Jewish Studies, Minor


Department of History

Ethan Kytle, Chair
Social Science Building, Room 101

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in History, B.A.
CERT in American History, Certificate of Adv. Study
MA in History, M.A.
MA in History - Teaching Option, M.A.
MN in History, Minor
MN in Jewish Studies, Minor

Courses Offered


History is the study of humanity’s recorded past. It encompasses all aspects of human behavior, social organization, and cultural development. The arts and the sciences, the development of technology, and changing economic forces are as much a part of history as is politics or social conflict.

Students of history are engaged in a journey through time in which they can witness and compare the development of a variety of cultures and the interrelations between people in many different circumstances. Through the study of past events, history provides a great storehouse of experience by which the theories of the other social sciences can be tested. And through its analysis of the development of institutions and cultures, it provides one of our best tools for understanding social phenomena.

History is also one of the broadest and most universal of the humanities. Just as the personalities of individuals are shaped through the totality of their past experiences, so cultures and institutions also develop in time. The study of history can help students understand themselves and their culture better and develop a more tolerant and humane spirit toward others. In this way, as in so many others, a knowledge of the past can help all of us meet the problems of today with greater understanding and compassion.


The History Department offers a major and minor in history for the Bachelor of Arts degree, a graduate program leading to the Master of Arts, and courses for use in the teaching credential program. It participates in the interdisciplinary programs and minors in Armenian studies, Asian studies, classical studies, Latin American studies, Russian area studies, and women's studies. History courses may also be used as electives toward graduation in most other majors, and the History Department encourages students to take minors and second majors in other fields as well.

The History Department is a chartered member of Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society. Our chapter is Alpha Kappa Beta.


Jewish Studies Minor Requirements

The Jewish Studies Program encourages Fresno State students from all backgrounds to study the many dimensions of Jewish heritage and its contemporary contexts. Course offerings explore the diverse experiences, contributions, and challenges of the Jewish people, from ancient to modern times in Israel, and across the global locations of the Jewish diaspora, including the wider Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and the Americas. A focus on the vibrant traditions and practices of Jewish people – who are themselves a diverse, transnational, multi-cultural group – heightens sensitivity to minority perspectives, encourages interdisciplinary thinking, and sheds light on the impact of cross-cultural contact and exchanges. The Jewish Studies Program thus provides information, concepts, and approaches that can aid understanding about a range of comparative ethnic and religious minority identities. The program also raises awareness about the local Jewish community's presence amidst the wonderful diversity of California's San Joaquin Valley.

The Minor in Jewish Studies augments students' major coursework and prepares students for graduate education, especially in history, Jewish Studies, international relations, religious studies, and philosophy, as well as professional training and careers in teaching, law, public sector administration, service and advocacy, foreign service and diplomacy, museums, religious organizations, business, human resources, and creative fields.

Students earn a Minor in Jewish Studies from the College of Social Sciences by taking courses in Jewish history, religion, culture, politics and/or Hebrew language and completing all courses with a grade of C or better. The minor requires a total of 15 units from at least two disciplines, with a minimum of one lower-division course (3 units) and two upper division courses (6 units). The remaining courses (6 units) may be selected from any lower- or upper-division electives.

Lower-Division (3 units)
Select from: HEBR 1A, 1B or JS 10

Upper-Division (6 units)
Select from: COMS 101I (or approved internship course), ENGL 112, 116, 179; HIST 103, 107, 115, 140, 186; HUM 118; JS 100W, 118T; HIST 154/JS 154; HIST 181; MCJ 177T; PAX 100; PHIL 131, 134, 158; SOC 111, 169; or relevant topics courses (approved by the program coordinator)

Electives (6 units)
Any lower- or upper-division courses

Total (15 units)

Jewish Studies Program
College of Social Sciences
5340 N. Campus Dr. M/S SS 21
Fresno, CA 93740-8019