Why study history?
Because history opens our imagination, cultivates our analytical skills, and allows us a deep context for the world in which we live.
Geographically, we crisscross the globe: the USA, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East. We examine topics such as immigration, gender, race, medicine, technology, war, politics, religion, culture, and sports, from the ancient world to the internet superhighway.
Want to take a deep dive into History? How about President Nixon’s foreign policy in Vietnam, and the History of the Cold War? Want to read and talk about the diaries of a Japanese midwife in Seattle? Or check out the cultural History of Naples, which is far more than just the story of pizza. Learn about the intersection of race and gender in sports, and the History of soccer in Latin America. You can learn about a wise king in thirteenth-century Spain who may have started the Renaissance, gender violence in modern Egypt, or the impact of the First World War on the environment, race, art, and medicine. Or Jewish culture in fin-de-siècle Europe, and the racial disparities of healthcare in the American South. Discover surprises in your own family History in a course on genealogy. From the Vikings to serial killers, everything has a History, and we teach it!
In the Classroom
Learn from the Experts
Your professors have studied, worked, lived, taught, and published around the world. They will bring that wide world to you and encourage you to explore near and far. Members of the History faculty have been recognized with prestigious awards from the Fulbright Scholars Organization, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation
Your History professors are dedicated scholars and are eager to discuss historical texts and share their insights with you. Classes are small, informal, welcoming, and a space for you to explore the past in the company of teachers and classmates who are passionate about learning together. How about an internship? We’ll connect you to places on Long Island and New York City. How about spending a semester studying abroad? We’ll make sure it happens. How about graduating with a departmental honors thesis? Our professors will mentor you through the process. Anxious about a career or graduate school after Hofstra? We will help you explore the many options open to you with a History degree. After all, past History students are now working in business, journalism, law, education, government, the military, non-profits, healthcare, and other fields.
Don’t just take our word for it.
Here’s what some students say about studying History at Hofstra:
"Thank you for always turning my insecurities into strengths; there is always talk among freshmen about whether their majors would truly turn out to be worth it. I can confidently report that the time I spent as a History major at Hofstra is priceless."
"After your course, I became deeply interested in Islamic Spain. I thank you for having sparked this interest; it is a fascinating topic!"
"My History classes were the only ones that prepared me for the workload at law school now. The essays you assigned, and the no nonsense issues and points you made us construct was the only college course work I can recall that has prepared me at all for the workload here."
"The effect your class had upon us is exactly the effect I hope to have upon my students in the future. The ability to impart knowledge, while at the same time provoking thought, is a gift."
"My love for History has only grown as a direct result of your class—I never thought I would think about History in the way that I do now."
"Thanks for a great class, I truly learned much more than I expected, and I truly loved the way you really made us question what we read."
"On a personal note, I just wanted to let you know that you were one of the most inspiring professors I have ever had."
"[The Professor] made us better investigators of what we were reading. He trained us to become more informed and alert readers and really comprehend and question the words on the page. Every answer led to a new question, and he did very well to get us to become more aware of the historical context of what we read."
"All these years later you’re still making your students, think, read, and discuss important subjects!"
"I will never be fully able to express how much you mean to me as a mentor. You’re the best mentor I could ever have asked for. Thank you so much for guiding me through my honor’s thesis the past two semesters. The whole process was so rewarding."
"The Hofstra History Department expands its students’ experience in and out of the classroom."
"I truly felt like I found my own as a Hofstra History major and much is due to you and your support."
"Thank you for making my time as a History major challenging and memorable."
Programs and Courses
You’ll begin your studies with a series of introductory-level courses including History 20: Why History Matters (or History 14 F / 14 S – First Year Seminars). As theme-based courses, History 20 topics include Immigration, Race and Empire, The Black Death, Fascism and Anti-Fascism among others. Our more advanced classes embrace a global curriculum. We aim to help students develop their capacities for independent research, critical analysis, and imaginative synthesis. Courses are geared to developing a range of skills that can be applied not only to further study but also to a wide variety of careers. Students learn how to track down reliable sources of information, then how to make sense of complex documents and varying viewpoints. In an age of information saturation, these tools are more essential than ever.
History 102 (Investigating History) and 103 (Debating History) – both methodology courses required for majors prepare students for their culminating seminar that involves a substantial research paper based on the student's particular interest.
Major in History
A major in history is a powerful tool in understanding global affairs, politics and social change, and economic developments. Students acquire skills in critical analysis and communication that are crucial for professional success, as well as the knowledge they need as citizens.
Many History students pair their History major with another major or a minor. Some popular examples include Anthropology, Education, English, Global Studies, Journalism / Film, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS), Political Science, and Sociology / Criminology.
Public History Concentration
We now offer a concentration in Public History with an introductory course entitled, Stories from the Street: History, Memory, and the Public (History 104). Public History includes those practices and activities that put the methods, theory and content of the History discipline to use in public settings. Such work can range from public-facing digital work in such mediums as websites and film to live exhibitions, performances and public meetings and events.
Minor in History
Studies in history can complement a wide variety of majors, including business, the performing and visual arts, education, communications, journalism, philosophy, global studies and geography, political science, and foreign language studies.
Historians can work in a variety of industries. In government, some historians do research to provide historical context for current policy issues. Others write about the history of a particular government activity or program, such as a military operation or the space program. At historical sites and within historical associations, historians preserve artifacts and explain the historical significance of a wide variety of subjects, such as historic buildings, religious groups, and battlegrounds. Historians who work for businesses may examine historical evidence for legal cases and regulatory matters.
Hofstra History students enjoy the close mentorship of faculty who help them to become critical thinkers, cogent writers, and clear, incisive speakers. Our graduates aim high, welcome challenges, and are successful on the job market. Read about what some of our alumni are doing after Hofstra.
Percentage of recent grads from our Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy, and International Affairs that reported they were employed or pursuing graduate studies a year after their graduation from Hofstra.
Percentage of Kalikow School students who reported employment said they landed their position within six months of graduation.
The mean reported salary for 2020-2021 Kalikow School graduates.
At a Glance...
Enjoy campus events, such as political debates, presentations by guest speakers, series like Day of Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples' Day, and programs sponsored by the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, the Center for Civic Engagement, and the Institute for Peace Studies, which further the academic experience.
Hofstra's history students are offered opportunities to study overseas to broaden their global perspective. Many have studied in countries such as Italy, Spain, Israel, and Australia.
Hofstra's vibrant History Club organizes field trips and on-campus speakers. We discuss history through interactive presentations and games, screen historical (or pseudo-historical) films, and usually have a themed party at the end of the semester.
We also have a vibrant chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society for exceptional university history students. Each spring, the history faculty inducts new members into this prestigious society. For more information, please contact the faculty advisor, Dr. Stanislao Pugliese, at 516-463-5611 or by email.
For the past two decades, Hofstra University has hosted the regional competition for National History Day, where elementary and secondary students choose and then research historical topics and events. Many of our staff and faculty serve on the advisory committee for National History Day, and Hofstra students serve as volunteers for the event.
Recent internship opportunities have included museums, law offices, government offices, political campaigns, and school districts, including the office of the Huntington town supervisor, the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, and the U.S. Senate.
Hofstra History News
“Fire and Rain” Named Among Year’s Best
Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Wars in Southeast Asia by Professor of History Carolyn Eisenberg has been named one of the top 10 books of the year by International Affairs.
Commemorating MLK’s March on Washington
WCBS-TV News and Newsday talked to Professor of History Carolyn Eisenberg for its coverage of the 60th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington.
Doubleday Named Researcher of the Year
The Researcher of the Year Award honors faculty members who have demonstrated an outstanding record of scholarship and research achievement of uncommon distinction.
Department of History
301 Shapiro Family Hall
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.