Scholarships and Awards

silhouette of student studying.

The Department of History has been fortunate to benefit from bequests and donations that support our undergraduate students. Our scholarships reward academic merit, commend strong character and work ethic, aid underrepresented minorities, and support students’ study abroad plans. We are grateful to those who provide the means for students to focus on their core academic studies and gain international experiences.

Office Hours for the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Camilo Trumper:

By appointment


Department of History:

Department Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm  

Phone Number: (716) 645-2182


Application Process

Scholarship applications are closed for this cycle. Check back in Spring 2024 for the next competition!

Before filling out the general application form, carefully read the descriptions and requirements for the scholarships and awards you are applying for. Most scholarships require documentation in addition to the form such as a personal statement or project description. These additional required documents can be uploaded directly to the online form. 

Please read the instructions on the application carefully. Contact if you have any questions or concerns about completing the online form.

*If needed, a limited number of paper applications are available for download and in the Department of History Office, 546 Park Hall, North Campus. Applicants can pick-up and return completed paper applications between 8:30 and 5:00 Monday through Friday. 

Scholarship and Award Descriptions

Milton Plesur Scholarship/History Department Scholarship

Full-time history majors who have compiled outstanding records in history are eligible to apply for a Plesur Scholarship (also called the History Department Scholarship), named after Professor Milton Plesur (1927-1987). Professor Plesur devoted his career to teaching, and bequeathed his estate to the university for the continued of support UB students. Awards will be made to students who can demonstrate the most serious interest in and commitment to history as evidenced by academic record, extra-curricular activities, and career plans.  A sophomore awardee who continues to compile an excellent record in his or her junior year may reapply for a second year of support for the senior year.

Bryan G. Argo Memorial Scholarship

History majors who are residents of Niagara or Erie County and full-time students in their junior or senior year and working at least part-time who have compiled an over-all grade point average of at least 3.0 are eligible for the Bryan G. Argo Memorial Scholarship. Applicants should submit a letter of reference from a current professor or civic or spiritual leader and write a personal statement as described in the application. The scholarship awards demonstrated family values, integrity, and personal achievements. This award is made each year through the generosity of the family and friends of Bryan Argo, a History student who was devoted to family and friends, believed strongly in continuing education, and whose promising life was tragically cut short. 

Joyce J. and John D. Milligan and Family Scholarships

Full-time history majors from underrepresented minorities, with good academic credentials and personal characteristics (attitude, personality, citizenship, and leadership) are invited to apply for a Milligan Scholarship.  Awards are made to rising juniors and seniors annually.  This scholarship is made available through the generosity of John D. Milligan, a long-time History Department faculty member, his late wife Joyce who served the Department as a secretary, their daughter Jacqueline, a dedicated teacher of English as a Second Language at UB, and two other daughters, Elizabeth and Polla, both residents of Buffalo. Preference will be given to African-American students from Western New York who have financial need. The junior award is renewable in the senior year at the discretion of the chair of the History Department.

History Department Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship

We are 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. The Department will award up to eight Undergraduate Diversity Scholarships for students entering their Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year, each in the amount of $3,500 (roughly equivalent to one semester of tuition). 

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. The Department offers 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 $1,000 for students engaging in projects with particularly strong public history merit, payable at the completion of the course. In addition to the General Application applicants will also need to submit a letter of recommendation, a personal statement, and a brief description of the merit of their intended project. 

Milton Plesur and Schoellkopf Awards for Study Abroad

Each year the History Department awards study abroad scholarships to qualified History majors enrolling in a recognized summer, semester, winter intersession, or year-long study abroad program. 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.

Undergraduate Research Paper Prize

Each Spring the Department awards a prize for the best honors thesis or substantial research paper written in that academic year. The prize is awarded in honor of Professor Patricia Mazón, a historian of Germany who retired from the department in 2017.  The author of the winning paper will receive a cash prize and will be recognized at graduation. 

Curvish Paper Prize

History majors in their senior year who have written an outstanding paper relating to the U.S. Constitution are invited to apply for the Curvish Paper Prize. The Edward L. Curvish, Jr. Award was established in 2000 by Edward L. Curvish, Jr., who received a BA in the Department of History. He went on to receive a Master’s in Education and taught high school for many years.

Early Recognition Awards

As of 2022, each winter the department gives out awards to undergraduate students who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to historical writing and research in a HIS 301 Seminar or a 400-level History Seminar during the previous fall semester, as demonstrated in an outstanding seminar paper. Faculty may nominate one student per seminar; self-nominations or applications are not possible. Both History Majors and Minors may be nominated, and there is no preference for a particular group of students or particular topics. These Early Recognition Awards do not include a financial compensation or scholarship. Recipients are recognized through a certificate, an announcement on the department’s website and social media, and an invitation to join the spring History Dinner with the chair of the department and other faculty members.

Additional Opportunities

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) also maintains a list of scholarships and awards made available to undergraduate students within the College.