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History BA

(HEGIS: 22.05 HISTORY, CIP: 54.0101 History, General)

Department of History

546 Park Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4130

Kristin Stapleton

Andreas Daum
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study History BA at UB?

Students in History courses explore the past from many perspectives, whether political, economic, cultural or intellectual, religious or social. Through the course of their career at UB, students learn what happened, and why. They analyze historians' debates, and develop the skills with which to become historians themselves, critically analyzing primary sources, the building blocks of historical research, and writing their own historical arguments and texts. Students interpret a range of sources, including, but are not limited to, published or unpublished written texts; film, photography and other visual material; and oral testimony. The recent explosion of digitized materials has made a vast array of evidence available to undergraduates in their study of change over time in human society.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:

  • Study distinct historical events and figures; interpret a range of social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, environmental factors; identify the particularities of change over time.
  • Explain the influence of the past on the present.
  • Hone critical thinking and reading skills.
  • Synthesize complex historical information.
  • Construct sophisticated historical arguments and support these arguments with evidence.
  • Develop research tools: how to pose questions, obtain evidence, identify gaps in the historical record.
  • Assess and challenge historical narratives and viewpoints.
  • Display disciplined analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • Compare regions and time periods.
  • Learn how to become a persuasive writer.
  • Cultivate oral communication: how to present research findings clearly, and analyze primary and secondary sources in discussion.

The Learning Environment

We are committed to providing a rigorous, top quality education for the next generation of scholars. Students read deeply in their fields while learning to create new knowledge, asking their own questions about the past, engaging in primary research, analyzing their findings and communicating their conclusions artfully and persuasively. 

Our courses range from large lectures to small, discussion-based seminars, combining a variety of teaching methods aimed at helping students develop skills in critical thinking, research, and both written and oral communication. We also offer experiential learning opportunities, such as the public history internship, which can be taken for credit (HIS 496). In addition, our faculty works one-on-one with students involved in the Honors Seminar (HIS 497 II) and Independent Study (HIS 499).

Our students draw on their experience as historians in the next phase of their life, finding employment in academia, public history, secondary education, government and cultural organizations, publishing, and in many other contexts where history and its associated skills are valued.

About Our Facilities

The History Department is housed on the fifth floor of Park Hall, and has two dedicated seminar rooms. The department also holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate our program’s teaching philosophies.

About Our Faculty

The History Department includes faculty of national and international distinction in their research fields. Department faculty is deeply committed to teaching at all levels, from introductory courses to upper-division seminars. Many of its members have received teaching awards. Faculty teaching fields cover the globe and span the medieval period through the present. Faculty incorporates a diversity of approaches to teaching history, sharing the diversity of material, and oral sources available to scholars and students. They stress the importance of thinking historically, contextualizing rigorously, and through their teaching, help students build informed interpretations about the past.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the History department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Career Choices

  • Archivist
  • Biographer
  • Business administrator
  • Consultant
  • Counselor
  • Editor and publisher
  • Foreign service officer
  • Historian
  • Health care worker
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Market research analyst
  • Military officer
  • Professor
  • Politician or Public official
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Writer

Alumni in History have found employment in the following fields:

  • Archival and library management
  • Banking
  • Civil service
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Government
  • Foreign service and the Military
  • Health Care
  • Investment services
  • Law
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Museums
  • Newspapers/media
  • Non-profits
  • Public relations
  • University teaching and administration

Salary Information

Salaries range greatly from one occupation, position, and work setting to another. According to the American Historical Association, in 2014 the median salary for a person holding a History B.A. ranged from $52,000-$62,000. Those with advanced graduate degrees, such as a law degree, earned up to $86,000.

Academic Advising

In conjunction with CAS Advising, the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) oversees advising for all History majors and minors. A permanent faculty member, the DUS is well suited to guide students through the major and offer advice on careers, graduate study, and professional development particular to the field of history. New majors are required to meet with the DUS when applying to the major, but all students are encouraged to consult with the DUS regularly and review their progress toward completion.

Academic Advising Contact Information

We recommend that interested students meet with the director of undergraduate studies ( to discuss their course of study and the program.

Scholarships and Financial Support

John D. Milligan and Family Scholarships in Memory of Joyce J. Milligan
History majors from underrepresented minorities with good academic credentials and good personal characteristics are eligible for these two annual scholarships, one for a prospective junior and one for a prospective senior. 

History Department Internship Scholarship
The History Department believes firmly in the value of experiential learning and public history as fundamental to the experience of our majors. Beginning Spring 2020, the Department will offer scholarships for students enrolling in the Department’s Internship course, HIS 496. The Department’s Public History Internship course allows our students to explore the many and diverse ways in which history is put to work in the world, complementing their class work with valuable, hands-on experience in museums, historical societies, cultural or preservation organizations, and non-profits. The History Department Internship Scholarship recognizes the value of the internship by establishing a competitive award of $1000 for students engaging in projects with particularly strong public history merit, payable at the completion of the course.

History Department Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship
The History Department announces its inaugural History Department Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship for Undergraduate History Majors at UB. The Department will award up to eight Undergraduate Diversity Scholarships for students entering their Sophomore, Junior or Senior year in the Academic Year 2020-2021, each in the amount of $3,500 (roughly equivalent to one semester of tuition). We are particularly excited to support students who can demonstrate that they contribute to the diversity of the student body, especially those who can show that they have overcome a disadvantage or other impediments to success in higher education.

Plesur Scholarships
Thanks to a generous bequest from the late Professor Milton Plesur, the department offers an array of scholarships and awards. It provides scholarships to majors with outstanding records in history and serious interest in pursuing the discipline and a career in history. The Plesur Fund also awards scholarships to majors who enroll in a recognized summer, semester, or year-long program of study abroad.

Milton Plesur and Schoellkopf Awards for Study Abroad
The department holds a competition in the fall for spring semester study abroad and one in the spring for summer, fall, and full academic year programs.

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Jan 25, 2023 07:59:06