Program Overview

The history major at Canisius is a comprehensive and intensive program in which students acquire the skills and methods of the historian’s craft. Most important, they learn to:

  • Evaluate and analyze evidence
  • Enhance their critical thinking skills
  • Develop and refine their expository and analytical writing skills  

The program offers a wide selection of both introductory and advanced courses in European, American, Asian, Latin American and ancient history.

Graduates are well-prepared for a broad scope of careers, including law, business, journalism, public policy, the military and museum studies. The college also offers a five-year dual degree program in history and social studies education for students interested in teaching at the elementary, adolescent or high school-level.

The history program provides an excellent foundation for graduate studies including law, urban planning, sports management, arts administration, medicine and pharmacy and education.

Many graduates of the Canisius history program pursue advanced degrees at such leading universities as Notre Dame, Harvard Law School, Queens University (in Belfast), Clemson University, Drexel University, Northwestern University, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Missouri. 

History majors gain valuable, hands-on experience in the field through internships at such places as Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, The Colored Musician’s Club in Buffalo and the Eisenhower National Historic Site at Gettysburg.

The Frank Walter Review is a student-edited annual journal of outstanding student papers. The History Club sponsors field trips, historically themed events and hosts on-campus lectures by noted historians. Phi Alpha Theta, the Canisius Chapter of the history honor society, presents guest speakers. Students attend the organization’s regional conference.


Students must maintain a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in history. All students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate.


All history majors should have an advisor in the department and should contact the chair directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one. Students should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.


History Minor

The history minor complements majors in other academic departments by exposing students to a study of history that is both comprehensive and intensive. Students majoring in various disciplines such as English, communications, psychology, political science and philosophy, as well as those who hope to pursue graduate studies, can often benefit from a minor in history.