Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

History BA


546 Park Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4130
Victoria Wolcott
Carole Emberton
Director of Undergraduate Studies
(HEGIS: 22.05 HISTORY, CIP: 54.0101 History, General)

Why study History BA at UB?

Students in History courses explore what happened and why through many perspectives, whether political, economic, cultural or intellectual, religious or social, and analyze historians' debates. Sources studied and interpreted by students include, but are not limited to, published or unpublished written texts, film and other visual material, and oral testimony.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:

  • Develop historical information: events; people; range of social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, environmental factors; change over time
  • Explain the particularities and influence of the past
  • Interpret complexity and compare regions and time periods
  • Assess and challenge historical narratives and viewpoints
  • Display disciplined, sophisticated use of information
  • Hone critical thinking and reading
  • Develop research skills: posing questions, obtaining evidence, identifying gaps in record
  • Construct historical arguments: make an argument, support interpretation
  • Cultivate oral communication: present research findings clearly, 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, whether in academia, public history, secondary education, government and cultural organizations, publishing, or in many contexts where history and its associated skills are valued. Students read deeply in their fields while learning to create new knowledge by asking their own questions about the past, engaging in primary research, analyzing findings and communicating their conclusions artfully and persuasively.

Courses range from large lectures to small, discussion-based seminars and combine a variety of teaching methods Courses aim to build students’ 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 work one-on-one with students involved in independent study (HIS 499) and the Honors Seminar (HIS 497).

About Our Facilities

The History Department is housed in 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 and many members who have received teaching awards. Full-time faculty are committed to teaching at all levels, from introductory classes through upper-division seminars. Faculty teaching fields cover the globe and span the medieval period through the present. Faculty incorporate a diversity of approaches to teaching history, using technology and sharing the diversity of material, and oral sources available to scholars and students. They stress the importance of thinking historically about the context of events and individuals of the past and through their teaching help students make 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
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Market research analyst
  • Military officer
  • Health care worker
  • Politician or Public official
  • Researcher
  • 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 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 (Park 540, 716-645-8400) 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. 

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.

Published: August 16, 2018 09:19:31 AM