The study of human history is a necessary step if we hope to create a meaningful context for consideration of life today. The history major at FPU helps students gain a broad perspective and develop critical understanding and insight into cultures and events of the past, present and future. Our classes are taught almost entirely by Ph.D. scholars in relevant fields. The curriculum at both lower and upper division levels is designed to provide both breadth of historical survey and depth of analysis through varieties of evidence.

Unique Features

The history major engages students in intellectual development through the challenging use of analytical skills, focusing especially on ideas and culture and how they mutually shape each other. Another distinctive feature is the study of religion in history. Personalized majors in specialized areas of history and classics may be proposed and presented to the history faculty for consideration. In recent years there has been significant interest in the areas of twentieth-century American history, classical civilizations and languages, and internships in public history. The student's experience in the major culminates with an individualized project designed by students and faculty.

The history program fulfills FPU's idea of community in many ways. Our disciplinary group meets over dinners, in study gatherings, and ad hoc sessions can often be found in the coffee house. Instructors work closely with majors at all levels of experience to create a shared learning environment. The program sponsors events such as speakers and symposia to expose students to significant ideas; we work closely with other programs to enrich majors and involve the campus in plays or readings. We regularly take our learning to the field, whether to museums and festivals in San Francisco or study in Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Vietnam, Russia and Ukraine.

Our Graduates

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in History, graduates are prepared to pursue advanced study in the disciplines of history, theology, classics, philosophy, education, and in fields such as law, library science, archival management and public history. In the last few years we have placed students in excellent graduate programs: Princeton, Yale, Purdue, Arizona State, Drew, University of Chicago, and the University of Notre Dame.

In addition, Fresno Pacific has an excellent reputation among local high schools in single-subject credential acquisition. The breadth of training that students receive in our history program is a significant part of the social science subject-area preparation for a career in secondary education.


General Education Prerequisites

  • HIST-120 Ancient Civilizations (4)
  • HIST-130 Medieval and Early Modern Civilizations (4)
  • HIST-140 Modern Civilizations (4)
  • HIST-150 American Civilization (4)

Required Courses (32 Units Minimum)

At least one upper-division course in five of the following areas:

  • Ancient history
  • Medieval, Renaissance or Reformation history
  • Modern European history
  • World history
  • American history
  • Religious or topical history

Sufficient additional courses to complete the number of units required for the major.

A two-part capstone series:

  • HIST-460 Philosophy of History (3)
  • HIST-483 Projects in History (2-3) (usually 2 units per semester in two consecutive semesters)

Both parts focus attention on the various ways of interpreting historical subjects, the role of Christian faith and religious experience in history and historical interpretation, the philosophical and theological implications of historical work and the development of a historical habit and practice in the student.


  • It is recommended that history majors complete a minor in another field of study or a deliberately chosen set of courses to prepare for anticipated work in a particular area.
  • Students interested in teaching high school history should consult the requirements of the social science secondary teaching major.
  • One course from another discipline may be substituted for one course in the major upon approval of the major program director or one's advisor.

Further Information

Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society - Established in 1921, Phi Alpha Theta is the national history honor society and is open to all undergraduate students who have earned a 3.1 GPA in 12 or more hours of history courses and have a 3.0 GPA overall in their undergraduate studies at Fresno Pacific University. The aim of Phi Alpha Theta is to foster interest in the discipline of history and promote scholarly excellence in historical study. The Alpha Xi Zeta chapter at Fresno Pacific University is one of the 870 Phi Alpha Theta chapters located at universities across the United States. For more information about Phi Alpha Theta, please contact the chapter advisor Darin D. Lenz.