ accessibility for others. As an academic discipline, public history focuses on the efficient and ethical management of historical resources and collective memories.

There are numerous graduate programs throughout the nation for students who wish to enter the profession, including the State University of New York at Albany, Columbia, Cornell, New York University, and the Cooperstown Graduate Program, all here in New York.

The National Council on Public History ( has more information on the advanced educational and employment opportunities, as well as grant programs, in the field.

Requirements for Public History Concentration (9 credits)

Unlike the departmental concentrations in North American studies; European studies; strategic, military, and diplomatic studies; and Asian studies, there is no separate listing of courses for public history. Instead, students complete the following requirements:

  • Choose ONE:
    • HIST 223 - P5 Culture and Cuisine (3)
    • HIST 250C - P2 History of the Papacy (3)
    • HIST 296D - History of Rochester (3)
    • HIST 298D - New York State History (3)
    • HIST Elective (3) (with written approval of Dr. Carolyn Vacca)
  • Choose ONE:
    • HIST 390 - Public History: Historians and the Community (3)
    • HIST 395 - The Usable Past (3)
  • Required
    • HIST 490 - Internship  (in a local museum, archives, historical house/society) (3)

Remaining electives for the major must be chosen to ensure that at least one major course is completed from each of the other four concentration areas. Students with questions about public history should contact Dr. Carolyn Vacca.

Inclusive Adolescence Education Dual Major

Additional Requirements for Students Seeking Adolescence Teaching Certification in Social Studies

History provides an outstanding foundation for adolescence teaching certification in social studies. Students pursuing teaching certification dual major in inclusive adolescence education and history and receive a Bachelor of Science degree. The following specific requirements must be completed:

  • Inclusive adolescence education major: (46 credits)
    The major includes education courses, field experiences, student teaching, and courses for Certification in Students with Disabilities (7–12), and Middle School Extension in the content area (5–6). See Inclusive Adolescence Education in the Undergraduate Catalog for details.
  • In addition to the five required history courses for the major, the following courses must be taken as part of the required six electives for the history major:
    • Two electives from the European studies area, one of which must be:
      • HIST 300 - The Modern World: Geography and Politics (3)
        (HIST 208 - Ancient and Medieval Europe is also strongly recommended)
      • One elective from Asian studies
      • One elective from North American studies
        (HIST 298D - New York State History is strongly recommended)
      • One elective from strategic, military, and diplomatic studies
      • One elective from any of the departmental concentrations
        (A HIST course in Global History to 1500 is strongly recommended)
  • One economics course (3 credits) chosen from:
    • ECON 105C - P3 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
    • ECON 106C - P3 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
  • POSC 111C - P3 Introduction to American Government (3)

Note: These requirements add only six additional credits to the content area of the history major. As early as possible, students should consult with an education advisor to set up a program leading to certification.