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George Sirgiovanni, Ph.D.

(973) 290-4305

Santa Maria Hall 29


Program Overview

The History Program seeks to educate students about the most important historical concepts, facts, and interpretations pertinent to a range of regions and time periods. In so doing, the History Program endeavors to inspire among its students a life-long intellectual curiosity that will foster their future personal and professional growth.

Flowing from the Mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth, the CSE History program's Mission is to provide a curriculum that fosters students' understanding of the past, in the expectation that this knowledge will enhance their comprehension of present and future events, conditions, and trends.


  • Demonstrate a broad-based knowledge of history.
  • Demonstrate the analytical-reasoning skills needed to evaluate historical material.
  • Demonstrate the research skills needed to write substantive papers on historical topics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to speak effectively about historical subjects.
  • Apply the skills acquired from the History Program to post-collegiate endeavors, such as graduate school and employment.


Students in the History program enter a variety of professions, including teaching, law, government service, and business. Some majors choose to enter graduate programs in History or related fields.


Minor in History

The History minor consists of 20 credits, taken in the following manner:

  • HIS100 Survey of American History (4)
  • HIS110 Survey of Global History I (4)
  • HIS115 Survey of Global History II (4)
  • 200-level course (4)
  • 300-level course (4)

Total: 20 credits

Course Listing

Course Level: 1

Survey of American History
Credit Hours: 4

This course examines the major events, trends, developments, and people in U.S. history from its beginning to modern times. Key topics considered include the colonial period, Revolutionary War and early national years, slavery and the Civil War era, industrialization and reform, the world wars and domestic upheavals of the twentieth century, and recent changes and challenges in American life and society.

Survey of Global History I
Credit Hours: 4

This course outlines the paramount events, ideas, individuals, and institutions that shaped global history from ancient times to about 1500 A.D. Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America will be studied. An awareness of the diverse ways of life that developed in these regions will be cultivated, and the interactions of these differing societies will be described and discussed. Attention will be given to how these past times helped mold modern global societies.

Survey of Global History II
Credit Hours: 4

This course reviews the most significant events, ideologies, advances, and people in the history of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America from about 1500 A.D. to the present. The defining political and social institutions of these regions, their varying patterns of cultural and economic development, progress and setbacks, evolutionary and revolutionary changes, and interactions among one other will be described and discussed, with emphasis on the relevance of past events to present times.

Course Level: 2

American Economic History*
Credit Hours: 4

This course reviews America's major economic developments, from colonial to contemporary times. Periods of economic growth and retraction will be studied. Attention will be given to how the United States developed a national market and industrialized, then responded to the challenges faced by modern economic societies. The manner in which economic change occurs within the context of prevailing socio-cultural, political, and international factors and conditions will be scrutinized.

History with Film*
Credit Hours: 4

This course analyzes how key events, issues, time periods, and themes in American history have been portrayed and interpreted in popular films. Primary attention will be given to twentieth-century life and events, as depicted in movies. Students consider and discuss how films have shaped and reflected the national consciousness.

African American History*
Credit Hours: 4

This course provides an overview of the African-American experience, from slavery to modern times. Students will examine African-American culture, racism in America, the Civil Rights Movement, contemporary issues of particular significance to African-Americans, and the status and outlook for race relations in the United States. The lives and achievements of prominent African-Americans, representing different fields of expertise and all U.S. history time periods, will be studied.

American Women's History*
Credit Hours: 4

This course discusses the historical experiences of American women from colonial times to the present. The evolving societal roles of women and their many contributions to the American experience will be studied. Some comparative perspectives on the lives of women in other countries and cultures will be provided.

Special Topics in American History
Credit Hours: 4

This course provides a vehicle for specialized courses on major aspects of American history. Course topics can cover any time period and aspect of U.S. history of importance and interest.

Latin American History*
Credit Hours: 4

This course examines the history of Latin America - which includes South America, Mexico and Central America, and the Caribbean region - from pre-Columbian to current times. Topics include the indigenous civilizations, Spanish and Portuguese conquest and colonization, revolution and the rise of regional nation-states, political and socioeconomic development, the United States' role in hemispheric affairs, the region's transition from dictatorship to democracy, and the emergence of contemporary Latin America as an important player in global trade and diplomacy.

The Middle East*
Credit Hours: 4

This course reviews the political, cultural, and economic history of the Middle East. After reviewing major foundational developments such as the emergence of Islam and the Muslim caliphates, the course addresses the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, nationalism and Zionism, Arab-Israeli wars and efforts at peace, the impact of Middle Eastern oil policies on the global economy, tensions between Islamic fundamentalism and modern cultural ideas, America's role in Middle Eastern affairs, and contemporary developments in this region.

Asian History*
Credit Hours: 4

This course examines the history of East Asia, principally China and Japan; South Asia, principally India and Pakistan; and Central Asia. Political, cultural, diplomatic, and economic developments will be studied. The ancient civilizations and dynastic empires of China and India will be reviewed, as will Japan's early period. The region's first significant contact with the West, China's revolutionary transformations into a republic and later a Communist state, India's years as a British colony and subsequent independence, and Japan's rise to power will be discussed. Modern conflicts, challenges, and opportunities in Asia will be considered. Attention also will be given to key developments in Central Asia and the other countries of this continent.

Special Topics in European History
Credit Hours: 4

This course provides a vehicle for specialized courses on major aspects of European history. Such topics include Ancient History with focuses on Greece or Rome, the Medieval Period, the Holocaust, and other subjects of importance and interest.

African History*
Credit Hours: 4

This course studies the history of the major regions of Africa from prehistoric times to the present. Principal topics include the early African kingdoms, the influence of Islam, slavery's impact on African society, European colonialism, nationalism and Africa's attainment of independence, and recent problems, conflicts, and advances of the African peoples and nations. Specific attention will be given to Ancient Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Course Level: 3

Readings in American History
Credit Hours: 4

This course analyzes in detail a key topic in American history. These topics, offered in regular rotation, include American diplomatic, social, and intellectual history. The varying ways in which these components of U.S. history have shaped the American experience will be appraised. Elements of continuity and change will be identified and analyzed, and national debates concerning these topics will be critically evaluated. Prerequisite: HIS 100 [Survey of American History] and one 200-level American History course.

Readings in Global History
Credit Hours: 4

This course enables students to read, analyze, and discuss articles and monographs concerning a range of major historical topics pertinent to Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Political and socio-cultural perspectives will be compared and appraised. Examples of shared attributes across the eras and among peoples will be discussed, as will the rich diversity of human experience that does so much to mold history. Prerequisite: HIS 110- [Survey of Global History I], HIS 115-[Survey of Global History II] and one 200-level Regional History course.

Course Level: 4

History Capstone Seminar
Credit Hours: 2

This course provides senior-year History majors with a culminating academic experience. The Seminar has two components: students will analyze and develop interpretive perspectives on complex historical readings concerning a range of historical subjects, time periods, and regions; additionally, each student will complete a 20-page research paper, using some primary-source material, on an approved historical topic. At the final Seminar class meeting, students will give oral presentations on their paper topics, to generate thought, comment, and analytical observations among student colleagues, faculty members, and others in attendance. Prerequisite: senior-level History major status.

Independent Study
Credit Hours: 3

An independent study is a carefully supervised reading and research project, designed through consultation between the student and the instructor. Appropriate historical readings will be assigned, and a research paper on a substantive historical topic will be due at the end of the independent study. Typically, a History Independent Study will be taken by a student enrolled in CSE?s Honors Program. Variable Credit; students can take the History Independent Study for 0-4 credits.

Credit Hours: 2

This course provides students an opportunity to combine learning about history with practical work experience at an appropriate site. Such locations include nearby museums, Morristown National Historical Park, the Special Collections room of Mahoney Library, and other local venues. Prerequisite: junior- or senior-level History major status.

Who We Are

Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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