Department of History and Politics (UNBSJ)

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Previous names: History, Politics; Political Science; Division of Social Science

Established: 1993


First year History and Politics courses were offered at UNBSJ beginning in 1964. Stephen Patterson taught History and Eleanor Wylie taught Politics. Second year History and Politics were offered beginning in 1965. All classes were offered at Beaverbrook House until 1969 when the Faculty of Arts moved to Sir Douglas Hazen Hall on the Tucker Park campus.

In subsequent years, History and Politics at UNBSJ grew separately within the Arts faculty. By 1975, eight courses were offered in Political Science and eleven courses were offered in History. Beginning in 1974, the two subjects were taught alongside one another in the two interdisciplinary Arts majors: the General Social Sciences major, which involved the study of urban history and urban politics, and 20th Century Studies in the Humanities, which was comprised of a combination of history, philosophy and literature of modern man. Two years later, Politics and History were grouped together with several other disciplines under the Faculty of Arts’ Division of Social Science, though the departments remained separate. While part of the Division of Social Science, a Major in History became available to students in 1978, followed by Honours in 1991 when Dr. Neil Ridler was serving as the final chair of the Social Science Division. In 1993, a UNBSJ Faculty of Arts was created, and with it the UNBSJ Department of History and Politics was born. Dr. Donald Desserud first chaired the department until 1995. At the end of Dr. Desserud’s time as chair, the four-year Major in Politics was offered. By that time, the number of course offerings in History had grown from ten in 1975 to thirty-four and in Politics from eight to twenty-six.

Physical location: Sir Douglas Hazen Hall

Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Notes: Established date is based on the date that the separate UNBSJ department was officially stated in the calendar, and in the commencement year of the UNBSJ Faculty of Science, Applied Science and Engineering.


  • Undergraduate Calendar 1965-2014
  • The “Quiet Campus”: A History of the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, 1959-1969 by Peter McGahan