Overview

student discussion

The UB History Department isn't just about names and dates – we're actively trying to unlock the secrets of the past to better understand the world around us. We help our students to follow their passion for the past while gaining skills critical for their future. History students learn how to communicate, analyze, and think critically – all necessities for today's careers.

Historians ask “what” happened and “why” to describe and interpret the history of our world. Students in history courses at UB try to answer these questions by exploring different methodologies and considering diverse perspectives.  History students dig into the historical record by analyzing historical texts, reading art and film, or taking oral histories, and use what they learn to make sense of the past. In the process, history students hone real-world skills  – like the ability to write analytically and present arguments orally, to read critically and carefully, to find and manage information through research projects, and to think logically – that they use well into their varied and stimulating careers. If you’re curious about what our majors go on to do after graduation, check out these testimonials from some of our current students and recent alumni.

Why choose History at UB?

  • Small classroom experience with large research university resources 
  • Respected and accomplished faculty as primary instructors  
  • Balance of large and small class environments 
  • Opportunities for hands-on research, including through the departmental Honors Program 
  • Public History Internships to bridge classroom work with experience in history museums and organizations  
  • Support for study abroad programs 
  • Perfect fit with Finish in Four
  • Possibility for continued study in our MA/PhD programs 

What will you do with your History major?

Studying history develops habits of mind, values of citizenship, and practical skills that have served our students well in their later endeavors. Our graduates work in so many fields: journalism, law, education, government service and the military, business, politics, curatorial and management roles in museums, cultural organizations and non-profits, communications and public relations. According to data from the American Historical Association, our students' diverse career paths match up with national trends for history majors. To these careers, our students bring the critical thinking skills necessary to respond to complicated problems with  creative solutions, their written and oral communication expertise and research abilities, as well as their passion for serving the community. 

Want to explore even more options? The American Historical Association maintains this guide to careers for history majors.

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

Current Student and Recent Alumni Testimonials

  • 3/26/18
    Majoring in history does not limit one to becoming a history teacher. Many industries, including banking, are recruiting liberal arts majors because of their ability to think critically, understand and manage complex social and political relationships, and develop new ideas on how companies should navigate current and future business environments.
  • 4/19/18
    I truly can’t play this pick-one-game since I absolutely loved most of my classes with my whole heart. Nevertheless, to answer the question I would say my favorite experience would be working on my research projects with Dr. Stapleton. Working with her is as fulfilling/ thrilling as being on an endless adventure.
  • 4/19/18
    The most appealing aspect of the graduate program at UB is the cooperative spirit among the graduate students. Generally-speaking, the members of doctoral cohorts aid each other rather than compete with each other.
  • 3/26/18
    I wanted to go to college to be a teacher, but UB did not have that as an option for undergrads, and because I knew I wanted to teach history, I became a history major.
  • 4/19/18
    I was drawn to UB by the professors. The professors in in the history department are not only at the top of their field but have a wide field of research. Where else can you find department where one professor studies death in America while another studies nobility in early modern France?
  • 3/26/18
    After graduating I continued my work as the Coordinator of Jewish Student Life for Hillel of Buffalo in a full time role. Through Hillel International, I was accepted to the Ezra Fellowship.
  • 3/26/18
    Since starting the PhD program here, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of opportunities grad students can take advantage of. Research and conference funding is available from a number of sources, and the department has given me the opportunity to teach three of my own classes.
  • 3/26/18
    Dr. Claire Schen was the biggest single factor that attracted me to UB. Her background in the study of the religious history of Britain caught my eye when I was looking at prospective programs, but more importantly she took time to communicate with me before I applied and after I was accepted in regards to the specifics of the program, her research, and my interests.
  • 3/26/18
    I became a History Major after Dr. Claude Welch in the Political Science Department recommended Dr. Harold Langfur’s “History of Brazil” class after I made a special class presentation on civil-military relations in the Lusophone world.
  • 3/26/18
    Prior to coming to UB as a transfer student in 2015, I attended St. Bonaventure University where I was an International Studies major. I had always had an affinity with anything related to history but I wasn’t so sure about majoring in it.
  • 4/19/18
    Choosing to become a history major was never something I thought twice about. After my first semester of college, I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy my time at UB if I wasn’t reading, writing, and learning about the things I’m passionate about.
  • 4/19/18
    I graduated from the University at Buffalo in May of 2009 with a BA in History and Teacher Education Minor. My degree created an opening at a non-profit agency where I assisted over-aged and under credited at-risk students earn their high school diploma.
  • 4/19/18
    To be honest, every single class and experience during my time as a history major has been excellent. From the office staff to the faculty, everyone in the department is there to help you achieve your academic and career goals. I have taken courses on everything from the history of WWII to the cultural history of the Huron-Wendat Nation and the evolution of my favorite sport, soccer. However, my experience with the History Honors Program stood out as the most memorable and rewarding.
  • 3/26/18
    My history degree has helped me immensely in my pursuit of a law degree. I learned early on to not only spot issues, but to determine the why and how these issues came to be.
  • 3/26/18
    I’ve always loved reading, writing, and telling stories. When I was in high school, I realized that there were some stories that carried more significance than others to me, and those were historical stories. I remember hearing the quote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
  • 3/26/18
    If you enjoy learning about history, working with renowned scholars within various fields on a personal basis, creating and conducting your own research limited only by your imagination, and generally enjoy the company of fellow nerds and actually having fun in an academic setting, then I would say “Welcome to the University at Buffalo!” because you’ve found the right place!
  • 3/26/18
    As a freshman, I originally applied to UB as a business major. During the summer after high school graduation, I began to have doubts regarding this choice and contacted an advisor to discuss my decision. I spoke with Janeen Wilder and she was immensely helpful.