Department of History



History is the study and narration of the human past across time and place. In order to access and tell stories about the past, historians make use of various forms of primary and secondary source evidence – including written documents, oral evidence, artifacts, and other products of the human experience.

The History Department at William Paterson University offers students a variety of courses across geographical regions and thematic perspectives. Such courses provide students with a broad understanding of the human condition, the diversity of human experience, and the origins of our contemporary regional and global connections.

The History Department also provides students with essential skills for active engagement and participation in modern global society – including communication, effective writing, research skills, critical analysis and problem solving, data analysis, and digital literacy.

The History Major at William Paterson University is a 36-credit program. We prepare students for future roles as global citizens and for various career opportunities as educators, researchers, legal professionals, public servants, curators, media and business professionals, to name a few.

The History Minor is an 18-credit program. History has important links to other fields of study, including political science, philosophy, literature, economics, law, criminal justice, and social justice.

The American Studies Minor is an 18-credit inter-disciplinary program that combines United States history, politics, literature, and culture.

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in History
  • Minor in History
  • MA in History and Historical Studies (currently not accepting new students)

Graduates have pursued careers in the following fields in education as teachers, principals, and librarians. The program has helped students begin careers in law and government as lawyers and public administrators. A degree in history also offers opportunities in business. Graduates have entered the fields of banking, insurance, real estate, and sales.

History - BA Mission Statement  

 The History Department’s mission at William Paterson is to promote the study of human experience in all its dimensions as it has changed and endured from the earliest agrarian societies to the post-industrial present. Our goal is to apply the knowledge and methods of historical thinking to questions of causation and contingency in the sequence of events, to determine motivations, make comparisons, and draw conclusions. We seek to prepare students for careers—educators, researchers, lawyers, public servants and media and business professionals—and for their future roles as global citizens. The History Department is dedicated to enriching the university and wider community through its courses, outreach programs, public lectures, and research presentations and publications. 


History -  BA Goals  

  1. To educate informed citizens who will have an understanding of the world they live in and of the past that has shaped their world 
  2. To cultivate perspective on one’s own society and its values through the study of diverse societies and cultures in different times and world regions. 


History - BA Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of key events and themes in history, and identify and interpret patterns of continuity and change over time.      
  2. Students will be able to formulate comparative perspectives on historical developments in different world regions. 
  3.  Students will be able to demonstrate how attention to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion enhances our understanding of the past and has shaped the practice of history.   
  4.  Students will be able to synthesize information from a variety of primary and secondary historical sources, and construct effective arguments based on this evidence.
  5.  Students will be able to communicate clearly and effectively in writing and speech.     
  6.  Students will be able to conduct research for essays and other projects utilizing traditional paper-based and digital platforms and materials, and provide citations to sources using the correct standards and formats.