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

Director of Undergraduate Studies

574 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-2282

dushist@buffalo.edu

Camilo Trumper
Department of History
College of Arts and Sciences

574 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-2282

dushist@buffalo.edu

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

  • 11/13/18
    I went to UB as an undergraduate and was blown away by the knowledge and skill of the history department faculty. The classes I attended as an undergrad were fascinating and insightful, and they shaped the way I look at the world today. When it came time to decide on a graduate school, I knew I wanted to continue my research with a department that had already taught me so much.
  • 11/15/18
    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?
  • 11/8/18
    What drew me to the UB Department of History was the fact that several professors were very well matched to my interest area. I saw how students and faculty members were collegial to each other.
  • 10/12/18
    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.
  • 10/12/18
    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.
  • 11/15/18
    The passion that the department’s teachers have for the subjects they teach. The professors genuinely care about their students and push them to go farther in their research.
  • 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
    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.
  • 10/12/18
    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 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.
  • 10/12/18
    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
    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.
  • 11/13/18
    I’ve always loved reading and writing about history. Graduate school for history was something I always wanted to do. The University at Buffalo’s History Department has an excellent reputation and an incredibly knowledgeable faculty. The opportunity to do graduate work at UB means you get to study and think about history at high level. That’s something that attracted me to study here.
  • 10/12/18
    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.
  • 10/12/18
    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
    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.
  • 11/16/18
    Having pursued my collegiate studies at SUNY institutions from my Associate’s degree through my Master’s degree, I like that I can work with internationally-recognized faculty at a public institution, demonstrating the value of public education to our community, state, and nation.
  • 11/9/18
    I currently study African American and urban history following World War II. My focus is on Black Power organizations in Rustbelt areas; I study how these organizations responded to federal initiatives such as urban renewal that often led to the destruction of minority homes and communities. Following graduation, I envision myself working for a think-tank or a non-profit organization in a policy capacity.
  • 11/13/18
    I have loved ever single history class I have taken. If I were to choose to pick a favorite, it would be HIS 391:China and the World with Professor Stapleton.
  • 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
    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.
  • 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.
  • 11/8/18
    The program’s diversity of options prepares me for dealing with different kinds of people on different levels then what I had been used to before, and its great exposure! I see myself becoming a participant, teacher, and maybe a leader in the promotion, development, and interpretation of the local, regional, and Trans-Atlantic Public History and Arts fields (S.T.E.A.M.) I want to strongly highlight and unify in conversation our many historic sites, working museums and cultural centers of the growing yet still mostly underfunded Historic Tourism industry. More investments in these unique places can contribute greatly towards our revival as a local and regional economy.
  • 11/15/18
    Initially, the prospect of working with Dr. Claire Schen drew me to UB. I became familiar with her work as a master’s student and was excited at the opportunity to study under her. What solidified my decision was the welcoming environment that I experienced during my campus visit and the interdisciplinary approach that the department takes with regards to courses and research work.
  • 11/13/18
    The staff at our institution were the main reason I was drawn to the program. I was an undecided major – I knew I wanted to do something humanities based, but was uncertain of which path to follow. All of the History professors create an environment where knowledge and self-expression are able to prosper. That environment, which I first experienced in Dr. Radford’s U.S. History II class, was what made me certain I wanted to be a History major. Every class I have taken since has only reinforced that decision, and I am not only a better student, but also a better person because of it.
  • 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.
  • 11/16/18
    I am forever indebted to the instruction of each member of the faculty I’ve encountered at UB. Each has taught me so much about the historian’s craft, but Reading Early American History with Dr. Eric Seeman and 20th Century German Readings with Dr. Andreas Daum have been my most treasured experiences thus far. As a professional, having the privilege to work as a Teaching Assistant has also been incredibly rewarding.
  • 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!