History is the study of the human past as it is constructed and interpreted with human artifacts, written evidence, and oral traditions. It requires empathy for historical actors, respect for interpretive debate, and the skillful use of an evolving set of practices and tools.

As an inquiry into human experience, history demands that we consider the diversity of human experience across time and place.

As a public pursuit, history requires effective communication to make the past accessible; it informs and preserves collective memory; it is essential to active citizenship.

As a discipline, history requires a deliberative stance towards the past; the sophisticated use of information, evidence, and argumentation; and the ability to identify and explain continuity and change over time. Its professional ethics and standards demand peer review, citation, and acceptance of the provisional nature of knowledge.

The Department’s advanced courses continue to emphasize the investigation of the ideas and institutions—religious, political, social, and economic—through which people have endeavored to order their world. Advanced courses, with their more precise focus on place, time, and method, allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the field and its practices. The Department also offers internships and independent research opportunities to enhance students' preparation for the future.

The faculty in Saint Joseph's University's history department regularly carry out extensive historical research around the world. They are devoted to sharing their historical insight and knowledge with students and are dedicated to preparing them for successful careers as historians, lawyers, educators, writers and more.

Department of History Faculty & Staff

For more information, also see Curricula.

The History Department offers a signature course in the General Education Program (GEP) that is required of all undergraduates at the University. HIS 154, Forging the Modern World, provides students with the opportunity to use the tools of historical inquiry to gain insight on the key events, ideas, individuals and groups that have shaped the world in which we live. 

Undergraduate Major

Undergraduate Minor