BA in History

Student asking questions in class

History majors come from diverse backgrounds and go on to diverse career paths, but they all have one thing in common: a curiosity about the world around them. Our students work with faculty members who help them hone that raw curiosity into a historian's critical and creative thinking. Whether you're studying colonial Brazil, Chinese medicine, or modern American politics, history majors are crafting skills that make them sought-after employees.

The History Major consists of a blend of classroom and hands-on experiences. Students take large lecture courses to help them establish a solid foundation, and then practice what they've learned in small seminars where build their knowledge through in-depth discussions with faculty members. Research seminars offer the opportunity for in-depth skills practice as students do their own primary source research and make their own contributions to the field of history.

Students who are interested in taking their love of history out into the public sector can gain valuable experience through internships. Our students have completed internships at local institutions, such as the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, and national ones like the Smithsonian Institution.

Requirements for the History Major

Acceptance Criteria 
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.

Advising Notes
A minimum grade of C- is required in any course in order for it to count toward graduation requirements. A minimum GPA of 2.15 in history courses is required to graduate.

Required Courses
Twelve history courses (36 credit hours) distributed in accordance with the level and breadth requirements described below are required. 

If you declared your major after February 1, 2014, you must take a minimum of seven upper-division courses (300-400 level), including at least two 400-level seminars. If you declared your major before February 1, 2014, you must take a minimum of five upper-division courses (300-400 level), including a minimum of two 400-level seminars.

Level and Breadth
To ensure a broad knowledge of history, all history majors must take at least one course, at any level, in each of the following areas:

  • Early or early modern history of any civilization to 1800 (EAR)
  • Asian, African continent, or Latin American history of any period (AAL)
  • Modern European history since 1800 (MOD)
  • U.S. history of any period (USH)

If you declared a History major after February 1, 2014, you may not use World Civilization courses (UGC 111 or 112) to fulfill History course requirements. Students who declared a major prior to February 1, 2014 can use these courses as part of the 36 required credit hours, but cannot use them to satisfy a breadth requirement.

A course that seems to fall into two breadth areas may be used to satisfy the requirement of one. (For example, HIS 275 Vietnam and the Vietnam War may be counted as USH or AAL, but not both).

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credit will not count toward the 36 credit hours required for the major. However, AP credit (with a score of four or better) in U.S. or European history, or I.B. credit (with a score of four or better) in U.S., European, African, or Asian history, can fulfill breadth requirements.

Courses with grades of Satisfactory under the S/U option (elected by the student) or Pass under the P/F option (designated by the instructor) cannot be used toward the fulfillment of course requirements for history majors.

A course used to fulfill a requirement for a double major, joint major, or a minor in another subject may not also fulfill a requirement for the history major.

There are no prerequisites for progression through the history major, but history students are encouraged to take lower-level courses prior to taking upper-level ones. Students are also urged not to take two 400-level seminars in the same semester. Students should consult with the director of undergraduate studies to plan their course of study.

Total required credit hours for the major: 36

Transfer Policy
Transfer students majoring in history may receive credit for up to five history courses (15 credit hours), but must take the two required 400-level seminars at UB. Whenever possible, transfer courses are articulated with existing UB history courses. Acceptance criteria and all other requirements are the same as for regular majors. Students may transfer up to two history courses (6 credit hours) for credit toward the minor. Transfer students should come to the undergraduate studies office for advisement even when placed in the major upon enrollment at UB.

Applying to the Major

Contact Us

Carole Emberton

554 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-8405

emberton@buffalo.edu

Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of History
College of Arts and Sciences

554 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-8405

emberton@buffalo.edu

Placeholder
Gloria Piotrowski

546 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-2282

gap5@buffalo.edu

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Department of History
College of Arts and Sciences

546 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-2282

gap5@buffalo.edu